Anna Brown March Held on Good Friday in Clayton

The Rev. Larry Rice of St. Louis city-based New Life Evangelistic Center led the group, which planned to walk to SSM St. Mary's Health Center in Richmond Heights.

A march aimed at drawing attention to St. Louis County social services and happened Friday in downtown .

"The buffalo got a place," said the Rev. Larry Rice, in reference to the county's decision to keep Lone Elk Park open. "Where do the homeless go?"

Anna Brown experienced homelessness, expressed concerns about her medical condition and later died in a jail cell, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported. Both the city and , where she received medical attention, have said they followed proper protocol.

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On Friday, Rice said the county should use its leadership role to encourage churches to keep their doors open to the homeless. A bond issue might be another way for the county to fund a shelter, he said, pointing out that it has used bonds to finance other buildings.

Marchers planned to deliver letters to County Executive Charlie Dooley urging him to take action so people who need shelter can find help in the county.

"Anna Brown, a St. Louis County resident who lost her home in the tornado, was sent to four St. Louis City shelters prior to her death," the letter states. "Just telling county residents to call the City hotline without adequate walk-in shelters in St. Louis County is no longer acceptable."

Brian Ireland, a social worker at Rice's St. Louis city-based New Life Evangelistic Center, agreed. He said he and others are asking that churches and government provide more than they do now in light of Brown's death.

"It's endemic of a wider problem," he said.

Organizers planned to march to St. Mary's. They began walking at about 10:40 a.m. They held the event in conjunction with Good Friday.

"This Good Friday as we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are challenged by the death of Anna Brown to turn from our sins of indifference towards the lack of care for the St. Louis County homeless and seek God for forgiveness," a flier handed out at the event states.


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