Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)By Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – After last week’s hammer attack on a group of homeless people sleeping in an abandoned school — an attack that left a woman in critical condition — a local minister is calling on churches to let homeless women and children spend the night.

The Rev. Larry Rice of the now-closed New Life Evangelistic Center downtown says his staff could pick up the women and children, drop them off to spend the night, and pick them up in the morning.

“We’d be happy to meet with them, help them get the necessary cots and blankets, provide more volunteers, but also encourage them to do that,” Rice said. “My pitch to them is this: You know, we’ve got to start not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.”

In all, four people were beaten by a man wielding a hammer and another metal object. It happened at the Carr School at 15th and Carr streets.

Rice says only women and children would sleep at participating churches, and they would be screened beforehand.

edward moore Hammer Attack Prompts Minister to Urge Churches to Shelter Homeless

Edward Moore (SLMPD photo)

A 61-year-old homeless man, Edward Moore, is charged in the hammer attack, and held on a $500,000 bond.

Rice says he knows of 25 to 30 women and children now who are in need of placement to get out of unsafe situations.

So far, no churches have volunteered to get the program started, but Rice says he has some leads.

A news conference is planned for Thursday morning outside St. Louis City Hall to unveil the program.

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