Rev. Rice vows to continue helping the homeless

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The operator of New Life Evangelistic Center will be forced to close its doors for good Sunday.

City leaders say the building has a long history of code violations.

The number of homeless people continues to grow as the center is scheduled to be shut down. “I'm going to be moving out on the streets because city hall is not going to be taking care of these people. These services are essential; this is the last major walk in shelter in Mid America.,”

However, before the shutdown, a Save the Shelter Rally was held Saturday morning trying to drum up last minute support to keep the shelter opened.

"By us being homeless we really don't have anywhere else to go, we have considered this our home," said Victoria Harris.

The homeless shelter has been located in the heart of Downtown St. Louis for more than 40 years. “This place is full every night and it’s upsetting that they are going to have close," said Ike Hallman.

The mayor's office says the city-owned Biddle House will process those leaving New Life's Shelter. As a judge ruled to allow the City of St. Louis to continue its plan to temporarily house the homeless, Rice says hundreds of his clients are now scrambling.

The city said the shelter was over crowed and had various building codes violations. It has been operating without a permit for two years. "This is the place that police drop off people, churches drop off and hospitals send them in here. People come in hospital gowns.  1411 Locust means that people are going to die on the streets" said Rev. Rice.

Reverend Larry Rice says Arch City Defenders, a local law firm filed both a motion for a temporary restraining order and class action lawsuit against the City in St Louis Circuit Court Saturday seeking to order the city not to follow through on its plans to move residents previously housed by Rice shelter.

The hearing was scheduled for 3:30pm Saturday afternoon.