Homeless man learns to code, releases iOS app

This past summer software programmer Patrick McConlogue made Leo Grand a deal - the homeless man could have $100, or he could get lessons in writing software code. Grand took McConlogue up on his offer to tutor, and has just released his first app on the App Store, according to Hubspot.

Grand worked at MetLife until 2011 but lost his job and his apartment after he was unable to pay rent. The last four months haven't been easy for Grand - he was arrested for trespassing in October and lost the Chromebook McConlogue purchased for him to learn coding on, but a Google exec replaced it. Thousands of Facebook followers have donated supplies and encouragement, as well.

Now the app's available. It's called Trees for Cars, and it lets people carpool and share rides. It also estimates how much carbon dioxide you're saving by buddying up with other people to drive. Grand gets to keep the proceeds, after Apple's 30 percent cut. There's also a Trees for Cars web site where you can get more info about Grand's app, or buy a limited "tree shirt" or hoodie to help the cause. Watch the video above to get more info about the app directly from the developer.

Source: Hubspot

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

Antron says:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

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Fit24 says:

Nice story, thanks for sharing.

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asuperstarr says:

Great story! Start with one app and before you know it, there will be several apps.

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HelloNNNewman says:

I'll never use it, but I bought it! $0.99 is a small price to give for a Christmas gift to someone deserving! I hope others go and buy it - no matter if they'll ever use it or not. Great story!

BTW.. I hope the AC site draws attention to this story too since the app is available for that platform.

iSRS says:

Same here. No intention of ever needing it, but 99¢ for it? How can you not.

Let's all make this a Top App, shall we?

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Becjr says:

This is a refreshing story of humans helping out humans... The way it's supposed to be.
Good share Peter. Thank you.

And cheers to you Mr. Grand.

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Chris Parsons says:

Bought it, no intent on using it but hey.. if it helps. I'm all for it.

ROSES5682 says:

I am going to buy just to support the cause. Great story, thanks for sharing.

zdn1042 says:

This just goes to show that no matter how hard life can be if you just work hard enough and persevere, you can try to turn your life around and start over. I wish him all the best on his new found endeavor.

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Becjr says:

In another way, it also proves it's not always WHAT you know but WHO you know.

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swarlos says:

That's awesome!! Great read indeed, thanks Peter! Wish him the best!

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93Aero says:

Thanks for sharing this story.

emjayess says:

Now all we need is a developer for every homeless or poor person and poverty will be eradicated forever!