PRESS RELEASE: New Life Evangelistic Center Launches International Disaster Relief from St. Louis, MO

International Disaster Relief FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NEW LIFE EVANGELISTIC CENTER LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF FROM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. Operating for over 42 years, NLEC has grown into the largest faith-based non-profit volunteer provider of ongoing and disaster direct services to […]

International Disaster Relief



Operating for over 42 years, NLEC has grown into the largest faith-based non-profit volunteer provider of ongoing and disaster direct services to the homeless in the state of Missouri.

April 7, 2014 – St. Louis, Missouri – New Life Evangelistic Center, the non-profit church headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, providing massive support for the poor and homeless in the Midwest US region, throughout the US, and in ten countries, announces that it has formed the NLEC International Disaster Relief Committee. NLEC delivers over $180,000 every month of direct aid to the homeless and homeless in transition.

Based on New Life’s 42 year ongoing activity in disaster preparedness and response, NLEC, as an active and substantial partner in disaster preparedness and relief, derives authority to provide disaster assistance and a collaboration and coordination with emergency services, and other agencies active in disaster, and governments, as a “relief and disaster assistance organization” as authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Emergency and Disaster Assistance Act, which also created the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). NLEC IDR also meets the definition of “Private nonprofit facility” under the Stafford Act (“private nonprofit educational, utility, irrigation, emergency, medical, rehabilitation, and temporary or permanent custodial care facilities (including those for the aged and disabled), other private nonprofit facilities which provide essential services of a governmental nature to the general public, and facilities on Indian reservations as defined by the President.”

The disaster preparedness and response activities of New Life Evangelistic Center reflect the activities of the full population of the members of VOAD (National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster – which serves as a forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle—preparation, response and recovery —to help disaster survivors and their communities; and whose mission is to “foster more effective service to people affected by disaster through convening mechanisms, outreach, advocacy, and as a champion and facilitator for the application of our values and core principles.” Members of VOAD include the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, AmeriCares, Catholic Charities, Episcopal Relief, Save the Children, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, United Way, and many other International charities active in disaster. NLEC International Disaster Relief meets the definition for membership of, and has application pending for, Missouri Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MoVOAD).

New Life International Disaster Relief has also recently joined with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to foster and expand Disaster Relief and Preparedness for the homeless, and together have formed the “Disaster Homeless” stakeholder group with the State.

As a Disaster Relief Organization, NLEC International Disaster Relief coordinates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through FEMA’s Region seven.

As a Disaster Relief Organization with FEMA, SEMA and VOAD, NLEC International Disaster Relief will also coordinate with the Emergency Operations Centers of the City and County of St. Louis, and surrounding counties in Missouri and Illinois.


Services Provided by NLEC International Disaster Relief include serviced to the poor and the homeless in disasters (recurring, fast occurring, and systemic) by providing food, clothing, shelter, education, and job training programs, as well as physical, mental and spiritual health care. A specialty of NLEC International Disaster Relief is its very proactive operation of seeking out the homeless where they live, whether in a box car, their own car, a warehouse, abandoned house or homeless camp. NLEC actively goes to the homeless “in their own living room” which may be under a bridge, in a cardboard box or on the street. In addition to these recurring activities, the NLEC IDR also provides:

  • Shelters
  • Free Stores
  • Prescription Assistance
  • Training
  • Case Work
  • Donations Management
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Food Preparation
  • Serving of Meals
  • Shelter Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Reception Center Management
  • Case Management
  • Health
  • Mental Health
  • Spiritual Care
  • Full Home Rebuild
  • Roof Repair
  • Repair/Rebuild Laborers
  • Debris Removal
  • Reception Center Management
  • Training of Spontaneous Unexpected Volunteers (SUVs)
  • Outreach & Info
  • Care Kits
  • Preparedness Training
  • Emergency Rescue by Four Wheel Drive
  • Emergency Broadcast on our regional television station (Midwest US)
  • Volunteer and professional Manpower for all these activities

For More Information, Contact: ­­­­­­­­­­­­        Ray Redlich, Chairman Disaster Relief Committee
                                                                            Land line:  (314) 881-3202
                                                                            Cell phone:  (314) 910-1802
                                                                            E-mail:  [email protected]


New Life Evangelistic Center International Disaster Relief is a non-profit 501(c)(3) church center comprised of over 50 paid and unpaid staff members and countless volunteers, all dedicated to providing effective support for the poor and homeless in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and ten countries. NLEC is the largest provider of direct services to the homeless in terms of nights of shelter provided every year and social service contracts. NLEC operates fourteen Homeless Shelters and free stores in Missouri locations of Columbia, Joplin, Marshfield, Mineral Point, Potosi, Springfield, St. Louis, and Van Buren; and the Illinois locations of Shelbyville. NLEC also is located in Columbus, Kansas and Berryville, Arkansas.

