ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The minster to the homeless whose downtown shelter was shut down by the city last spring is predicting more deaths of the homeless out in the cold, as he fights a new lawsuit designed to prevent him from re-opening.

The Reverend Larry Rice of the New Life Evangelistic Center says the recent deaths of a homeless man found in a port-a-potty and another in a dumpster may be just the beginning this winter.

“We’re going to see more and more deaths of the homeless. These are people that are really, really hurting, and these are individuals that need more than just a place to sleep and food to eat. They need community, and that’s what we offer at 1411 Locust,” he says.

Rice is fighting a suit filed late last week by property owners around his closed shelter. The suit asks a judge to bar the city from issuing permits to Rice to re-open, warning that New Life was a nuisance property and an accelerator for crime in the neighborhood.

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