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Rice Says Feds Delaying on Abram Building

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By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – The Reverend Larry Rice said Wednesday the federal government is stalling on a decision about the Abram Federal Building in downtown St. Louis.

Rice wants the building for a homeless services agency, but city officials and a developer say they need to convert it into a parking garage in order to open the nearby Kiel Opera House.

Rice says he had expected the department of Health and Human Services to make a decision by Friday (3/26).

"It appears that the verbal two week extension by HHS is being extended even further," Rice said. "So if you members of the media were waiting for this decision to come this Friday, don't hold your breath."

Also Wednesday St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced a regional collaboration to end chronic homelessness.

It includes 35 social service agencies in St. Louis and St. Louis County, but not Larry Rice's New Life Evangelistic Center.

Slay says he has offered to help Rice find another building, but neither Rice nor Slay have mentioned a specific address.

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