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Springfield Asks Feds to Shut Down Larry Rice's Day Shelter

Categories: Politics
Larry Rice.jpg
Larry Rice faces a government shut-down in Springfield.
Claiming to be fed up with handling complaints leveled at Larry Rice's Veteran's Coming Home Center, Springfield City Manager Greg Burris has formally requested on behalf of Springfield civic leaders that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rescind the deed to the center.

The move would shut down the day center for homeless people and return ownership of the property, a former Social Security office building, to the city.

Springfield's letter to Health and Human Services includes the accusation that Rice engages in consistent and flagrant disregard of local and state laws." Burris then lists some examples of such behavior, including:

-In January 2007, a store that was being used illegally by Rice as an overnight shelter was the site of a rape. Of the 25 people who spent the night there, five were registered sex offenders.
-A house owned by Rice's New Life Evangelistic Center was sheltering up to 20 people at a time; the house was in a residential Springfield neighborhood, and was not zoned to be a shelter.
-Burris also cited a man who attacked four people with a chainsaw at one of Rice's shelters in Callaway County, and the 2008 stabbing at St. Louis' New Life Evangelistic Center that killed 28-year-old Jeremy Dunlap.

Rice counters that events that happened outside of Springfield don't have any bearing on how the Springfield centers are operated, and further contends that the city is only going after him because they want the property.

You will notice that not one of those incidents the city listed happened at the Veterans Coming Home Center, which is the property that Springfield wants shut down; maybe Rice's second contention is valid.


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39 comments
Anthony Merkel
Anthony Merkel

You've seen that too huh! I live in Florissant ( uncorp. STL County ) and I seen them doing that too. The homeless then proceed to beg at the off ramps and lights there or they go to the QT and restaurants and beg customers.

Anthony Merkel
Anthony Merkel

 Typical city arrogance! No wonder no one wants to live down town! You can keep your crappy city and the crime too!

Anthony Merkel
Anthony Merkel

 You are a tool! I'm against the shelter because of the behavior of the people there, but unlike you; i'm not saying lets kill em all!

Anthony Merkel
Anthony Merkel

 The city won't do a thing because they are afraid of being sued by Rice. The guy is using the homeless for his personal gain and nothing more. He should be a politician. He'd fit right in.

Anthony Merkel
Anthony Merkel

I had to park near the NLEC once for an event down town and after getting out of my car I was immediately surrounded by homeless people asking my wife and I for money for food and when I said NO, but I'll buy you lunch, they all walked off cussing us out. When we returned, they were leaning on our car and refused to move until I gave them money. So I called the cops and they all started calling me a homeless hating racist lol. I'm all for helping the homeless, but not when they behave as iif I owe them something!!! I stick with helping homeless vets and to the rest, tough luck!

Leonard
Leonard

Anyone know how I can contact Larry Rice? His website contact page doesn't work. I've called and left messages but no one has returned my calls. My firm is looking to provide free volunteer counseling DOD certified training for returning military with PTS. If you have contact info please email them to me at CitadelMediaSolutions.com. Thank you.

Msrdls
Msrdls

I have many issues with Larry Rice. His worst characer flaws are vanity and  pride. Shouldn't he be humble since he preaches that pride and vanity are sinful? Anyway, how does he manifest his pride and vanity?  By wearing a toupee! I find it difficult to trust a person who wears a toupee, because I feel that he is hiding from the truth.

Oed
Oed

stop whining and move to a suburb.

Fuck-suburbs
Fuck-suburbs

Let the city police round up the loitering homeless and drop them off in the surrounding county neighborhoods, share the wealth. I think DesPeres, Ladue, Oakville and Frontenac woul dbe excellent places to start. After all it's not like the cocksuckers who run the podunk police departments in these areas have been doing this by dropping these people off in St. Louis for years.

Rick_Santorum
Rick_Santorum

If Mitt Romney were President he would know how to fix this problem because he has a personal relationship with Baby Jeebus and creates lots of jobs and junk.

