Bloomington non-profit founder hopes to build 100 homes this winter for homeless

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A Bloomington man and founder of a local non-profit is looking to house the city’s homeless population as the weather gets colder.

Chris Collins, founder of Housing Our People Everywhere or H.O.P.E. started “Operation Safe Winter”. His goal is to build 100 temporary houses on Bloomington’s west-side at Sherman and Division Street with land he said he now owns.

Collins said the homes will cost about $5,000 to build out of steel frames on the 2.5 acres of land.

He said he needs people to step up and help out with the campaign.

“We’re needing sponsorships, we need people to step up and sponsor a building and we will start constructing them. I got people coming from across the country to get ready for the construction part of this,” Collins said.

He said the 100 homes are temporary because in the spring they will be replaced with 18 permanent residences, but didn’t want to wait that long.

“But right now, lets give these people a place they can call home for the winter and not be out here on our streets. We got 600 businesses in this community that if you say you’re a HOPE supporter; they will financially get behind this because they don’t want those people in front of their businesses,” Collins said.

He said if someone sponsors a home, he will let them keep it in the spring once the more permanent housing is put in place.

Donations can be made here.

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