HAZELWOOD (KDKA) – Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks stopped at Oasis Church in Hazelwood Sunday to talk about his nationwide walk to stop urban violence.
“Last year I did 10 funerals of young black males under the age of 25. All of them were shot and killed,” Brooks said.
During his eleventh funeral, Brooks discovered that several young men brought guns inside the church.
He then took drastic measures and gained national attention by spending 94 days on the roof of a rundown motel.
The goal was to bring attention to the problem and raise money to demolish the building known for drug and prostitution.
“I heard the spirit of the Lord tell me go up on the roof of that motel and stay there until you get to buy it debt free, tear it down and build a community center,” Brooks said.
Media mogul Tyler Perry donated $100,000 to help buy the property and demolish it. However, Rev. Brooks wanted to do more.
Earlier this month, he started walking from New York to Los Angeles for Project Hood’s Walk Across America To End Violence.
“Unless we settle the economic issues the education, spiritual and social issues, those four ills, we’re going to continue to have these problems over and over again,” Brooks said.
Luetta Coward lost three sons to gun violence, the most recent being her son Don Jones, who was killed last April.
“Because of him sitting upon that roof wanting so bad to stop violence, God [saw] fit for me to meet him and invite him to our church,” Coward said.
Brooks and his Project Hood team will walk 20 miles a day until they reach Los Angeles. He hopes to raise $15 million to build a community center in Chicago.
“We’re trying to build a prototype in the worst murder area of Chicago. If it can work there, it can work anywhere,” Brooks said.