In 2009, Dsquared Homes for the Homeless founder Juan Te Dailey’s son was diagnosed with a severe mental health condition and was told he would never work again. He was denied disability but, thankfully, he recovered, returning to work full-time and school part-time. Six years later, still maintaining his full-time job, apartment, and vehicle (something they were told he could not do), her son lapsed into homelessness due to a toxic relationship. He was denied temporary shelter over a $40 income shortfall and lived in Kiwanis Park for one year. His experience introduced her to the stigma and assumptions surrounding mental health challenges (e.g., a diagnosis defines you), and she learned the truth about homelessness. Most people are one crisis away from it.
In response to Juan Te’s family history of mental illness and her son’s experience with homelessness, she founded the nonprofit Dsquared Homes for the Homeless in April 2019. Because the Serious Mentally Ill (S.M.I.) population’s independence becomes a liability, Dsquared provides rental assistance for people who experience a temporary setback to prevent homelessness. The Dsquared team also pay the move-in fees for homeless individuals who receive housing from their case managers but cannot afford those additional costs. Dsquared helped its first client in March of 2020, one year after becoming a nonprofit, and by December 2022, it had prevented homelessness for 58 individuals. In addition, after learning about the working homeless population, Dsquared’s teen/community outreach program has provided dignity in a bag and distributed more than 20,000 hygiene backpacks.
The organization’s Youth Development Program provides scholarships based on service. Just like the youth can letter in academics and sports, it is equally essential that these leaders of tomorrow letter in service to learn the importance of investing in their community. Dsquared was awarded three youth scholarships, and its youth ambassador, Karasi Colter, was the Phoenix Outstanding Youth of the Year in 2022 due to her service with Dsquared. Please take a look at the video.
Dsquared is proud to have been sponsored by Bombas, UnitedHealthcare, Midwest Food Bank, Hanes, Nextcare, Dignity Health, Slagter Realty Group, Los Olivas Mexican Restaurant, Backpack For Kids AZ, Faith Christian Center, Jack & Jill, Heritage Financial Strategies and many more organizations. This is huge because they are only three years in. Grantors include The Vitalyst Foundation, Dignity Health, UnitedHealthcare, Arizona Financial Credit Union, the Sundt Group, Raba Kistner, APS and more!
Dsquared Homes for the Homeless has been honored at a recent Phoenix Suns Game, and the Arizona Coyotes will honor them in March at one of their upcoming community bag fills.
Dsquared Homes for the Homeless is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on humanizing the homeless by providing dignity in a bag through our youth-focused community outreach programs. We also provide rental assistance to the Serious Mentally Ill population experiencing temporary setbacks. We are not a shelter; our goal is the prevention of homelessness, and we assist the community by partnering with case managers equipped to find housing for their clients. For more information, visit us at dsquared4homeless.org