CHICAGO (CBS) — The South Side pastor who camped for three months over the winter on the roof of a run-down motel is about to start his next fund-raising and awareness-raising effort with a walk across America.
Pastor Corey Brooks, of New Beginnings Church, on the 6600 block of South King Drive, is walking from New York to Los Angeles, along with his 11- and 22-year-old sons and some other church members.
When he camped on the roof, he did it to get people talking about gun violence and to raise funds to buy the old motel and put in its place a community center. He hopes the center not only gives kids a place to go, but also spurs economic development in the neighborhood.
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“I believe America is the greatest country in the world,” Brooks said, adding “if we cannot solve the issue of gun violence, it says a lot about who we are as a people.”
Brooks believes that if people collaborate, gun violence can be reduced and lives can be saved one neighborhood and one person at a time.
He raised a half million dollars to buy and demolish the old motel.
Now, he’s looking to raise $15 million, to start the re-development of the South Side neighborhood where his church is located.
He says he’s planning to walk 30 miles a day and sleep in the tent he called home for 93 days when they don’t find other accommodations at churches, synagogues and people’s homes.
His older son just graduated from college with a degree in broadcast journalism. He’ll be documenting the trip and doing video production along the way.