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Local man plans to build 100 temporary housing structures for homeless people

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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) -- As winter approaches, one local man has a big plan; build 100 temporary shelters for people experiencing homelessness, but he says it'll cost about half a million dollars.

"This is operation save winter," said Chris Collins, founder and CEO of H.O.P.E.

Collins is on a mission to keep people out of the cold weather by building 100 temporary shelters for people in the Twin Cities.

"We can make sure that no one has to sleep outside because they have not a safe place to be. I don't want to build one big shelter here, I want individual living," said Collins.

Collins founded the not-for-profit organization, Housing Our People Everywhere or H.O.P.E. His current solution is to place all 100 shelters on his land, a two and a half acre section of Bloomington near Sherman and West Division.

One obstacle he's facing is money. He estimates each structure at about $5,000.

"The odds are against me, but you know what, if I build 10, I'm going to make a change," said Collins.

The other obstacle is time. His goal date is to be done before Thanksgiving. He's hoping to find sponsors, now.

"It comes down to seeing the community step up and realize they don't want to see the problem either," said Collins.

And if it works out, he plans to remove the structures in April and put 18 permanent homes there.

"I want them people to know that I care, and I know other people care," said Collins.

For now, a Bloomington spokesperson said they are aware of the idea, but need more information before any kind of permit could be issued.

Paige Blanzy

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