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Homeless man learns to code, launches app

After receiving coding lessons from a helpful Samaritan, a homeless man in New York launches Trees for Cars, a new carpooling app with a focus on saving the environment.


Back in August, programmer Patrick McConlogue offered Leo Grand a choice: $100, or 16 coding lessons. Grand -- 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-long 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 eye toward reducing CO2 emissions. Users sign up and specify whether 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.

Grand wrote every line of code, 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 this remarkable journey here, and pick up the app for 99 cents on iTunes and Google Play.

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(Source: CNET Australia)