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Homeless Center Facing Possible Shutdown This Week

Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)
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The Reverend Larry Rice and homeless supporters oppose sidewalk eviction. Photo: KMOX

The Reverend Larry Rice and homeless supporters oppose sidewalk eviction. Photo: KMOX

kevin-killeen Kevin Killeen
Kevin Killeen joined the KMOX News Team in July 1995 as morning...
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - For months, the New Life Evangelistic Center at 14th and Locust has been on the defensive, accused in a petition of being a nuisance property by neighbors tired of homeless people loitering, fighting and urinating.

This week, the St. Louis Board of Public Service could render its decision on whether to revoke the homeless center’s hotel permit.

“The request before the board at this time is to determine whether or not the New Life Evangelistic Center has violated its operational permit, its hotel permit, that was taken out in the 1970s,” says board president Rich Bradley.

The board has held hearings on the petition since September, and Bradley says it could come to a vote Tuesday.

“This board has listened openly to all the evidence from all sides, and we’ll have a discussion to ensue and make a decision based on all the evidence,” he says.

If the board votes to revoke the center’s hotel license, the Rev. Larry Rice has already vowed to sue and argue his ministry is a church with constitutional protection.

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