By Antanas K. Riskus, Intern at Boodell & Domanskis, LLC
In dealing with and living in the fast-paced Chicago business world, it is important to remember that there are many nonprofit organizations that also need legal help in accomplishing their various missions. Boodell & Domanskis is happy to represent one of these community organizations, Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny). Founded by Pastor Corey B. Brooks and his New Beginnings Church in 2012, Project H.O.O.D.’s goal is to be at the forefront of innovation and transformation on the South Side of Chicago and specifically within the Englewood/Woodlawn community it serves.
Visiting during the summer, one can observe Project H.O.O.D.’s volunteers and employees hard at work chaperoning over 175 children at the Real Heroes daily summer camp or supervising evening basketball tournaments run on their newly installed outdoor hoops. These and other programs not only give youth an opportunity to stay out of situations where they could make bad decisions but also empower them through positive experiences and skills training. Project H.O.O.D. engages people’s lives firsthand. Often, Pastor Brooks gathers volunteers to go out on the streets to bring positive leadership and protest violence. As a result, violence has diminished in areas where the church members patrol.
While the busy summer may be over, Pastor Brooks has no plans of slowing down. Perhaps the most exciting project that Project H.O.O.D. is working on is its Leadership and Economic Opportunity Center.
Due to his belief that bringing jobs and skills training to his community will help put an end to violence and poverty there, Pastor Brooks is renovating an old Walgreens, for which we prepared the legal agreements, and making it into an entrepreneurship hub. Its Grand Opening is coming up on September 27th. Already, the Center has been making a difference. Partnering with the Illinois Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, it graduated its first class of six students in Carpentry Level I and CORE a few weeks ago. These men and women went from having few employment prospects to interviewing and getting jobs in the construction field.
A stronger South Side community is essential and will contribute to the prosperity of the broader Chicago community we are all a part of. With foresight, visionaries like Pastor Brooks are leading the fight against violence, poverty, and a lack of hope. Boodell & Domanskis is proud to play a part in that.