Rev. Corey Brooks has been on the ground only once in the six weeks since he began living, praying and preaching from a tent pitched on the windswept roof of a vacant motel, in his effort to raise money to build a youth center in his troubled South Side neighborhood.
Brooks descended from the rooftop in early December to spend three hours consoling a mother whose teenage son had been killed earlier that day in a drive-by shooting. Then the 42-year-old pastor hurried back up to the tent that has become a touchstone for the neighborhood and a whistle-stop for political activists and politicians since his vigil began on Nov. 22.
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