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Hearings on New Life Evangelistic Center Resume Tuesday

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A few homeless hold down the fort on the sidewalk behind New Life.

A few homeless hold down the fort on the sidewalk behind New Life.

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Hearings resume Tuesday in St. Louis concerning whether or not New Life Evangelistic Center will lose its permit to house homeless people overnight.

Hearings began in September at the Board of Public Service after a petition was signed, asking that the hotel permit for Rev. Larry Rice and New Life Evangelistic Center be removed.

Rice says his shelter is essential for the homeless in St. Louis.

“Here at New Life Evangelistic Center we put up 250 to 300-plus people every night. At the same time we’re doing that as the last major overnight shelter,” he said.

Rice hasn’t had an opportunity to testify in the previous hearings but says he will tomorrow.

“We’re going to be having experts come in, talking about how important it is that this place is there for the community. We have attorneys from Brown & James that are representing us,” the reverend said.

Rice told KMOX News last month that if City Hall does try to shut down his shelter, he will take the case to court. He argues that, as a religious organization, New Life is protected by the First Amendment.

“We have people who have homes, who have condominiums, that file petitions, that want to take away our right to shelter people here,” he added.

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