For the next 4 months Chris remained in New Orleans assisting Katrina victims with rebuilding their homes through organizations like Habitat for Humanities. Mr. Collins was asked to train 100 new recruits a week to build shotgun homes for New Orleans residents all over the city. During his time their he was fortunate enough to visit over 3,000 homes and share his vision for the H.O.P.E program. While assisting with rebuilding the homes in Louisiana Chris received his first request to build a home out of recyclable medal back home in Bloomington. Ecstatic by the opportunity Chris called his team members back home and put in the order while he remained with the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
One afternoon on during his lunch break Chris decided to call Mr. Phil Heston, CEO of Miller Compressing Company, to share his vision for H.O.P.E. At first Chris was little intimated by Mr. Heston because of his many accomplishments and grand reputation. Mr. Heston assured Chris he had nothing to fear and that his dream was safe with him. After that conversation Mr.Heston became a mentor and business adviser for H.O.P.E and began to strategically guide Mr. Collins on the right path. In 2007, Mr. Collins put together a board meeting which included the city council of Bloomington, Mr. Heston, and few others. By the end of the meeting everyone was very impressed and wanted to see a finished product for themselves.
Towards the end of 2008 there was a massive flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Chris worked closely with and a new found friend named Jennifer to study how the state would go about rebuilding… after witnessing the disaster in New Orleans. For the next six months, he witnessed how this green initiative for Cedar Rapids got passed and funded by the federal government. In 6 months he watched this initiative blossom and re establish the residence of Iowa. To this day the program is building 100’s more homes per year. This program inspired Chris tremendously and provided him with a business model for H.O.P.E as well.
In 2009, Chris built an 1800 sq.ft. and 12 ft. building out of cold rolled steel developed from recyclable car parts from Hurricane Katrina. The location was later named The Monster Pawn Shop. Although the job started in 2009, it was not complete until May of 2010. This means that unfinished building survived the entire winter without having a roof or siding on it. Chris Collins has a great idea to train citizens and provide them with a new trade, while also rebuilding homes for the homeless around the world. To join Chris in his global movement to save the homeless by providing them with a home made of disastrous protective recycled parts. Visit us at www.endthehomeless.com or www.httprogram.org.