Larry Rice pushes for new homeless camps near Botanical Garden - KMOV.com

Larry Rice pushes for new homeless camps near Botanical Garden

(KMOV.com) -- A St. Louis religious leader wants to set up a new "tent city" for the homeless in a high profile area.

Rev. Larry Rice, leader of the New Life Evangelistic Center, hopes to establish homeless camps near Interstate 44 and Vandeventer.

The movement comes as city leaders push to close three homeless camps along the riverfront by May 18. They say these communities have to be closed for health and safety reasons.

Rice says he will argue the new camp is legal through the Religious Land Use Act, but city leaders say they will do everything they can to stop his plan. They say the solution is not to set up a new site, but to give the homeless low-cost housing options.

For now, police will patrol the existing homeless camps to ensure no one moves back.

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