Homeless man offered $100 or lessons in code, creates app to help environment

Posted on: 4:02 pm, December 11, 2013, by and

journeyman

NEW YORK CITY (CNN) – A man who is homeless on the streets of Manhattan is paying close attention to the app store on Wednesday.

Leo Grand has been homeless since 2011 after he lost his job at MetLife and could no longer afford to live in his neighborhood.

However, his luck took a turn when a young man came up to him with a strange offer.

Patrick McConlogue offered Grand either $100 in cash or an opportunity to learn how to code.

Grand immediately jumped on the chance to learn to code.

The pair met each day, using books and a refurbished Chromebook that McConlogue purchased for Grand.

They began to write code for hours, on the banks of the Hudson River or in Patrick’s office.

While McConlogue wanted to get Grand a job and a place to stay, Grand had other ideas.

He told CNN that he simply wanted to make the world a better place.

Watch the full CNN story here.

Grand decided to use his new-found knowledge of code to create an app that would help save the environment.

The pair came up with the app “Trees for Cars,” which connects drivers and riders so they can carpool to the same location.

However, everything came to a halt when Grand was arrested for trespassing, when he was found sleeping on a bench.

He was taken to the police station and his computer was confiscated.

That’s when Facebook came into play.

McConlogue had created a Facebook page in August, showcasing their journey.

The page is followed by 50,000 people, including a girl named Logan, who flew to New York to give Grand her laptop so he could continue toward his dream.

When asked how he keeps such a positive attitude, Grand responded, “Faith. Prayer. It works. Try it.”

The “Trees for Cars” app launched Wednesday on both Android and iOS systems.