Homeless man creates an app for the environment

Chance encounter between two people led to a heartwarming beginning for a homeless man, just in time for the holidays. When Leo Grand lost his job as an insurance agent for MetLife, he could no longer afford his apartment in Manhattan New York. Believing he has lost it all, Grand joined hundreds of homeless people living on the streets of New York City.

Grand met Patrick McConlogue and asked for a hand out. Patrick offered to give Grand an hour everyday to teach him coding, a laptop and books; or $100. Grand refused the offer of money and chose to invest in his future and turned his life around. What happened next are two folds. Be good to your neighbors and never give up when you are down on your luck.

Grand met with McConlogue every morning from 8am-9am, Leo continued to practice code and read his books. After countless hours and practice, Grand is no longer living on the Streets.

His first app “Trees for Cars” is designed for iPhone, iPad and Android; and it is listed on Apple websites at $0.99c. “Trees for Cars” is designed to boost interest in carpooling, reduce pollution and curb energy waste.


Brian Schell is the lead editor for New York Daily Gazette. Brian has written for many publications including the New York Post Vanity Fair and TODAY. Brian is based in New York city and covers issues affecting local communities. In addition to following the day-to-day life of the Big Apple, Brian also has a passion running and can often be found jogging in Central Park

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