DePaul University Newsline > Sections > DeBuzz > Dax House hosts virtual event to support college students facing homelessness

Dax House hosts 'Unlocking the Future' event to support college students facing homelessness

All are welcome to attend the free Sept. 24 virtual event

Dax Unlocking Future
DePaul USA will host "Unlocking the Future" an online fundraiser for the Dax Program, which helps college students facing homelessness. (Image courtesy of Depaul USA)
During the uncertainty of the pandemic, college students already on the brink of housing insecurity have needed extra help. One of the organizations helping to close these gaps is Depaul USA’s Dax Program, which provides housing, food and support to college students facing homelessness.

“The Dax Program is truly effective in not only housing homeless students but moving them to graduation. All of the students we housed in our Dax Houses last year remain housed and enrolled at DePaul University,” says Charles Levesque, President and CEO of Depaul USA.

The fall gala for Dax House raises critical funds to support to keep the program going. This year, all are welcome to attend a free, virtual event, "Unlocking the Future," on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 6 - 7 p.m. ​No payment or tickets are required to watch the inspirational program, which will feature updates from students in Dax House, musical entertainment and an opportunity to donate.

Since 2014, the program has been providing DePaul students with housing, case management, counseling referrals, transportation, food, textbook assistance, and educational reimbursements. In 2017, Depaul USA opened its first Dax House in Pilsen, and in 2018 relocated to a former convent in Ukrainian Village. Thanks to donors at the first Dax gala, the program expanded and Depaul USA purchased a bungalow near Midway Airport.

Carolyn a student in the Dax Program
DePaul Student Carolyn received support for housing and food from the Dax Program and graduated in 2020 from DePaul University. (Image courtesy of Depaul USA)
One of the recent residents to rely on Dax is Carolyn. As an undergraduate student at DePaul University, she lived with her sister, worked numerous jobs and was still barely able to make ends meet. When her sister had to move suddenly, Carolyn was left with no place to live. She connected with Depaul USA and moved into the Dax House in Ukrainian Village and had a safe, stable environment to focus on her studies.

“When I started to receive the food assistance from the Dax program, it provided me assurance and took a load of stress off because I knew that I no longer faced the risk of being hungry,” Carolyn says. “It helped me build my confidence and self-esteem and it reassured me that everything was going to be okay and that my future was going to be bright because I now could focus on building a better life for myself instead of worrying about when I would eat my next meal.”

In March 2020, Carolyn graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She had a full-time job lined up and her dreams were within her grasp. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company let go all of the newly hired employees, including Carolyn. Thankfully, the company recently re-hired staff and Carolyn got her original job back. Carolyn moved into her own studio apartment and is working remotely full-time. She recently got her real estate license and is excited for the future.

"The Dax Program was life changing for me. I would have never been able to finish at DePaul had it not been for Dax. I am so grateful for the resources that the program has offered us," Carolyn says. "The financial and housing resources made the difference for me. My hope is that the Dax Program continues to expand to help more students."

The Sept. 24 virtual event will give participants the opportunity to learn more and to support the Dax Program. 

“I encourage all to participate in this event and honor the determination and resilience of the Dax students in Chicago,” Levesque says.

 More information is available at