A Chicago pastor who spent three months living on the rooftop of a motel trying to collect enough money to demolish the building, a center of drug violence in the neighborhood, is finally coming down after director Tyler Perry promised to donate $98,000 to the cause.
The Rev. Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church of Chicago's mission was to gather the $450,000 needed to buy the former motel, bring it down, and build a new community center in its place, which would provide youths a chance to learn and develop skills for finding careers.
He had been up there since Nov. 22, 2011. According to the Chicago News Scoop, the 42-eyar-old Brooks only left the rooftop for funerals and to console victims – such as one instance in December in which he spent three hours consoling a mother whose teenage son had been killed in a drive-by shooting.
"In this neighborhood,'' Brooks had said, "you can be a good kid, going to school, doing what you're supposed to be doing and still get shot.''
The Super Motel on King Drive in Chicago was a den for drug use and prostitution for many years, the Chicago Tribune reported. The motel also attracts much violence and turmoil to the area.
In an interview with The Christian Post in December, Pastor Brooks told of some of the horrific ordeals the community has suffered through in recent times. He has been to approximately 10 funerals of African-Americans from his church who have died in gang-related violence, but the incident that prompted him to action was when a gang opened fire on a family on the way to bury a murdered 16 year-old-boy. At that point, the reverend realized more must be done to counter the problem.
Now that movie mogul Tyler Perry has pledged the amount needed for Brooks to meet his goal, the reverend will finally be coming down from the rooftop after his three-month stay. Perry promised the donation on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," and while Brooks says he does not have the check as yet, he believes that Perry's promise alone is good enough.
"I guess he thought it would be good to do a great deed on the day that his movie is coming out, so we got a commitment," Brooks said, referring to Perry's new movie, "Good Deeds," which comes out Friday, Feb 24.
In the video interview in the Chicago Tribune article, the pastor shared that while he got to talk to many people throughout the day who visited him in his tent, his nights where lonely and chilly – but gave him an opportunity to be "alone with the Lord."
Brooks' mission is far from over, however. He will now be raising money for the development center that will be built after the motel is demolished, although he will not be camping out in a tent again.
On his ProjectHood.org website, which stands for "Helping Others Obtain Destiny," Brooks is asking others to continue helping reshape the community and end gang violence.