Pastor Corey Brooks has left his rooftop and started construction on his eagerly anticipated community center after nearly a year of rough camping in Chicago’s South Side.
We simply determined that the time is right and that the community needed some inspiration and hope, according to Brooks. It will put a lot of optimism and great circumstances to use.
The Chicago spiritual leader climbed upon an improvised roof made of freight crates on November 20, 2021, to spread awareness of the gun violence wreaking havoc on the neighborhood’s South Side. The pastor believed that his act of faith would draw attention to his area, inform some of America’s brightest minds about it, and help collect money for his organization, Project H.O.O.D., to construct a new community center (Helping Others Obtain Destiny).
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Since ascending to the roof, Brooks has spent numerous evenings around a fire with people from all around the nation talking about politics, religion, culture, and issues impacting young people in America.
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A 100-day rooftop vigil that grew into a nearly year-long campaign to raise money for a community center that he thinks will breathe new life into the neighborhood raised $20 million. On October 29, Brooks descended from the roof after 345 nights and officially broke ground in Woodlawn.
Brooks remarked, “I’ve missed certain things, but I’ll also gain some things, built up relationships.” But most importantly, we have amassed sufficient support to launch this center,
The 89,000 square foot leadership and economic opportunity center was ceremoniously broken ground for at 66th and King Drive, across from Brooks’ New Beginnings Church, by the pastor and a group of business and political leaders. The facility will feature classrooms, community rooms, eateries, a gym, and a swimming pool in addition to offering community resources and support services.
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Ten years ago, the Chicago pastor spent over 100 days sleeping on a rooftop to gather money to demolish a seedy motel, which is now the location of his new community center.