Homeless Man Learns to Code, Creates App for Carpooling

We all love a good story where there’s a happy ending, and I think this one is a perfect illustration of a happy ending. It’s about an app , or rather, the maker of an app, and how he came from being homeless to making his own app. His name is Leo Grand and he is still homeless, but with his determination he won’t be much longer, especially if you purchase his carpooling app, Trees for Cars.

Leo became homeless when he lost his job in 2011 and was “priced out of his neighborhood.” He was living on the streets when programmer, Patrick McConlogue offered him a laptop and free books on programming. HE also gave him $100 in cash and one hour of coding lessons each day after working at his regular job.

Since then, the two have been working towards getting Leo’s app prepared for smartphone consumption. The app is a simple concept – people can log in and determine a meeting place to carpool and if everyone agrees and share a vehicle, the app calculates how much CO2 emission has been avoided. All of this comes from a man who as recently as September of this year, was just learning to code.

We think it’s priced competitively at $.99 but we also think it’s a great way to give someone a boost towards a new start. All proceeds from the app will go to further Leo’s programming education.

Leo’s official announcement:

Trees for Cars is a mobile carpooling app that connects drivers and riders. Every car on the road contributes to pollution by emitting CO2. By using Trees for Cars to find rides in your area, you’ll be helping the environment because more carpooling means fewer cars on the road.

Download the app, sign in, and tell us whether you want to offer rides or take a ride. We’ll connect you with the riders or drivers closest to your complete route. To learn more about the application, watch the introduction video or this CNN piece: http://goo.gl/xOIvSm

Ride sharing is caring!

Leo Grand

PS: For the first two weeks after launch Grand is selling limited edition t-shirts and hacker hoodies to support Trees for Cars. Get them at www.treesforcars.com!

Download Trees for Cars in the Apple Store or Google Play.