New Life Evangelistic Center provides over 150,000 meals and sandwiches, and more than 65,000 nights of emergency overnight shelter every year. We provide 80,000 social service contacts — helping individuals and families throughout mid-America with clothing and food through our free stores, fans, blankets, utility assistance, transportation, medical assistance and housing assistance.  The millions of people we serve in the Midwest and around the world include homeless men, women and children, the poor, elderly and families in our communities overwhelmed by the need to provide the basic necessities, and earthquake and hurricane survivors.  New Life Evangelistic Center has branches in India and Africa and has long-standing partnerships with organizations in more than 10 countries. NLEC Free Stores receive over 14,000 visits each year from poor and homeless persons in search of shoes & clothing, hygiene items (“care kits”), and/or other basic needs (including small appliances, furniture, Christmas gifts for children, etc., when available).

NLEC founder Rev. Larry Rice founded The Missouri Coalition for the Homeless, which has taken up an advocacy role to help fight the cycle of homelessness through better legislation and public awareness. For example, he led the fight against blighting in south St. Louis which would have taken possession of the homes of several elderly long-term residents through eminent domain. NLEC co-founded The Dollar Help Program with Sister Pat Kelly at the Laclede Gas Company in St. Louis. This program raised several million dollars to help the needy pay gas bills during the winter months, by encouraging people to add just $1 to their gas payments to help those who were struggling to pay their bills.

Director and Founder of the Here’s Help Radio & TV Network, which helps the poor and homeless to be set free from the cycle of poverty through training in broadcasting, while providing wholesome family, community and inspirational programming. This direct-help network includes KNLC TV 24.1 in St. Louis along with the 24 hour Renewable Energy Channel (RES) on 24.2 and community low power TV stations in Springfield, Marshfield, Branson, Joplin and Aurora, Missouri, and in Green Forest Arkansas. The Network also includes radio stations KNLG in New Bloomfield, MO, KMRF and KNLM in the Marshfield/Springfield, MO area; KNLQ in Cuba, MO, KNLH in Cedar Hill, MO, KNLP in Potosi, MO, KBIY in Van Buren, MO, KKLL in Webb City, MO, KNLN in Vienna, MO, WINU in Shelbyville, IL, KKLO in Leavenworth, KS/Kansas City area, and KBPB in Harrison, AR. These stations are all operated by formerly homeless people who are in training for a position in broadcasting. You can listen online to a stream of the Here’s Help Radio network from anywhere in the world at More information about KNLC TV can be found at KNLC TV is also broadcast on all of the local area cable providers. These substantial radio and television outlets also actively broadcast content on disaster preparedness and response to disasters.

Founder and director of New Life Evangelistic Center Larry Rice began a medical clinic, assistance programs for food, rent, utility and funeral expenses, an Adult Literacy Class, Winter Patrol, the Summer Distribution Programs of fans and air conditioners, the winter distribution of blankets, heaters and insulation kits, apartment and job referral, transportation assistance, violence prevention classes, and computer training.

History of Disaster Relief

On the basis of this partial detail of past and present disaster relief activity, the NLEC IDR meets the definition of a Disaster Relief Organization. A partial list of NLEC activity in disaster includes (but has not been limited to):

