Cold expands pastor’s vision for Woodlawn Community Center during rooftop camp – NBC Chicago

Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church in Woodlawn braves some of the coldest temperatures of the season as he continues a 100-day rooftop encampment near the church.

Brooks, who is also the founder of Project HOOD, is on day 67 of this camp near the church at 66and and South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and says recent brutally cold temperatures have been a challenge.

“The last two nights have been brutal; harder than other nights,” Brooks said.

Wind chill dropped to more than 20 below zero in the city on Wednesday morning, with a low temperature of 6 below zero reported in the loop.

Brooks’ original goal with the encampment was to raise awareness of Chicago’s violence and raise millions for a new community center in Woodlawn, but the recent cold spell has broadened the pastor’s vision.

“The whole time I’ve been in the tent since it’s been cold for the past two nights, I’ve been heartbroken because I can’t stop thinking about the homeless people who have to endure this for long periods of time. “Brooks said. “I think sometimes as Americans we become insensitive to people who are hurting, especially if we live comfortably.”

Nearly $3 million has been raised since the pastor started the camp Nov. 20. Now he says he wants the planned community center to provide resources for homeless people.

Specific details have not been finalized, but Brooks is committed to developing the planned programs offered at the future community center.

“I can assure you that we will definitely make the connection. We can’t just have homeless people on the streets,” Brooks said. “Unlike me, I’m doing it to raise money to build a center and I’ll eventually go downhill, but that’s their constant state of life.”

Brooks stays in a heated rooftop tent. He says he spends several days writing and praying.

His 100-day camp ends on February 28.

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