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Rev. Larry Rice says he'll drive the homeless to the mall to esacape heat

10:59 PM, Jun 27, 2012   |    comments
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Richmond Heights (KSDK) - Staying inside during this heat wave is not an option for some. So, to beat the heat, Rev. Larry Rice is taking the homeless to the mall.

Rice plans to drive homeless people from downtown St. Louis to the Saint Louis Galleria Mall in Richmond Heights. And he also hopes to make a statement about what he sees as a lack of services for the homeless in St. Louis County.

Rice maintains the homeless are shipped downtown by county hospitals and police departments where resources are already thin.

"They're a community that needs to start taking care of the homeless," Rice said of St. Louis County. "And that's why we're going to the Galleria and we encourage homeless people to join us."

In a statement the Galleria's General Manager Earl Dorsett said, "We do not allow the mall's common areas to be used as a venue to gather or espouse views of any cause, religion or charity."

Richmond Heights police say Rice's plan sounds legal, but if the mall asks someone to leave they'll help with enforcement.

Stats from the city of St. Louis seem to backup Rice's claim about services. The city says of hundreds of homeless people they help, on any given night about half are from outside the city.

St. Louis County says there are ongoing conversations about how to best help the homeless. 

KSDK

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