AmeriKwan
AmeriKwan

We shouldn't have to see Homeless People. They should be kept out of site or killed by the military as terrorists. This is AmeriKwa and Homelessness is not Patriotic. These Homeless are probably Muslims or MAYBE they're Nazis and want to kill six million jews or something or maybe even worse they don't recognize Israel as a jewish State and that jews are God's Chosen people. I think it's completely inappropriate to be Homeless. It's probably Abraham Lincoln's fault.

Mrhomeowner
Mrhomeowner

There are better ways to help the homeless rather than institutionalize them in shelters.  Unfortunately, it requires a committment of funds and expertise to 1) affordable housing in good neighborhoods and 2) case management for those homeless individuals who need it.   St. Louis just received another pot of money for its homeless policy; we should evaluate how the city spends this money based on the following principles:  http://www.endhomelessness.org...

The reason why most shelters are in downtown/commercial areas is that they were effectively NIMBYed out of residential neighborhoods.  Downtown residents have an opportunity to say something more than "we want them out too."

Your Momma
Your Momma

Every person complaining about the downtown shelter chose to live there knowing the shelter was there, right? It has been there decades, was not hidden from you - I presume?

Concerned Downtown Resident
Concerned Downtown Resident

I'm glad to see I'm not going crazy, and people feel the same way.  Every day, I'm looking at this situation and thinking, "Seriously? How is this happening?". I don't even know what to do about it, and have exhausted all my ideas.  When I first moved in on Locust, I was approached by several people, several times, campaigning to get the city to oust Larry Rice, but obviously it was unsuccessful. 

Unfortunately, my girlfriend now wants to get a house together.  While I love the loft lifestyle (and don't get me wrong, she does too), she does not feel safe walking anywhere, especially at night, and I'm growing tired of having to escort her everywhere.  95% of the reason she feels this way is because of Larry Rice.  So, congrats downtown, you've scared off another tax paying citizen.  And this was no easy feat: I moved from Detroit, and was one of the biggest proponents of the revitalization of downtown.  I still love the area, and see the immense potential.

westendres
westendres

I live downtown, several blocks from NLEC, but feel the effects every day.  My 3 block walk to work on Olive has become increasingly unbearable. The begging just has to stop, no one will want to come to our city if they are constantly harrassed by scary, homeless people.NLEC apparently kicks out everyone every morning so what else do they have to do but sit or walk around and harrass people?  I was going to take my dog to the dog park behind the library until I saw who was there, quite a scary sight, all homeless.And if you want to talk about sex offenders, the transient hotel at 9th and Pine houses 40+ registered sex offenders.The only place I truly feel safe outdoors in the STL downtown area is at CityGarden, which for some reason is able to keep out the beggers.  I assume because it is privately owned and has the right to refuse entry. I hope that the city sees what they are doing.  By putting the needs of the homeless before those of the residents of downtown, they will only drive us away.  I know if the problem does not improve, I will be moving.

CDR #3
CDR #3

I live by the NLEC, too. If you look up the address in the sex offender registry, you'll find at least 5 registered sex offenders have the NLEC listed as their address. And yet, it's across the street from a school. How is that legal?

And I agree with the other two comments - the amount of people sleeping on Locust and in Lucas Park is completely out of control. The Occupy movement should've just camped there instead of Keener Plaza.

It's naive of me to say that I should be able to walk alone at night through downtown... but I shouldn't have to avoid multiple blocks in broad daylight every time I walk to the Y so I don't get harassed.

There are several other shelters and similar organizations in the downtown area that help homeless people, and they manage to do it without fifty people loitering outside 24/7.

CDR #2
CDR #2

Agree completely with CDR.  If NLEC downtown is a shelter it hasn't been doing its job for a long time.  If you look at calls for service (police, fire, ambulance) in the downtown area you could draw a circle with NLEC in the center.  Any other property anywhere else in this city would be considered a nuisance and would have the attention of Neighborhood Stabilization asap.  NLEC should not be getting special treatment because of their specialized work and they are partially responsible for the behavior of the homeless they attract.

