Metro-East News

A controversial St. Louis homeless shelter is shutting down this weekend

In this file photo, the Rev. Larry Rice (center) is joined by Kevin Peals (left) and Bryan Anderson, both of Belleville, outside the former YMCA building in downtown Belleville on November 15, 2012.
In this file photo, the Rev. Larry Rice (center) is joined by Kevin Peals (left) and Bryan Anderson, both of Belleville, outside the former YMCA building in downtown Belleville on November 15, 2012. tvizer@bnd.com

A controversial downtown St. Louis homeless shelter will be closing Sunday.

Rev. Larry Rice, who runs the New Life Evangelistic Center, said he will comply with an order to shut down the facility, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The shelter, which Rice said houses 200 people a night, has operated without an occupancy permit since May 2015. The permit was revoked because of a series of building code violations and because the center was housing 200 people when it was only permitted to provide shelter for up to 35 people.

The Post-Dispatch also reports that the Affordable Housing Commission approved $214,000 to open two other facilities to shelter 75 people a night apiece if Rice’s facility closed.

The shelter is located near the central branch of the St. Louis Public Library.

Rice is also an independent candidate for mayor in the St. Louis mayoral election on April 4.

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