Corey Brooks temporarily leaves Woodlawn rooftop after mother is hospitalized
Brooks had lived in the cold for 121 days before receiving the call that his mother, battling cancer, had been hospitalized early Monday.
After more than 120 days living on a rooftop in Woodlawn, Corey Brooks has temporarily come down to be with his family.
Early Monday, Brooks received a call from his younger brother that their mother, Evelyn Sue Wyatt, had been admitted to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana.
Wyatt, 72, has been battling cancer for several years.
“They’re just trying to keep her comfortable,” Brooks said. “But she’s alert, her brain is fine. It’s her body functions that are breaking down. Her liver is completely gone for the most part.”
Brooks has been at the hospital all week and plans to remain until the crisis is over, he said.
Brooks, a pastor at New Beginnings Church on South King Drive, is the founder and CEO of community anti-violence organization Project H.O.O.D. Until Monday, he’d had been camped out on eight storage containers at 6615 S. King Drive. The campout, which began in November, was meant to last for 100 days to raise money for a new Project H.O.O.D resource center. But in February, Brooks extended his stay indefinitely.
His goal is to raise $35 million for the center, which he hopes will help minimize violence in Woodlawn. So far, $10 million has been raised.
But Brooks had no hesitation coming off the roof.
“I knew that’s what I needed to do,” he said. “That’s my mother. You only have one mother and you only have one opportunity. I don’t want to ever have any regrets, so the rooftop can wait.”
In the meantime, members of Brooks’ team will remain on the roof.
Cheyanne M. Daniels is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South and West sides.