  • Hurricane Allen in South Texas, NLEC organized relief.
  • Winter patrol to train volunteers in finding the homeless overnight and bringing them food, blankets, and transportation to shelters.
  • NLEC Shelter program
  • Emergency housing to couples
  • Winter Crisis of 1982 brought tremendous suffering to people throughout Missouri and Illinois, resulting in broken water pipes, hypothermia, & untimely deaths.  NLEC gave out 3,500 blankets, 1,200 heaters, 450 kerosene heaters, 150 wood burning furnaces, 100 sleeping bags, &15,000 pounds of food.  Every winter since, NLEC has devoted its resources to keeping those in need from freezing in their homes.
  • “Dollar Help” is founded in 1982 by Larry Rice, Sister Pat Kelly, and Pastor Robert Huston.  This program encouraged individuals to add a dollar to their Laclede Gas bill to help those in need.
  • Rescue and reconstruction operations for the major earthquake in 1993 in India
  • Rescue and reconstruction operations for the major flood in 1996 in India
  • Between 1997 and 2001 NLEC provides 130,000 shelter nights to the homeless in the Midwest; 195,000 visits were made to the NLEC Free Stores; 290,000 food allotments were made; 330,00 counseling and referral calls were taken; 20,500 blankets were given away; 2000 heaters and 11,000 pairs of gloves were given out; 19,500 families received utility assistance; 1600 people received medical prescription of co-payee assistance; 7500 fans were provided; 10,000 care kits of personal hygiene items were given to the homeless; 8000 bus passes were given; 1100 grants to help stranded travelers were provided; 5000 shoe store certificates of $15 were provided.
  • NLEC opens the “City of Refuge” in Kakinada, India, providing food, shelter, training, and energy independence for up to 300 more people.
  • 300-person orphanage in India
  • Training programs now extend throughout Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas,
  • After the tragic tsunami of December 26, 2005, NLEC India fed over 2,000 tsunami victims in South India, and gave shelter to 800 more.
  • NLEC travels to Louisiana to help Victims of Hurricane Katrina
  • NLEC travels to Haiti, in March 2010, in response to the massive earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010. Met with the director of The Poor Children’s Assistance Project to discuss the need to rebuild the 3 orphanages, 8 schools and 8 churches that were either destroyed or severely damaged.
  • The City of St. Louis notified the homeless persons living inside the Tucker Tunnel that they would be closing the tunnel permanently for repairs to road above. NLEC rallied to help those living in the tunnel and named the community Hopeville, USA. Over 100 people took up residence in tents in the tunnel while they waited for the City of St. Louis’ Housing and Human Services Department to make good on their promise that each resident would receive permanent housing. Most residents of the tunnel were not moved into permanent housing and on May 12, 2010, those remaining relocated to an area on the riverfront, north of the Arch.
  • Mobilizing to protect the city’s homeless population as an recurring weather-related (arctic weather, heat emergencies and flood related emergencies) in the St. Louis metropolitan area with direct feeding, shelter, and proactive searching; to connect them with housing assistance, intense case management, substance abuse treatment, and mental health treatment.
  • Disaster Renewable Energy resources to provide disaster victims and families with reliable energy for life safety, shelter and living through the use of solar and bio-diesel systems.


Homeless Prevention
NLEC knows: The best way to fight homelessness is to stop it before it starts. When someone’s housing status is jeopardized by a crisis situation, such as a job loss, utility disconnection, or the threat of eviction, NLEC intervenes to help prevent homelessness.

Homeless Transformation
When families and individuals do become homeless, NLEC seeks to foster and fulfill their own motivation to help themselves. When clients show this desire, NLEC equips them with job training, addiction counseling, spiritual guidance, and whatever else they might need to become permanently housed and gainfully employed.

Homeless Empowerment and Education
NLEC’s unique on-the-job training program not only benefits the homeless, but also the community as a whole. Regular renewable energy fairs, where the formerly homeless trainees share renewable energy skills they learn, have introduced thousands throughout the Midwest to the world of renewable energy. Through Missouri Renewable Energy and the Here’s Help Radio and TV network, staffed by the formerly homeless, educational and informational programming is reaching more people. And, the new nationwide Renewable Energy Satellite network will teach sustainable living, renewable energy, gardening and much more — providing even more opportunities.

NLEC Founder Rev. Larry Rice has received numerous awards and honors over the past 48 years, a few of which are: ABC’s Person of the Week, USA Today Newsmakers, The Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis Quality of Life Award, Human Necessities & Justice Award, the Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Distinguished Christian Service & Social Work Award from the National Association of Christian Social Workers, plus many additional awards.

Other distinguished awards include

  • Christian Civic Foundation: Community Service Award
  • St. Louis County, MO: Certificate of Recognition
  • Jefferson County, MO: Certificate of Recognition, Missouri Small Business Development Centers: Proclamation Honoring New Life Evangelistic Center
  • The Human Development Corporation of Metro St. Louis: Humanitarian Award, Civic Leadership
  • National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: Outstanding Public Service
  • North American Association of Christians in Social Work: Award for Distinguished Service in Social Welfare
  • National Apartment Association: Community Service Award
  • Community Hope Center: In Recognition of Honorable Services
  • The Historical Society of St. Louis County: James O’Flynn Community Service Award
  • The National Association of Black Accountants St. Louis Chapter: Community Service Award
  • The Low-Income Housing Task Force of Missouri Association for Social Welfare: Homeless Advocate Award
  • The YMCA of Greater St. Louis: YMCA Dignity Award
  • The Human Development Corporation of Metro St. Louis: Humanitarian Award
  • The James A. Winston Institute of Christian Education: The Christian Service Award
  • Northside Preservation Commission Awards: Long Term Commitment to Prevent Homelessness
  • Missouri Association for Social Welfare: Honor Roll