Homeless Man To Launch His First Mobile App

Homeless Man To Launch His First Mobile App

After nearly eight weeks of Medium writer's coding lessons, NYC man will release environmental application to the masses.

Sara Boboltz
  • 11 october 2013

The homeless man named Leo who took up the offer put forth by Medium‘s Patrick McConlogue, to take coding lessons is now set to release his first mobile app.

Back in August, McConlogue wrote a blog post about a certain homeless man he passed on his way to work and nicknamed “Journeyman,” who seemed to him smart and driven but as if he’d “lost a series of battles.” The tech blogger and software engineer wanted to approach the mystery homeless guy with two options. One being $100 in cash to spend as the man wished, and the other being three JavaScript books, a cheap laptop, and one-hour coding lessons every day for eight weeks.


That initial post on Medium attracted an array of comments and judgments from readers who expressed a variety of opinions on the blogger’s proposal, from “insane vanity project” to simply “ill-conceived.” But as the man accepted the second option (and we all learned his name), McConlogue started a Facebook page to track the duo’s progress. Leo explained:

He told me I could have a laptop and learn how to do something and I figured it could turn into something more. It’s not like I don’t have the time to learn to do it.

Since then, Leo has been interviewed by Business Insider, and Mashable, and written about by a host of other news organizations. He’s even visited Google‘s NYC offices. A “fancy building” nearby, he says, allows him to charge his laptop, which came equipped with 3G  thanks to McConlogue.

Leo stressed that even having lost his job at MetLife in 2011, and after being priced out of his neighborhood by a newly built luxury community, his life wasn’t awful before learning his new skill.

Life can still be good even if you’re homeless. I don’t need a million dollars to be happy.

Owing to a strong interest in environmental issues, Leo’s app will be somehow related to those topics, although details have not been discussed beyond its name — Go Green.

McConlogue expressed a desire to offer others the same one-on-one opportunity to learn coding via Google Helpouts, which facilitates the learning process via live video feed with a volunteer instructor.




Photos via Journeyman.


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