Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny) initially started as a campaign to raise $450,000 to purchase land located at 6625 South King Drive in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago for a Community center on Chicago’s Southside. The campaign for the initial seed amount was raised and Phase I was completed on February 24, 2012. The closing for the property purchase was completed on March 6, 2012. The street King Drive was named after African American leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to pay homage to his dedication to ensuring that the rights of African Americans in America were given to his generation and beyond. Ironically, that same street is home to drugs, violence and prostitution as well as many families who suffer from economic hardship. The 66th and King Drive location was once home to a Super Motel where prostitutes, drug dealers and criminals prompted the neighboring New Beginnings Church to take action.
New Beginnings Church played a major role in the motel getting closed through its SHUT EM DOWN campaign. Today the fight continues as Pastor Brooks and the church works hard to build a Community Development Center where the motel encouraging crime once stood. New Beginnings Church’s Project H.O.O.D campaign is essentially aimed to replace the motel with an oasis for the residents of the West Woodlawn community.
The community center is to feature:
Project Choices: This program works with Cook County Juveniles from the Woodlawn/Englewood area currently on probation. The goal is to give them a 2nd chance in life. Each participant is partnered with a counselor and mentors that meet daily, encouraging them through personal challenges, ultimately fostering better daily life decisions.
Project HOOD Films: Working in conjunction with Columbia College, this program will take 5 youth from 7 gang cliques (small faction), who have an interest in Film and Video Production and collectively work together to produce a documentary at the end of the summer for the Project HOOD film festival.
Project Shift: This program is designed to help 50 -100 young men from gangs by taking them on a retreat, giving them exposure beyond the urban community in an attempt to help them develop a responsible Life Plan that encompasses short and long term goals.
Project HOOD School of Performing Arts: Utilizing a future theater named in honor of mogul Tyler Perry for his significant donation, this program will utilize professional and amateur performers in conjunction with New Beginnings Church of Chicago to teach cultural dance, singing, drama, and other arts to expose the creative works of each participant.
Masters Academy GED Program: Working in conjunction with the Masters Academy School, this program will focus on offering High School dropouts an alternative education and encourage continued education by exposing them to college tours and counselors that will encourage enrollment assist them in financial aid preparation, etc.
Project HOOD Entrepreneur Development Program: This program will promote entrepreneurship and assist future business owners develop a professional business plan. Additionally, they will be paired with a business owner mentor to give direction and receive workshop training from various industry business professionals.
Project HOOD Counseling Services: This program will provide counseling and training for parenting, families, children, financial, trauma and grief stricken people.
Project HOOD School of Technology: Keeping up with the technological change in today’s society, this program will provide cutting edge training in technology, development and technical support, in addition to Website development, Social Media Marketing, Live Streaming support, Gaming etc…
Project HOOD Apprentice Program: This program is designed to partner with various professional construction companies to teach various trades, i.e. Construction, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC and others, with an ultimate goal to create employment opportunities.
Project HOOD Job Readiness Program: This program will teach individuals how to prepare for job Interviews, Resume/Cover LTR development and writing, Salary negotiation, Follow Up and Personal posture etiquette that grabs the attention of a potential employer.
Community Conflict Resolution Program: This program will specifically focus on defusing and deflecting Gang Conflict by redirecting their energy towards team building, anger management and mutual respect for others.
Project HOOD Sports Academy: This program will offer sports programs and training for all ages, professional sports camps, intramural league play, etc., with the goal to build self confidence, competitive edge, team building and respect… We will focus on sports such as, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Soccer, Golf, Track and Karate.
One of the features that caught the interest of an anonymous donor is Green Technology and a planned rooftop garden. This generous donor, who matched new donations given to the organization’s donations totaling $50,000 in a 48 hour period in order to increase the impact of each donation in the name of Sylvia F. Sobolik (1922 – 2011), an avid gardener. Its a multi-level solution to a many layered problem. . . violence. “No competitive sports programs, no social things, no conflict resolution, no jobs,” Brooks was quoted as saying in The New York Times, “All of that breeds hopelessness, which in turn causes what we’re seeing — murder.” Rev. Brooks proclaims.