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Local nonprofit teams up with businesses to raise money for a machine to build homes

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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) -- Project H.O.P.E has partnered with around 600 businesses in Central Illinois in hopes of raising enough money to purchase a machine the group feels will help those experiencing homelessness.

"There is hope for 2020 and to start changing people's lives forever," Project H.O.P.E. Founder Chris Collins said.

Collins is asking residents to "have hope this year" and mention them at one of their supporting businesses to help pay for a $175,000 machine that turns scrap metal into steel that is used to frame homes.

"If you say you're a H.O.P.E. supporter when you spend your money in 2020 they will donate up to 20 percent of what you spend," Collins said. "This machine makes 120 ft of material a minute that's a 100 1,500 sqft homes a day. From recycled materials using washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, water heaters and cars. "

The homes, Collins said, will be cheaper and more sustainable.

"They won't burn, they won't absorb water, they're stronger, termite free, mold-resistant, recyclable, build them without a dumpster, build them cheaper than wood and get a 60% discount on insurance versus a wooden home," he explained.

Enlisting the help of hundreds of local businesses Collins said you just have to look for a H.O.P.E. sticker to know if they are supporting the cause or just ask.

"We feel like we're helping people all the time with getting them on bikes, getting them healthy and everything but if we can use what he have here to outreach to other people is amazing," Manager of Wilson Cycle Micheal Cycle said.

Smokin Glass in Bloomington is another business giving a percentage of proceeds to the nonprofit.

"Something to better our community and their support of local business with getting the word out and if we can help the community, they help us, it's a greater place," Blowin Smoke General Manager Tito Parins said.

Collins said they are about $50,000 away from putting a down payment on the machine. If you are interested in donating to the nonprofit you can visit their website at

Stephanie Rodriguez

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