When Phil Sullivan and Shane Duffy found themselves on the streets of New York City, they quickly learned a valuable lesson. As anyone who has spent at least a day in Manhattan knows, homelessness is a common problem. People are constantly asking for money on the trains, street corners and even outside of convenience stores or coffee shops.
But unlike the people who are forced to live on the streets to get by, Duffy and Sullivan were not poor or homeless. Duffy is a rich contractor and Sullivan is a male model.
They were acting homeless to conduct a social experiment. Not so they could get lots of views on YouTube or thousands of follower on social media, but to pilot their new charity…
When the duo founded I Am Supporter, they homed the charity would help eliminate the problem of homelessness. But their sights were not set that high. They wanted to help just one person at a time and eventually make a dent in the huge global problem.
While they pretended to be homeless, they were scouting for the perfect person to become the recipient of their charity’s generosity. With the support of online fundraisers, Duffy and Sullivan were eager to help their first person get off the streets.
The first person they deemed worthy of their support was Damian Cummings.
For the four days and nights Sullivan and Duffy struggled on the streets, Cummings opened his heart to them. He helped them find places to sleep and offered what little food he had.
As a reward for Cummings’s generosity, I Am Supported created a special campaign to give him a place of his own.
While it might look like a dumpster or storage locker, it has so much more to offer. Equipped with solar panels, the wooden shelter even comes with lighting and USB ports.
While the I Am Supported tiny home may seem high-tech, it is surprisingly affordable. The charity can build each one for just $1,500.
And with it located in Soho, Cummings gets to enjoy New York City’s trendiest neighborhood without paying the astronomical prices for rent.
While he is grateful that I Am Supported gave him a fancy dumpster to live in, he says it is not as great as it seems. Storeowners constantly try to throw their trash in his makeshift home. And he hopes it helps get him to the next best thing in his life – a real apartment.
Cummings appreciates the gesture because it gives him warmth and shelter. Plus, it offers him a place to store belongings while he gets back on his feet. Although he doesn’t have a place to live in the expensive city, he works odd jobs and does not touch alcohol or drugs. Now he has a place that can be his until he is able to move on and up to a better situation.
What do you think about what this charity is trying to do for the homeless?
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