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CHICAGO- One demographic that Pastor Corey Brooks caters to through his ministry and his nonprofit, Project HOOD, are foster youth. These young people have suffered a form of trauma ranging from physical and sexual abuse to abandonment by their parents. If they are not placed in stable foster homes that instill healthy self-esteem and provide access to quality schools and mentoring programs, the trauma continues and often worsens. When these young people age outside of the foster care system, they may lack the tools and capital to deal with many real-world problems and spiral into mental illness, addiction, or chronic unemployment.
Somehow, Robert Scheer avoided that fate. His siblings don’t. Scheer is one of those Americans who overcame near impossible odds to succeed and never forgot where he came from. Several years ago, he opened his home to five foster children and was amazed to see that they arrived at his doorstep with their belongings in trash bags, just as he carried his own trash bag there. is 40 years old. Scheer eventually adopted the children and made it her mission to bring dignity to the foster care system by starting Comfort Cases.
On the 90th day of his 100 days of rooftop vigil to raise money to build a transformative community center in south Chicago, the pastor invited Scheer to the rooftop for a fireside chat.
“I grew up on the streets as a kid, lived on the streets when I was 18, my whole senior year of high school,” Scheer began. “So to be back here, Pastor Brooks, a little [PTSD]my friend.”
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“We’re going to get you through this,” the pastor said. “What brings you here to the South Side of Chicago on this rooftop on a cold night, like tonight?”
“First, everyone should know something: our community is not our zip code,” Scheer said. “Our community is our human race and what affects people here on the O-Block affects people in DC, Austin, Texas and Seattle, and if we don’t come together for change, change won’t happen. never.”
The pastor nodded in agreement. He then asked Scheer why he started Comfort Cases.
“I’ve been a banker for 27 years and never in a million years would I have thought I’d have a non-profit, but when my five children arrived from foster care, all carrying bags trash, I thought that’s not how life is supposed to start,” Scheer said. “Statistics show that only 54 percent of kids in foster care graduate from high school, but the saddest thing for me was to learn that over 80% of our inmates were in foster care.”
Scheer continued: “10 years ago my family and I decided to put together suitcases, new pajamas, a toothbrush, toothpaste, all the essentials a child needs on their first night with the family. and started distributing them Pastor Brooks, I’ll tell you, we were thinking of doing five, 10, but in the last 10 years we’ve delivered over 165,000 cases in all 50 states, DC, Porto Rico and the UK, and, by the way, my friend, we have them here.”
“That’s right. We’re going to do it here in Chicago tomorrow,” the pastor said. “Much of the work we do here at Project HOOD is for people who are underserved or in dire need of help. Can you just explain why it’s so important for organizations like Project HOOD and Comfort Cases to get involved in the lives of these young people?
“When you look at the fact that we have 438,000 foster kids and … 91% of gang members … have been in foster care … we have failed as a country,” Scheer said. “What are we doing for our future tomorrow? I think about it every day. I am the youngest of 10 children. My siblings: teenage pregnancy, suicide, drug overdose, prison. This is the path we’re giving kids in We’ve got to change it… There’s enough money for everyone The HOOD project is where your dollars need to go right now, and let me tell you why: we’re building this center today, we are building another tomorrow.
“And another the next day.
“And that’s what we have to realize is supposed to happen.”
“Absolutely, I try to be like Comfort Cases. I try to go wherever there’s a need and reach everyone everywhere, because that’s really what community really is,” said the pastor. “We’ve been blessed as an organization to have this platform that Fox has given us, and so many people from across the country have helped us tremendously… From your perspective, what will it take for that we are reversing the situation because it relates to… the foster family?”
“I don’t want to be cliché about this, but I’ll tell you something: you have to remember why our ancestors built a community. Why? One reason: to care for each other. We forgot that all along along the way, my friend. We forgot how important it is that when I lift you up, I stand taller,” Scheer said.
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“And when you lift me up, we stand taller together.”
“Absolutely. That’s what it’s really about, and I hope together we can make the world a better place.”
Follow us as Fox News checks in on Pastor Corey Brooks every day with a new rooftop revelation.
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Eli Steele is a documentary filmmaker and writer. His latest film is “What Killed Michael Brown?” Twitter: @Hebro_Steele.
Camera by Terrell Allen.