If there are over 7 billion people in the world, we are sure to raise $70 million if everyone donated just $0.01….helping us to end all homelessness on Earth.
Raised in Bloomington, IL, Chris Collins has always been infatuated with numbers and helping those in need. In the first grade, Collins attended early childhood education in Las Vegas and was named the youngest child in the school district to know division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction (1-12). Since then, Collins evolution in his mathematical skills created a pathway to his discovery…that math, love, and construction can save the world. Since the age of 33, his passion has been using recyclable metal and special tools to build homes to save the homeless and to protect our Earth.
In 2006, Collins found his passion after requesting the New Orleans City Council for all of their scrap metal to use to rebuild the homes on the Mississippi Coast, right next to the Louisiana line, after witnessing the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. With 20+ years in the industry, Collins discovered that building homes out of scrap metal is more sustainable and affordable than wood. If provided the metal, Collins promises to every City Council around the globe he would create a company that would rebuild the entire Gulf Coast. At the time, the City of New Orleans had access to a million recyclable vehicles that were valued at $250 million dollars. Fortunately, Collins and a few other buyers saw vision of the great city of New Orleans and purchased the used metal. At that moment, Collins made it his life’s mission to provide HOPE Inc. (Housing Our People Everywhere) to those who are homeless, have suffered from natural disasters, poverty, released prisoners, etc.
For the next four months, Collins remained in Mississippi and travelled the Gulf Coast spending time assisting Katrina victims with rebuilding their homes through several organizations. Collins was asked to train 100 new recruits in one week to build shotgun homes for New Orleans residents all over the city. During his time there, he was fortunate enough to visit over 3,000 FEMA trailers and shared his vision for the H.O.P.E program. While assisting with rebuilding the homes in New Orleans, Collins received his first request to build a home out of recyclable metal back home in Bloomington. Ecstatic by the opportunity, Collins 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 Collins decided to call Mr. Phil Heston, CEO of Miller Compressing Company, to share his vision for HOPE Inc. With the support and mentoring of Mr. Heston, Collins furthered his vision; and in 2007, Collins held a board meeting which included the City Council of Bloomington about supporting HOPE.
Towards the end of 2008, there was a massive flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Working closely with different entities for six months, Collins worked to develop ideas on how to rebuild the community. To date, the program builds over one hundred new homes per year. In 2009, Mr. Collins built an 1800 sq. ft. and 12 ft. building using cold rolled steel developed from recyclable car parts from Hurricane Katrina. The location was later named The Monster Pawn Warehouse. 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. Also, a home the Collins team built in the early 2000’s suffered through a massive tornado in Monticello in 2010. As a result of being built out of our recyclable metal, and the only damage was to the roof, as it slightly lifted.
At the top of 2010, Collins visited Nashville after a horrible flood for two months to help local residents. Visiting a deserted neighborhood, Collins offered a helping hand to the community, teaching about 25 men how to build homes. Working as a team, Collins led this group of men to building 14 homes using scrapped materials. In 2011, Collins received an award from Congress on building the greenest home in Bloomington, IL.
In 2012, a tornado hit Harrisburg where Collin’s Cold Roll Steel equipment and machinery was ruined. With no insurance, Collins was unable to repurchase the machinery. The core of his business operations, Collins was forced to develop a plan of action that will continue his mission to helping others, and saving the homeless.
In 2016, after speaking with his mentor Mr. Heston, Collins had a break through opportunity to own 55 train cars of shredded metal materials, a total of 5k tons for $600k. With this, HOPE Inc can build about one thousand 500sq. ft. homes. Moreover, after speaking with the Economic Development Department of Las Vegas, HOPE Inc has an opportunity to build shelters for the homeless in the City of Las Vegas., and to develop a partnership for youth to learn the trade of construction.
Now, HOPE is on a mission to establish partnerships with organizations all over the world to end homelessness one country at a time. Homelessness is a global issue that effect us all, but we can start with donations of $0.01…one step closer to ending all poverty. To make a donation, visit us at www.httprogram.org.