St. Louis Mayor Francis Slays says Rev. Larry Rice’s plan to host a homeless camp on Vandeventer Ave. north of Interstate 44 is a bad idea.
Speaking today on "St. Louis on the Air," Slay said he’s concerned about the same safety and health problems that plagued the tent cities by the Mississippi riverfront.
“If they’re on the property without the proper permits – the occupancy permits and other things under the zoning laws – they will be asked to leave and if they continue to violate the law people will be moved,” he said.
But Rice says the new camp on two acres of private property will be protected by the First Amendment.
“I hope they don’t try to arrest us for trying to practice our religion which may be different from the mayor’s," Rice said. "I hope they don’t do that, but if they do that and they lock me up I’ll probably be back over here again.”
Rice says he will join the first residents of the camp called Integrity Village as they pitch their tents Wednesday.