Rice says downtown shelter will shut down this weekend - KMOV.com

Rice says downtown shelter will shut down this weekend

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The outside of the New Life Evangelistic Center in St. Louis (Credit: KMOV) The outside of the New Life Evangelistic Center in St. Louis (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Rev. Larry Rice said he will comply with a judge’s order and close his downtown shelter.

The New Life Evangelistic Center (NLEC) will be ceasing operations on 5:00 p.m. Sunday. A judge refused Rice’s request to keep the shelter on open Thursday.

In January, the city said NLEC must close by April 1, saying it was operating illegally without a permit.

NLEC was issued a permit for 32 beds in 1976 but has been housing more than 200 people per night. The permit expired in 2015.

The city issued a Rice a cease and desist order in 2016.

"We always been trying to be compliant with the city, we've been trying to do repairs they've wanted us to do," said Rice. 

Rice said he hopes the closure will be temporary.

The city said those who stayed at NLEC should go to Biddle House, the city-owned shelter. 

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