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Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks slept outside for 100 days to raise money for the community center

Chicago’s famous “Rooftop Pastor” is back on the roof. Pastor Corey Brooks plans to live 100 days outdoors on some freight containers to raise millions of dollars for a community center in Woodlawn.

You may recall that exactly 10 years ago, Pastor Brooks spent three months on the roof of a troubled motel raising money for its demolition. Now it’s time to build something special in its place.

“It’s going pretty well,” said Brooks as he warmed his hands over a log fire on the roof on Sunday night. “I know that I forgot some things from the last time, like wintering the tent. I almost froze one of the CEOs last night, but he forgave me. “

Ten years ago Brooks made international headlines when he spent three months at a crime-ridden motel across from his church, raising nearly half a million dollars to demolish the motel.


There are now four stacked metal shipping containers on this empty lot to symbolize the $ 30 million community center he plans to build here. The community center would include classrooms, professional training, restaurants, a theater, and a gym. “We want to continue to raise awareness of the violence that is going on in our community,” said Brooks. “The poverty in our community. And all of this revolves around raising funds to build a community center to combat these problems.”

Brooks climbed onto the shipping containers on Saturday afternoon to begin the 100-day fundraiser. He sleeps in a tent with a simple cot and a small heater and a computer to keep in touch with the outside world.

But unlike his experience a decade ago, Brooks will have company this time around. As part of his fundraising strategy, he invites some of Chicago’s top business executives, athletes, actors, and other executives to spend the night on the roof with him. “Last night we had a couple of CEOs who were surprised because there were gunshots. You could hear it. It was in the distance you’re unprepared. “

Brooks has already raised about $ 10 million for the community center, which means he will have to raise an additional $ 20 million over the next 99 days. He says no matter how windy and cold it gets this winter, he will be warmed by the helpers. “We need people who go to Projecthood.org and give … give as much as they can. And for those who cannot give, listen. Just send a message of encouragement, send a prayer.

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