Dax program buys house for homeless DePaul students

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A Chicago-style bungalow near Midway Airport will be home for four DePaul University homeless students. The property was purchased by nonprofit Depaul USA, which through its Dax Program collaborates with the university to connect homeless or housing insecure students with places that can offer them more than just shelter. (Photo courtesy of Depaul USA)
The recent purchase of a house near Chicago’s Midway Airport by nonprofit Depaul USA will mean four homeless DePaul students now have a place to call home.

Depaul USA, a unit of Depaul International and part of the Vincentian Family in Chicago, has been working with DePaul University since 2014 to address student homelessness. That year, the organization began what’s known as the Dax Program, which is named after the town in France where St. Vincent de Paul attended school and lived with a host family. 

The Dax Program collaborates with the university to connect homeless or housing insecure students with places that can offer them more than just shelter. The organization provides case management and assistance with food, books, transportation and fees.

In 2018, Depaul USA leased rental property in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood to open the first Dax House. This past summer, it moved its address to Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood and provides a home for six DePaul homeless students and a house manager.

Then last month, after a successful fundraising effort, the organization purchased a Chicago-style bungalow near Midway Airport that will be home for four DePaul homeless students.

“This home would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors, foundations, businesses and friends who helped us raise the $150,000 we needed to purchase the second Dax House,” says Charles W. Levesque, president and executive director of Depaul USA. “Their generosity will allow more at-risk students to find housing and continue their studies at DePaul. I can’t think of a more impactful legacy." 

The Dax Program has been successful in housing students and keeping these students enrolled at DePaul. 

"We believe our Chicago Dax Houses have the potential to become a national model in the battle to end university and college homelessness," Levesque says. "Depaul USA is now working to create Dax Houses in Philadelphia and at St. John’s University in New York City.”

The Dax Program was featured earlier this year on CBS Sunday Morning and more recently on WGN TV.

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