ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Facing a possible shutdown April 1st, the New Life Evangelistic Center downtown is asking a court to intervene.

The Reverend Larry Rice (KMOX/Brett Blume)

The Reverend Larry Rice (KMOX/Brett Blume)

Reverend Larry Rice says he’s asking a state appeals court to keep his shelter open – while he fights the city’s claim that he needs petition signatures from the surrounding neighborhood to stay open.

“Thank God we live in democracy here and we have judges that can overrule things,” Rice says. “We just saw it happen as far as the President of the United States.”

Rice’s legal team is asking a state appeals court to issue an injunction. Rice says the city has no place for the homeless to go – even after most officials will be leaving office after April. He adds they will continue to appeal every way that they can.

“We’ve been fighting City Hall since April 2012 and we have not yet begun to fight City Hall,” Rice says. “Some of the things we are going to be coming out with in the next couple of weeks…I think is going to shake ’em up.”

Rice adds that they has been trying to shut the shelter down for over four years. He is prepared to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary, saying “this can be tied up for years.”

The city of St. Louis ordered the shelter to close after neighbors complained the homeless were loitering, asking for money, and doing drugs around downtown.

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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