New York City is rampant with homeless men and women canvassing the city for a warm place to sleep and stay safe. There are very few options available for those down on their luck, but Damian ‘Dean’ Cummings received something that could revolutionize how many homeless people are out on the streets at night.
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Cummings has been living in a makeshift home disguised as a dumpster in Manhatten for 10 months. It’s a place where he can stay warm since it is equipped with solar panels and USB ports to charge anything he needs. The home also can keep his belongings safe when he goes to work.
How did Cummings find this innovative home? Well, two male models, Shane Duffy and Phil Sullivan, posed as homeless men while looking for a worthy sponsor for charity.
Cummings noticed the two male men and took them under his wing teaching them how to survive on the streets. He showed them safe places to sleep and even gave them blankets to keep them warm at night.
Duffy and Sullivan were taken aback by the kind gesture and wanted to reward him. The two decided to build him a semi-permanent home that is a dumpster in disguise. The cost to build this home? $1500.
The idea of disguising the makeshift home as a dumpster came to Duffy when he noticed the dumpsters attached to buildings. Duffy, who is a contractor by day, made the container four feet wide, four feet tall and a little over six feet long in June 2016.
Cummings absolutely loves his new home. He told news outlets, “I’ve been ecstatic. Sitting in there feels like you are actually in a home.”
Cummings, who has been homeless for seven years, says that his home is so well disguised that people actually try to throw trash in there. “It’s really funny. One time I laughed a little too hard and the guy was like, “Hello?”‘
The home was originally only supposed to last a week as they both figured Cummings would be discovered and kicked out of there. To their surprise, the Sanitation Department showed up and didn’t kick him out. Instead, they told him to keep his area clean and there would be no problems.
Cummings is aware that by making his secret home public he runs the risk of being kicked out, but it’s a risk he is willing to take. He wants to raise awareness of the homeless problem and how it can be resolved in a relatively cheap manner.