Chicago Pastor Camps Out for 100 Days to Raise Awareness about Gun Violence

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Monday, December 6, 2021
Chicago Pastor Camps Out for 100 Days to Raise Awareness about Gun Violence

Chicago Pastor Camps Out for 100 Days to Raise Awareness about Gun Violence

A Chicago pastor recently embarked on a 100 Day "tent-a-thon" to combat the city's near-record levels of gun violence.

Late last month, Pastor Corey Brooks, founder of Project H.O.O.D., began a 100-day campout to end gun violence and poverty in his Woodlawn neighborhood. Brooks will reside in a tent above eight shipping containers at 6615 S. King Dr. until Feb. 28, 2022.

"I'm in an environment on the South Side of Chicago that can be pretty tough," Brooks told the Chicago Sun-Times in an interview. "To be outside in the elements, to make that sacrifice over a long period of time, draws attention."

In battling the cold, Brooks brought a small heater to keep him warm and a stove that serves as a firepit. As a bathroom, Brooks has only a bucket and baby washing basin.

This isn't the first time Brooks has camped out for his cause. In 2012, the pastor made headlines for sleeping atop a run-down motel, which he claims was a hotbed for drugs and prostitution, for 94 days. At the time, he raised $463,000, including $100,000 from movie mogul Tyler Perry, to purchase and demolish the motel.

Now Brooks hopes to raise $35 million to build The Leadership and Economic Opportunity Center, which is planned as an 85,000-square-foot-building that will provide a safe place for youth amid violence.

"The shootings in Cook County are at an all-time high since the '90s," Brooks noted. "Our neighborhood really needs a place of transformation, a place where they can go and get all the things that they need to start trying to change their life. This center is really, really needed at this point in time."

The location where Brooks is camping out, which is across the street from his New Beginnings Church on South King Drive, is where he hopes the new center can be built. It will include programs for teens, a trauma center, sports facilities, a pool and a schoolroom.

So far, about $7 million has been raised or pledged to the center. Nearly two weeks after Brooks began the campout, an additional $250,000 was raised. He hopes to break ground within the next two years.

The center would be part of Brooks' organization, Project H.O.O.D., which has helped over 1,500 at-risk youth and 2,500 adults in transition around Woodlawn and Englewood through its violence prevention programs, as well as education and workforce training.

Brooks also invited CEOs, community leaders, families, and individuals to camp out with him as funds continued to be raised. The signup for the tent-a-thon and a form for donations can be found here.

Earlier this year, a new documentary, Chicago: America's Hidden War, was released. The film is working to bring awareness to the wave of gun violence in Chicago.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/ofc pictures

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

Chicago Pastor Camps Out for 100 Days to Raise Awareness about Gun Violence