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A pastor from the South Side of Chicago who spent years working to improve his community said his "faith in government is very low" after seeing how his city has handled the ongoing migrant crisis. 

"It's been overwhelming. We already have an infrastructure that is overburdened and we already have a city that is already overtaxed. And now you're adding individuals who, for the most part, are here illegally and now we're having to carry that burden," Pastor Corey Brooks, founder of Project H.O.O.D, told Fox News Digital. 

"It's very disheartening because, for organizations like ours – we're already trying to do the work in an area that's already difficult to do, and now you're adding more people to the problem," Brooks added. 

"That's a serious leadership flaw," he continued. "That's a serious problem."

Chicago has spent nearly $300 million on the migrant crisis since 2022, including $215 million since Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson took office in May 2023. Last month, the city voted to approve an additional $70 million to go toward migrant care despite backlash from residents that illegal immigrants are being prioritized over native Chicagoans. That money is on top of a $150 million assigned to migrant aid in the budget already.

Makeshift migrant shelters chicago airport

Last month, Chicago officials voted to approve an additional $70 million to go toward migrant care despite backlash from residents. ((Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images))

According to Johnson’s office, the city has at its peak been dealing with more than 2,000 migrants coming in a week. Nearly 40,000 have arrived since August 2022. 

"When we make our city a sanctuary city and we start allowing people to be here illegally and having to take care of them, that is going to be a problem that is overwhelming," Brooks said. "The leadership has been taking funds from much needed areas, and they're getting a lot of flack for it."

"And all of a sudden, those resources that they never had, for the homeless problems that they've already been faced with, they're now being made available," he continued. "I understand when people, from Chicago or other areas start to really question the fact that now we have these resources, and they're going toward individuals who sometimes are not even legally here, and we never had an opportunity to get those resources ourselves."

BLACK CHICAGO VOTERS RIP MAYOR ON EXTRA $70M FOR MIGRANTS AS RECALL PETITION GATHERS STEAM

Brooks founded Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), a nonprofit focused on providing mentorship, training and community for residents in Chicago’s South Side. In 2022, Brooks spent 345 days on a Chicago rooftop as part of a fundraising campaign, raising nearly $30 million toward the new community center he is building to help curb crime and create job opportunities, among other goals.  

Brooks said while his philosophy has never been to rely on help from the government amid his efforts to transform his community, seeing so many resources go to foreign individuals, while so many Chicagoans are struggling, is disappointing. 

Mayor Brandon Johnson migrants

Brooks said he has no faith communities like his will get the attention of Chicago leadership even after the migrant issue is resolved.? ((Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)/ (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images))

"We have been doing the work. We've been very diligent in helping transform our community and have not gotten resources from the city," Brooks told Fox News Digital. "It would have been good, however, to have them come alongside us and assist us in helping to transform a community that is part of the city."

City officials have made some efforts to roll back accommodations for migrants, in March, including shutting down several temporary shelters and evicting migrants from shelters after 60 days. But Brooks said he has no faith communities like his will get the attention of leadership even after the migrant issue is resolved. 

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"Thinking that city government is going to somehow now shift their philosophy, and as migrants are being moved out, start to take care of our community…That's not going to happen," Brooks said. "The history speaks for itself."

"They're not going to do it," he continued. "They're going to find other things to invest in, anything but this community."

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