By Jueseppi B.
Rev. Corey Brooks begins his cross-country walk to battle urban violence and raise funds for Project H.O.O.D.
According to NBC 5 Chicago, Brooks will start his four month walk from New York‘s Times Square on Tuesday, June 5th. From there Brooks will stop at major citiesacross the nation hitting New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Pastor Brooks’ last fundraising effort involved living for three months in a tent on the roof of a hotel previously used for drug trade and prostitution. The 450,000 dollars he raised, including 100,000 from producer Tyler Perry, allowed him to buy and demolish the hotel in hopes of building a community center in its place.
Brooks aims to use the walk to solicit donations to build the community center in one of the most violent neighborhoods of Chicago, calling itProject Helping Others Obtain Destiny (H.O.O.D.)
Likening his campaign to end urban violence to the battle of David and Goliath, Brooks preached to members of his church, New Beginnings Church, “David has never had a fight like this before. It is the biggest fight of his life. This is the biggest challenge in the history of the church.”
Brooks will be accompanied by his two sons: Cobe who is 11, and Desmond Marshall who is 22. Excited and nervous about this trek, Marshall told the Chicago Tribune, “It will bring attention to this major epidemic,” which he understands to be very important.
Though they will miss their pastor, members of the church told Chicago Tribune that they will be united in support of his cause.
“(The trek is) not going to be easy,” said Juanita Burton, 49, of South Chicago. But “someone needs to take a stand.”
About Project HOOD
Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny) initially started as a campaign to raise $450,000 to purchase land located at 6625 South King Drive in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago for a Community and Economic Development center on Chicago’s Southside. The campaign for the initial seed amount was raised and Phase I was completed on February 24, 2012. The closing for the property purchase was completed on March 6, 2012.
The street King Drive was named after African American leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to pay homage to his dedication to ensuring that the rights of African Americans in America were given to his generation and beyond. Ironically, that same street is home to drugs, violence and prostitution as well as many families who suffer from economic hardship. The 66th and King Drive location was once home to a Super Motel where prostitutes, drug dealers and criminals prompted the neighboring New Beginnings Church to take action.
New Beginnings Church played a major role in the motel getting closed through its SHUT EM DOWN campaign. Today the fight continues as Pastor Brooks and the church works hard to build a Community Development Center where the motel encouraging crime once stood. New Beginnings Church’s Project H.O.O.D campaign is essentially aimed to replace the motel with an oasis for the residents of the West Woodlawn community.
The community center is to feature:
- Commercial Spaces for Businesses (small and large) to spark Job Creation
- Areas for Social Services including expansion of New Beginnings Church’s “Master’s Academy.”
- State-of-the-art Technology Center
- Media & Performing Arts Theater
- Sports & Recreations
One of the features that caught the interest of an anonymous donor is Green Technology and a planned rooftop garden. This generous donor, who matched new donations given to the organization’s donations totaling $50,000 in a 48 hour period in order to increase the impact of each donation in the name of Sylvia F. Sobolik (1922 – 2011), an avid gardener. Its a multi-level solution to a many layered problem. . . violence. “No competitive sports programs, no social things, no conflict resolution, no jobs,” Brooks was quoted as saying in The New York Times, “All of that breeds hopelessness, which in turn causes what we’re seeing — murder.” Rev. Brooks proclaims.
|More young people are killed in Chicago than any other American city.
Since 2008, more than 530 youth have been killed in Chicago with nearly 80 percent of the homicides occurring in 22 African-American or Latino community areas on the city’s South, Southwest and West sides.
After 10 funerals in one year, I couldn’t take it anymore… After gang members, in broad daylight, began to shoot at the attendees of the funeral of 15-year-old gun victim Carlton Archer, right in front of the church as they were entering the building, I knew something had to be done! In order to bring awareness to the gun violence issue in our community, I chose to live in a tent on the rooftop of an abandoned motel right across the street from my church.
It’s wintertime in Chicago, I’m fasting on water only for 21 days, needing to raise $450K to purchase and demolish the motel so we could build a $15M community and economic development center to give these kids something to do, the story has gone national… 90 plus days later I was still on the roof until a $100K donation from Tyler Perry helped us reach our goal and complete phase 1 after a total of 94 days.
With phase 2 in full effect, Project HOOD seeks to foster collaboration between the private sector, public sector and faith-based organizations in order to combat the 4 primary ills of urban America: Social dysfunctions, Educational deprivation, Economic deficiencies and Spiritual dehydration. Project HOOD is committed to bringing awareness to the violence issue in Chicago and across America! Additionally, Project HOOD hopes to become the model for other communities to learn from and leverage our efforts.
Ultimately, we hope to offset the violence and give parents the much needed support necessary to make our communities a safe place to raise their families and not a killing field to bury their children.
Spending 94 days atop a motel roof in the dead of a Chicago winter was only Phase 1… Phase 2 requires another level of sacrifice and I’m hitting the pavement to make it happen – “LITERALLY,” by walking across America to raise additional awareness about the gun violence epidemic all over America and to raise the $15 million to fund the Project HOOD Community and Economic Development Center in Woodlawn. The walk starts June 5, 2012, from Times Square in NY, New York and ending at the Staples Center in LA, California.
I believe there are still caring people in this world and if enough of them know about the violence issues, the teenagers that are being killed and the lack of resources available to help, they will give to make a difference!
Gun violence. This pastor has the right ideas.
- Pastor Who Camped Out On Roof Plans Anti-Violence Trek (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Pastor takes a stand against non-violence; protests from rooftop (thegrio.com)
- Sacrificing for the Next Generation (casuallyspeaking.wordpress.com)
- Pastor Takes Title To Shuttered Motel Where He Camped On Roof (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Chicago Pastor Plans Anti-Violence Trek (myfoxchicago.com)
- Pastor Plans Walk Across America To Raise Gun Violence Awareness (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Violent holiday weekend claims at least 10 lives in Chicago (usnews.msnbc.msn.com)
Filed under: Black History, Business, Causes, Celebs & Fame, Crime, Gun Violence, Homeless, News, Racism, Religion Tagged: | African American, Brooks, Chicago, englewood gun violence, Los Angeles, Martin Luther King, New York Times, Rev. Corey Brooks, Tyler Perry, United States, woodlawn