ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Almost a month after his New Life Evangelistic Center was shut down by the city of St. Louis, the Rev. Larry Rice is asking Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to intervene.

Rice was gathering petition signatures from the homeless to hand to the governor, asking him to provide a state-owned building here for shelter.

Asked what buildings he had in mind, Rice says there may be some space at the State Hospital on Arsenal Street.

The city has already opened two new shelters to provide a place to sleep for the some 200 who were staying at New Life. But Rice claims “dozens” are not using them, and they’re sleeping on the streets.

New Life was shut down after neighbors complained it had become a nuisance property, with homeless loitering, urinating in public and doing drugs nearby.

In an ongoing court fight, Rice is trying to prove his shelter is a “church” and therefore doesn’t need permission from the surrounding neighborhood to re-open.

Rice planned to deliver his petition to Greitens’ office Friday.

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