By Talia Kaplan
Richmond Heights, MO (KSDK) - Some area homeless are trying to stay cool and make a statement. They packed up in vans and headed out to St. Louis County Thursday morning to spend the day at the Saint Louis Galleria mall applying for jobs.
Everyone was excited in front of the New Life Evangelistic Center on Thursday.
"I am going to have a wonderful day today," said Avis Brown, who stays at the shelter.
She was one of about 40 others who headed off to the Galleria on the hottest day of the year so far.
"I am looking forward to staying cool, to finding a job, and hanging with my girls," said Brown.
"It makes a lot more sense to come to the mall and look for jobs than sit in some cooling center not doing anything. We want to help the homeless help themselves," said Reverend Larry Rice, with The New Life Evangelistic Center.
On Thursday, dozens of homeless people bought lunch and headed to stores and restaurants looking for work.
Jamie Sheppard was excited about the job prospects. She lost her job as a certified nurse assistant a year and a half ago, and then lost her apartment. She says it's been a long time since she has been this happy.
"It feels good to smile again. It makes me feel better about myself," said Sheppard.
The mall's general manager declined to talk Thursday but in a statement said the mall cannot be used to "gather or espouse views of any cause, religion or charity."
Apparently that policy was not violated because no action was taken.
"The security from the mall has left us alone. I see them following me around from a distance and talking to each other, but they know we are not breaking any laws," said Reverend Rice.
He says he will bring a different group of homeless people to the Galleria Friday and Saturday as temperatures stay over 100 degrees.
Reverend Rice says he will continue to do this throughout the summer. In fact, he has plans to hit the malls in Illinois sometime soon too.