Rev. Larry Rice Considering Lawsuit as City Shuts Street Outside New Life Evangelistic Center

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Reverend Larry Rice is feeling "squeezed" on his own turf.
The battle between the city of St. Louis and New Life Evangelistic Center head Rev. Larry Rice wages on.

The latest clash began last night as the city enacts "special enforcement" on a section of Locust Street west of 14th Street, right outside the NLEC. The sidewalk is often lined in the wee hours of the night with homeless people who've sought services at the center, but don't want to sleep inside.

The city says sleeping outside is dangerous and unsanitary. Rice says it's the homeless' right.

"This is what the law used to do in the '50s," he says. "They're going to come along and try to squeeze us out."

Things have been pretty ugly ever since Rice tried to put up a tent city for the homeless called Integrity Village and the city tore it down. Rice was arrested at the removal. He's been threatening to sue, arguing he got the proper permits for the vacant land.

Now, the city has turned its sights to NLEC, Rice's hub shelter in downtown St. Louis.



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