Home Street Home is a street documentary about Damian “Dean” Cummings a homeless man living in a ‘hidden home’ disguised as as a dumpster on the streets of NYC and his on going struggle with mental illness. This film exposes causes of homelessness and offers practical steps for getting off the streets.
Dean is a 38 year old homeless New Yorker, who beat the system by hiding in plain sight. In 2016 Shane Duffy and Phil Sullivan made a plan to live on the streets for 4 days to raise awareness about the growing problem of homelessness. As temperatures dropped below freezing they encountered a homeless man whose benevolence saved their lives and ultimately shaped their view of the homeless epidemic. Dean helped them with blankets, food, street smarts, and most importantly the knowledge of how to avoid shelters and where to find food.
Indebted to Dean they decided to pay it forward. With Shane’s construction background, he and his business partner Sandy Dias, built a home for Dean that would go undetected for almost a year. Disguised as a recycling dumpster the home perfectly blends in with the urban landscape of NYC.
In the summer of 2017 Dean’s home was impounded by the NYPD forcing him back on the streets. Furthermore Shane learns that Dean’s mental illness and his lack of support which originally propelled him onto the streets open a much larger view of the systematic pandemic. In the search for answers Shane and the film crew uncover a truth that they never saw coming
This is a story of mental illness and how one homeless man goes from living on the streets to practical housing.