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40ish and beyond... 40ish and beyond...

Homeless man passes up $100 that was offered to him

Posted by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM
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1 mom liked this

 I read this article and thought this young man was doing something great.. If everyone would try to give a homeless person a hand up instead of a hand out maybe we could make a difference. This young man is getting bashed because people are saying he is wasting his money and time. If this young man was wasting his time and even his money wouldnt the homeless man (Leo) taken the $100 that was offered to him? What do you think??

Patrick McConlogue is a lot like the many others working in the New York tech scene. Every morning, he walks to work, passing a few homeless people on the streets, and then spends the rest of his day at a computer, writing software code for a 35-person startup.

But the 23-year-old engineer didn't think those two parts of his day had to stay separate. Earlier this week, he made an offer to one of those homeless men.

"I walk by a homeless guy every day on the way to work and I get this feeling every day that he is a smart guy -- he has books and he writes," McConlogue told ABC News. "I was trying to think of a way to engage him and help him."

McConlogue approached Leo, a 36-year man who lives on the streets of lower Manhattan, on Thursday and gave him two options.

 

The first was $100 in cash.

 

"I figured that was enough for a ticket some place or a few meals, if that's what he wanted," McConlogue said.

 

The second option on the table was a laptop, three JavaScript books and two months of coding instruction from McConlogue.

 

 

After hearing the offer, Leo, who McConlogue described as very articulate and gifted, especially in on the topic of environmental issues, decided to take the coding option.

"I want to spread knowledge and information about climate change and global warming," Leo told ABC News in a phone interview facilitated by McConlogue.

Soon, McConlogue will deliver him a Samsung Chromebook with 3G connectivity, three JavaScript books, a solar charger for the laptop and something to conceal the laptop in. He will spend an hour before work every morning teaching him the basics of software coding.

McConlogue began documenting his plans to help Leo on the blogging platform Medium earlier this week and has seen a mix of reactions.

The technology community, in particular, was critical of his first post, which was titled, "Finding the unjustly homeless, and teaching them to code." Many commenters criticized McConlogue for using the word "unjust," which he admitted was a poor word choice.

Still, some writers heavily criticized McConlogue's effort beyond that.

Techcrunch editor-in-chief Alexia Tsotsis said McConlogue was "tone-deaf" and that his plan demonstrated "a profound cluelessness about poverty and the disenfranchised."

Slate's Matthew Yglesias argued that housing, not coding, is the first step in fixing homelessness.

Then, Slate's Will Oremus called him a "naive techie."

 

But along with the critics, there were those who supported his effort. More than 1,200 people have liked the "Journeyman" Facebook page McConlogue has set up about the project and he said he has even heard from some previously homeless individuals who see the effort as useful.

Leo himself, who is aware of the online chatter, said that he is understanding of the criticism. "It's America, people have the right to have their opinions," he said. "It's the Internet, people have the right to post what they want. I agree to disagree." When asked about housing Leo said that he thought "housing was great for people who want to be put in housing, for people who want and need it."

Ultimately, McConlogue says he is offering what he can right now to help.

"Being able to code will help him do some of the things he wants to do," McConlogue said. "The negative feedback is that you should give him housing and food. My thought is that technology will do a better job connecting him, in the long term, to what he wants."

McConlogue plans to keep blogging about the experience on Medium and Leo himself will write the next post. He said he doesn't have plans to do anything with the larger homeless community at this point, however.

"I've tried to build products for the many before, but I wonder if this new generation is building projects for the power of one," he said. "I am going to do a really good job with this guy. I will learn from him, maybe even more than he learns from me."

 

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by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ALolies
by Red Room Rebel on Aug. 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM
6 moms liked this

I think this is a very good plan. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime". 

This young man can't buy a house for the homeless man, but he can teach him a trade that can possibly move him up in life.

wildchild.com
by Rapunzel on Aug. 24, 2013 at 10:03 AM
That's awesome! I would be so proud if I was his mama!
rojastarr
by Fang Slayer on Aug. 24, 2013 at 11:47 AM
1 mom liked this

I think he may have the right idea....we cannot possible give out a house to everyone but we can provide the tools to help people get a job and be able to obtain housing for themselves. We do need more quality affordable housing though!

starlight1968
by 40ish hang out queen on Aug. 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM

 my hubby is in the tech biz and says there is always a need for developers... by teaching this man something he wants to learn will give him a step in the right direction to move forward on his own.  Kuddos to this kiddo..

Snowl
by Snowl :) on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM

I hope he gets a good job out of this. What a creative way to help!

elkmomma
by Sister on Aug. 24, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I don't get the negative crap some have said about this either.  Most often a hand up is far better than a hand out.

KW1280
by Silver sister on Aug. 24, 2013 at 6:23 PM
1 mom liked this
This


Quoting ALolies:

I think this is a very good plan. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime". 

This young man can't buy a house for the homeless man, but he can teach him a trade that can possibly move him up in life.


hau_siyoka
by Doll Baby on Aug. 24, 2013 at 7:04 PM

This  story is a dream come true !!! How many times has he multiplied the education!!!  I love it!! He has the motivation for the future...

dana63
by Momma of 40ish on Aug. 24, 2013 at 7:57 PM

 I didnt understand the negative stuff either. I even read one comment that someone wrote saying he shouldnt spend his money on a wasted effort. What wasted effort? He saw a homeless man who read and wanted to help. I rather see a hand up any day than a an out...

Quoting elkmomma:

I don't get the negative crap some have said about this either.  Most often a hand up is far better than a hand out.

 

cafe.gif (14184 bytes)Join us for coffee~~

looneymom424
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM

 That is a great idea most people wouldnt even offer money they would bring them something...I think he has the right plan

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