Concerned Downtown Resident
Concerned Downtown Resident

I live down the street from the NLEC on Locust, and am tired of the flagrant disregard for the residents of the area that is shown by this facility.  I do not want to shut Larry Rice down, or  take away a much needed service for the homeless population of St. Louis, but the location has become inappropriate and dangerous given the growth of the surrounding area.  It continues to provide a black mark on the perception of loft living, especially on Locust, is stifling further growth, and keeping home values low.  Every night dozens of homeless people are sleeping in the alley and along Locust.  95% of the time I walk by, I am either harassed for money or just barked at for no reason.  One night, I walked past 2 people fist fighting on the sidewalk.  People are scared to park their cars on that block because of the large gathering of vagrants standing next to their car all night.  At least 5 nights a week (not exaggerating), an ambulance comes roaring up to the NLEC with lights and sirens on...its just a nuisance property and should be dealt with as such.

How is this legal?  Aren't their at least loitering laws?  If my property had the police called to it as often as the NLEC, it would be confiscated and/or I'd be arrested.  Something needs to be done.  Larry, find a new location, out of a residential area. No one wants a hoard of homeless in their backyard...

guest
guest

This is a silly post as well.although it does speak to the important point that the problem is not the homeless but Larry Rice, who would go out of business if the city ever came close to solving the problem. As it his he blocks the city and other advocates for the homeless at every turn.

The_Watchtower
The_Watchtower

I have personally witnessed St. Louis City PD dropping off homeless at Lindbergh (Hwy 67) and McDonnell Blvd. in Hazelwood during the VP Fair et. al. 4th of July celebrations to temporarily rid the city of them until the festival is over so as to paint a better picture of "The Most Dangerous City in America" to potential tourists.

Your Momma
Your Momma

What an absurd and completely unsubstantiated claim. 

westendres
westendres

You're an idiot. No one is saying that homeless people are any of these things. They have a place in society, but does it have to be roaming around aimlessly and harrassing people. And as you probably know, many are homeless because of mental and/or drug issues, which makes them act out inappropriately (sometimes to me). They will also beg because their drug addiction has completely overtaken any sense of shame that they would normally have at their behavior.

CDR #3
CDR #3

There's a big difference between walking past a shelter and walking through a prison yard, which is the experience we get in the area from 13th to 15th and Olive to Washington. Of course we knew the shelter was there. Of course we didn't know how bad that block would be until we walked through it ourselves. When police start picking up homeless people from the county and dropping them in the park next to your house, then you can judge us.

westendres
westendres

Yes I knew there were homeless before I decided to move to downtown St. Louis, but I guess that you think the best when you see that the city and investors are trying to revitalize a region and unless you had a "trial run" you would never realize the number and actual behavior of some of the folks that are housed by NLEC every night and then turned loose every day with nothing to do but harrass people.  Should this issue be all about the rights of the homeless and forget the rights of the rest of downtown residents?Do you propose that we should all move out because we knew the shelter was there and give the downtown area back to the residents of NLEC?  So you presume right, I guess I should have known.

wil
wil

This is a law enforcement issue. If the police had a stonger presence in St. Louis we wouldn't be discussing this issue. People don't want to move to this city becuase of this very issue.Go to other large cities and you will see cops walking the beat. the police pesence in this city is far behind other cities period. The homeless will aways be here so make our communities safe the a lawful presence.

Msrdls
Msrdls

Probably you shouldn't have bought a loft on that block, Downtown Resident. NLEC has occupied the old YWCA longer than your lofts have been developed in whatever building you're located in. Had Larry Rice arrived in the neighborhood after your loft was developoed, I think you might have an argument. One more thing: loft property values are LOW because 1) you paid too much to begin with 2) there are too many lofts available and 3) it is widely recognized that it is smarter to lease a loft than to purchase, because so many loft residents disrespect the properties and other loft residents.

