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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the category “ex offender housing”

The Ghost of Larry Rice

The Reverend Larry Rice has been a controversial figure in St. Louis. For years he ran a homeless shelter and refused to cooperate with authorities, did not allow inspections, made religious conversion a requirement for admission, allegedly housed many more people than he was licensed for, and required residents of his facility to work for free on his farm. He also owns a radio station. Reverend Rice was a constant thorn in the nose of the establishment.

I argue that even more important, his work was a hinderance to homeless people improving their lives. I have a friend who is a former homeless person who said Rice actually enable homeless behavior and got in the way of people looking and preparing for jobs. I help serve lunch at Biddle House which is affiliated with St. Patrick’s Center. When Reverend Rice’s facility was finally shut by the city, we expected to find many more people coming for lunch. Actually, we did not. Our conclusion is that Reverend Rice never had nearly as many people living in his facility as he claimed. Rice has tended to be a popular figure with liberals because he thumbs his nose as the establishment. That support was a big mistake. Written by Paul Dribin

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Criminal Justice Ministry

In the list of excellent St Louis organizations we must include The Criminal Justice Ministry. Originally part of St Binvent DePaul and now independent, the organization provides a. Ariety if services forbprisoners and ex-offenders. 

The Release to Rent Program provides assisted housing and extensive supportive services for ex offenders. The recidivism rate for this program is less than 10%, significantly better than the overall rate. I helped this program get started. The founder, Sister Carlene Reck has retired but the great work continues.  Written by Paul Dribin

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