39 year old Damian ‘Dean’ Cummings of New York City has been living in a wooden box disguised as a dumpster for almost 10 months now. Prior to living in this box, Cummings was homeless and used to spend nights on the streets of the city.
The story behind this man living in the dumpster-like-box is quite amusing. The box was created by Shane Duffy, 37 and Phil Sullivan, 28. Sullivan was homeless before he contested ‘America’s Next Top Model’ in 2013 so he knew the troubles and pain of being a homeless. The two models joined hands in 2015 and founded a charity called I Am Supported. The organization would raise funds with the help of social media and sponsor a dwelling for one homeless person at a time.
During February, 2016 when the winter of NY was severely freezing, they met Cummings and spent 4 days with him disguised as homeless men. Cummings even shared his blanket and food with them all this while. Moved by his kindness, they told him their truth and also that they wanted to help him.
Duffy, who also works as a contractor, built this box at his partner’s shop. The box is made up of pressure-treated wood and is therefore weatherproof to protect Cummings from the chilly weather of New York.
It is 4 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 6 feet 3 inches long. It has shelves, a carpet and a solar panel that powers LED lights, a phone charger and a hot plate. Duffy and Phil incurred a total cost of $1500 in building this box-home.
Cummings certainly feels ecstatic living in his compact but comfortable new home. Sometimes, people come with big bags in their hands to throw them in the big bin only to find that the lid is fixed and Cummings finds it “really funny”.