Known as the Rooftop Preacher; Rev. Corey Brooks has been lauded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a man of God who not only "talks the talk, but walks the walk." This description of the man who spent 94 days atop the roof of an abandoned motel in the dead of a Chicago winter is even more apropos given his next endeavor. The Pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and the visionary behind Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny) will take to the road BY FOOT June 5, 2012.
Woodlawn and Englewood have been the epicenter for much of Chicago's murderous violence. In 2011 Pastor Brooks lamented over the violence that claimed the 17 year old son of two of his congregants. When gunfire broke out directly outside the church at the time of the wake, Brooks knew he must do something to end the violence which had caused him to officiate over the funeral services of 10 young men age 25 and under in that year alone. He set out on a mission to bring awareness to the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago's Woodlawn and Englewood areas through a vigil in a tent on the roof of the abandoned motel for a total of 94 days. Phase I of his anti-violence awareness and fundraising campaign for $450,000 culminated with a donation of $100,000 from an unexpected source, media mogul Tyler Perry.
Now with the purchase and demolition stages completed, Brooks is faced with the sizable task of raising $15 million for construction of the Community Center to service the resource-poor Woodlawn and Englewood neighborhoods. The Center will provide children and families on the Southside of Chicago with the same resources and activities available in the more affluent neighborhoods, attacking four societal ills as identified by Brooks (social, economic, educational and spiritual.)