Reporting Mike Puccinelli
CHICAGO (CBS) – He dedicates his life to helping others, yet he is in desperate need of help himself.
A Chicago pastor who has been in a homeless shelter for months has only days before he is kicked out.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports.
On Sundays, you may find Associate Pastor Derrell Gray in the pulpit, preaching to some of the 3,000 members of the Triedstone Baptist Church, where he volunteers.
But on most other days, you could have found him inside a North Side homeless shelter. That’s where he and his wife and four of their children have been living for the past 10 months.
“It’s small, and there’s a lot of us,” Gray says. “It’s tough in that kids need room to move around.”
But what the shelter lacked in room, Pastor Gray says it more than made up for in safety when compared to his old South Side neighborhood.
The family has been at the shelter six months longer than typically allowed. On Nov. 1, Pastor Gray and his wife and kids will be forced out.
Where will he go?
“I don’t know. I don’t have an answer to that,” he says. “We could possibly be on the streets.”
So, Pastor Gray is going public about his plight of homelessness.
“It’s going to empower people to know they are not in this alone,” he says. “It’s important because people lose hope.”
Gray says a song helped inspire him to launch what he calls the “Speak Up Campaign” to highlight the struggles of those in need.
“It’s my family today, but it could be someone else’s family tomorrow,” he says.
On Oct. 26, Gray says he will enlist fellow ministers and their supporters to rally in front of City Hall (for more information, click here).
He hopes the demonstration will highlight the lack of affordable housing and employment opportunities in the current economy.