Fuck-suburbs
Fuck-suburbs

If you believe this doesn't happen you have you eyes slammed shut, probably because your head is so far up your ass. Would your dumb ass care to show me ANY services for the homeless in any of the communities that I mentioned?

Fuck-suburbs
Fuck-suburbs

Hey dingle fuck, where are you to dispute this?

CDR #3
CDR #3

You don't call NBC and CBS relevant results?  From the CBS article - quoting the Rice family:

"But Rice's son, Chris, also a pastor at New Life, said he has seen police vans pull up near his center, watched officers remove handcuffs and then leave homeless men in a park across the street.

Larry Rice said suburban hospitals and detox centers have also been known to bring homeless people into the city and leave them near shelters — sometimes still wearing hospital gowns.

'They don't know what to do with them in these other municipalities,' Larry Rice said. 'They don't have any shelters.'"

Yo-mommas-pimp
Yo-mommas-pimp

Here you go stupid;

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/20...

I have no doubt you will blather some more bullshit about how this isn't legit enough for you though, apparently Larry Rice, his son and Bill Siedhoff are liars as well. Whatever though, I have seen this shit happen with my own two eyes on quite a few occasions. If you want to keep your head firmly planted up your ass that's your choice. I can imagine why you do it though, you don't want to admit that yourself and the shitty suburb you probably live in don't do dick to help anyone other than yourselves.

 

Captain Obvious
Captain Obvious

 http://lmgtfy.com/?q=county+dr...

There.  That being said, Rice and NLEC are scum.  The Springfield "shelter" was never deeded as a homeless shelter but rather a veteran's support center where Rice "assured" the city that there would be no overnight stays, and where vets could get support services.  However like all of Rice's shelters, he soon pushed the envelope and turned the parking lot next door to the high school into a homeless encampment.  Local businesses soon noticed people shitting on their property and a congregation of drunks pissing everywhere.

While I don't agree with "fuck-suburbs" tone, they make a valid point.  The idiot church goers (primarily from Florissant) come into the city and feed the bums like pigeons ensuring that they'll never seek help or leave.  When the church vans pull up, it's like an army of ants swarming over the parks coming out from all directions.

Your Momma
Your Momma

Right. Cops from county municipalities just dump homeless off at the park hear your house - YET - this has never been documented by any news source, there is no video of this and the City Police nor City Government have protested or done anything about this. Sounds Legit. 

Fuck-suburbs
Fuck-suburbs

My conclusion is that you are full of shit, I have seen cops from multiple shit stain county municipalities dump these people into our city parks. The facts are that EVERY fucking community has a problem with homeless people yet most don't do a fucking thing about it. They simply shuttle them out and dump them on us. Then I have a clown like you, who probably doesn't do a fucking thing to help anybody but himself, try to talk shit because those of us who choose to make the city a better place want EVERYONE to take some fucking responsibility for problems like this.

Your Momma
Your Momma

Police from other areas have been caught doing what? Your sentence doesn't make sense and I cannot follow your conclusion. 

Fuck-suburbs
Fuck-suburbs

Police from other areas have been caught doing just citizens from church's from the areas have been fined for 'helping' the homeless by dumping stale bread and old food in our city parks for these people to loiter and congregate there. Maybe these goddamn 'helpful' church's should help these people on their own goddamn property. One of these days I might get a van full of homeless and take them to a county park suck as Queeny or BeeTree for some 'help' (aka dump a box of stale bread and them).

Your Momma
Your Momma

You seem like a level headed fella. 

Anyway, maybe because folks like you moved in to each of the communities you talked about and decided they didn't want the homeless there? Now you're moving downtown next door to NLEC and deciding the same?

You make it sound like the police from the county municipalities surreptitiously push homeless people out of unmarked cars onto the streets of the city without prejudice. The reality is, if someone can get help and wants help through NLEC they can be taken there to receive that assistance.

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