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H.O.P.E.

Housing Our People Everywhere

About Us

Mr. Chris Collins is a man of the people. He was born in California, but raised in the Heart of the Midwest, in the Central Illinois area of Bloomington/Normal, the home of Heartland College, Lincoln College, Illinois State University, and Illinois Wesleyan University. Chris  is a self made entrepreneur. Since the the age of 15, his passion has been working with metal, tools, and building up homes and people’s lives. Chris found his calling in 2006, when he visited New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina wiped out the city, leaving no homes or food for survival victims. The hurricane turned the city into a swimming pool and Chris dove right in with lending a helping hand. Upon arriving in the city he visited the city council and requested they provide him with the scrap metal they had available. From Chris’s research of 20+ years in the industry he discovered that building homes out of metal is more affordable and sustainable than wood. If provided the metal he promised he would create a company that would rebuild the entire Gulf Coast. At the time the city had access to a million recyclable vehicles that were valued at 250 million dollars. Unfortunately, Mr. Collins did not have the money and although the great city of New Orleans saw the vision, they sold the metal to another willing buyer. In that moment Mr. Collins made it his life’s mission to provide H.O.P.E. Housing Our People Everywhere© to all who have suffered from natural disasters, and poverty, ending up homeless.

For the next 4 months Chris remained in New Orleans assisting Katrina victims with rebuilding their homes through organizations like Habitat for Humanity. 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 there 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 metal 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 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 a little intimidated 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 a 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 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 residences 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 a 1800 square foot home and a 1200 square foot commercial building, out of cold rolled steel, which was recycled from car parts from Hurricane Katrina. The commercial building became Monster Pawn in Bloomington, which has recently expanded their operations into Peoria. Chris Collins has a great idea to train our "at risk youth", who are on their way into the Department of Corrections systems, the parolees who are coming out of our Department of Corrections, and homeless citizens, many who are U.S. Military Veterans, who have returned home from combat and find themselves addicted to drugs, divorced and homeless, due to their unresolved PTSD and other related issues; 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 an opportunity to learn a skilled trade, where they’ll be able to build, live in & purchase their own home, go to our HOPE's Proud Supporters Page to see all of the businesses who are pledging to support our great movement. Then feel free to go to our Contact Page to reach out to us to learn more on how you can help us offer H.O.P.E. to the homeless and hopeless, and begin to turn these underprivileged populations of our world into happy healthy productive members of society!