Homeless Man Learns to Code, Launches App

A homeless man in New York, after receiving coding lessons from a helpful Samaritan, has launched a new app for carpooling with a focus on saving the environment.

(Credit: Journeyman)

Back in August, programmer Patrick McConlogue offered homeless man Leo Grand a choice: US$100, or 16 coding lessons. Grand, who had been homeless since 2011 after losing his job at insurance provider MetLife and being priced out of his home when a high-rise apartment block was built nearby, didn’t have to think for long: coding lessons it was.

After furnishing Grand with a refurbished Chromebook and three books on coding, McConlogue met with him every weekday morning for an hour for a lesson. Now, Grand has released his very first app: Trees for Cars, available for iOS and Android.

The idea behind the app, Grand said, is to decrease the number of cars on the roads with a view to reducing CO2 emissions. Users sign up, specify whether or not they want to catch a ride or offer one, and the app will connect them with like-minded carpoolers nearby. The app will then track how much CO2 was saved by all the passengers.

Every line of code was written by Grand, and all proceeds from the AU$0.99 app sales will go directly to him.

You can check out the course McConlogue taught Grand here, read the story of thisremarkable journey here, and pick up the app for AU$0.99 for on iTunes and Google Play.