South Side Pastor Leaves for Cross-Country Walk

Rev. Corey Brooks will trek 3,000 miles to raise awareness about Chicago violence

Rev. Corey Brooks, the pastor who spent nearly three months atop a South Side motel, left Chicago Monday for his ambitious trek across the U.S.

Brooks aims to use the nearly 3,000-mile walk to increase awareness about violence plaguing Chicago and raise funds for Project H.O.O.D, a community center in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Joining him are his two sons and a crew of five to eight people.

Brooks will set out Tuesday from Times Square in New York to Newark, N.J., and walk through Philadelphia. He plans to be back in Chicago on July 15 for a walk on Lake Shore Drive. He ends his walk in about four months at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The pastor lived from December 2011 to February on the roof of a hotel once used for drugs and prostitution in an effort to raise $450,000 to purchase the land and build a community center.

Brooks reached his first goal but says it’s not enough. The cost to build the center would be upwards of $15 million.

Brooks said he used Chicago as a model because he feels it’s the worst city in the country for gun violence and gang violence.

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