New Beginnings Church Senior Pastor and Founder Corey Brooks of Chicago, Illinois decided to camp out for 100 days despite cold weather conditions to pray and raise awareness on the gun violence in the city.
CBN News reported that Brooks and other members of his church started camping on top of shipping containers last November 20 as their stand against the increased crime in the city. Brooks launched the movement to create awareness against gun violence in Chicago through Project Hood Communities Development Corporation where he is also the founder and CEO. The camp out will end on Feb. 28, 2022.
Chicago was portrayed in May as "America's Hidden War" through a documentary movie starred by Denzel Washington that reveals the "pervasive genocidal-like behavior" happening in the city.
In July, Christianity Daily reported that Chicago has seen an increase in violence as incidents of shootings leave communities in fear and grappling in "darkness." Reports on the July 4 weekend violent turnout left hundreds shot in multiple occasions from across the city leaving 108 hurt and 17 dead. The mounting incidents has then pushed various pastors to call for prayer to end the violence.
Project Hood's website confirms that the community has "become a center of drugs, prostitution, and violence." Project Hood then aims to "offset violence, provide the support necessary to make the neighborhood a safer place, and give children the tools to reach for a brighter future" by raising funds for the community's development.
In particular, Project Hood intends to construct a 85,000-square-foot-building called Leadership and Economic Opportunity Center. The center will safely shelter children, provide trauma services, sports facilities, teen programming, and a school room.
Brooks pointed out in his interview with the Chicago Sun-Times the soaring rate of violence in his community and the need for transformation in it, which he addresses through Project HOOD.
"The shootings in Cook County are at an all-time high since the 90s. Our neighborhood really needs a place of transformation, a place where they can go and get all the things that they need to start trying to change their life. This center is really, really needed at this point in time," Brooks said.
Brooks, who has been advocating an end to violence in his community for a decade now, emphasized that the solution to doing so is not reliant only in government and police efforts but to everyone's involvement. He stressed that the lack of access to resources in impoverished areas push people to the streets. He then hopes that Project HOOD will become financially independent over time so that their goal to double the number of reducing violence in their community in the next five years would be achieved.
"Instead of raising money to tear something down, we're raising money to build something up," Brooks said..
"We're going to tough it out. We're gonna try to be as patient as we possibly can. We're going to be here every single day till the end. I pray every day so that someone will take it upon themselves and find it in their hearts to really, really help us. I try not to expect one certain person to do it. Whoever feels led to help, it would be a tremendous blessing to our community," he also told WGN Radio.
On the other hand, the availability of guns is not the real issue behind mass shootings, says Apologist and Radio Host Dr. Michael Brown in his Charisma News column in April, but largely cultural causes such as an increased case of fatherless homes prevalent in American society today.