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ST. LOUIS – The new city administration will spend up to $18 million dollars helping the homeless.

One advocate says he can provide hundreds of beds for the homeless that won’t cost taxpayers a dime. A long-time homeless advocate Rev. Larry Rice is hoping the new Mayor Tishaura Jones will let him reopen his homeless shelter the New Life Evangelist Center downtown.

New life Evangelistic Center had hundreds of beds for the homeless before it was shut down in 2017 by then-Mayor Francis Slay. Despite making $80,000 in repairs, former Mayor Lyda Krewson still refused to let him reopen it.

He’s hoping Jones will let him reopen. Rice says there are still a lot of homeless in the downtown area, and they are still in the same bad shape, needing help. 

The mayor’s administration says there are things to do such as provide units to the homeless, as well as hotel vouchers. They also need to help shelters that are limited in how many people they can hold because of social distancing.

Rice says he hopes to have a meeting with the new mayor soon to outline his plans to try to reopen to serve the homeless shelter.