(The Daily Saint) - Patrick McConlogue, 23, is a brilliant programmer who would pass by Leo Grand, a homeless man, every day on his way to work. Something about the man struck him, and one day on a whim, McConlogue offered Grand $100 no questions asked, or an old laptop, three books on coding and one hour of coding lessons every day for two months. Grand took Door Number Two.
That was a few months ago, and since then, people have been following the journey of the unexpected pair on their Facebook page called Journeyman.
Just this week, Grand appeared on the Today Show and CNN to discuss his new app called Trees for Cars, which matches people looking for rides with drivers in the area.
The opportunity has been a lifeline for Grand, a computer lover who said he’s been sleeping in shelters for two years since the rent at his former apartment shot up and he was evicted.
And Grand has proven to be an apt student under McConlogue’s teachings.
“The speed at which I’m going through these lessons is insane,’’ McConlogue told TODAY. “We barely cover things twice. His memory is really, really good.”
Grand, who is passionate about science and the environment, created the app in order to promote carpooling to combat global warming.
“All homeless people are mentally ill, lazy, unintelligent — that’s the stigma,’’ Grand said. “It doesn’t really matter [about] your living arrangements as long as you’ve got the mindset to do it and the will.”
“You give a man a fish, you feed him for a day,’’ McConlogue said. “You teach a man to fish, and you watch him change the world.”