After spending several nights on the cold streets of New York City, two male models teamed up to build a home disguised as a dumpster for a homeless man who showed them kindness.

Damian "Dean" Cummings moved into a tiny hidden home ten months ago in Soho after meeting Shane Duffy, 37, and America's Next Top Model contestant Phil Sullivan, 28, in February 2016.

The two met the 39-year-old when they posed as homeless men, looking for a worthy recipient to sponsor for their charity.

The dumpster is outfitted with wheels, lights, a safety lock, two USB ports, a window and solar panels. Photo / Vimeo / ShaneRDuffy
The dumpster is outfitted with wheels, lights, a safety lock, two USB ports, a window and solar panels. Photo / Vimeo / ShaneRDuffy

Cummings took the models under his wing, pointing out places to sleep, how to find food and even shared some of his blankets with them.

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In return, Duffy and Sullivan decided to build him a semi-permanent home and spent $1500 on creating a safe place Cummings could call his own, equipped with solar panels and USB ports.

The man behind the idea was Duffy, who works as a contractor. He told the New York Post: "I noticed all of the dumpsters attached to buildings. Then it dawned on me - what if the home was hidden?"

Cummings moved into his new digs, which is four feet wide, four feet tall and a little over six feet long, in June 2016.

It is outfitted with wheels, lights, a safety lock, two USB ports, a window and solar panels.

Currently, the wooden shelter is parked at Spring and Wooster streets, in Soho, Manhattan.

Cummings said to the news outlet: "I've been ecstatic. Sitting in there feels like you are actually in a home."

The pair want to do more for homeless people. Photo / Vimeo / ShaneRDuffy
The pair want to do more for homeless people. Photo / Vimeo / ShaneRDuffy

The Trinidad native, who has been homeless for the past seven years, said his home is disguised so well that people often try to throw trash away in it.

He added: "A lot of people come by with big bags on their shoulders and try to throw them out.

"It's really funny. One time I laughed a little too hard, and the guy was like, "Hello?"'


For Cummings, it is more than a warm place to sleep. It allows him to safely lock up his belongings so he doesn't have to lug it around with him when he goes to work.

Originally, Duffy and Sullivan thought the makeshift home would only last a week before Cummings was discovered and booted.


The only incident occurred two months ago when the Sanitation Department showed up at his 'dumpster' step and told him to keep the area clean.

But the models aren't done with Cummings yet. They have set up a fundraising page, in hopes to secure a permanent roof over their friend's head.

They are also are helping the man secure job and trying to get his official documents so he can work legally.

Cummings said: "I had put my [immigration] status in my family's hands."

He was told by officials that they had sent his paperwork letters to a family member's home, but he never received it.

Cummings said he appealed to a state senator to get the paperwork but never heard back.

The pair built the home ten months ago. Photo / Vimeo / ShaneRDuffy
The pair built the home ten months ago. Photo / Vimeo / ShaneRDuffy

Cummings doesn't panhandle so he earns money by doing odd jobs, such as pick-up construction work or making deliveries for local restaurants.

He acknowledged that revealing his secret home could force him to the streets again, but he is ready to take that risk to raise awareness and help others.

Duffy said he is willing to help the city build more units, as his and Sullivan's charity foundation I Am Supported wants to do more to help homeless people.