Leo (left) Patrick(RIGHT) — NYC

UPDATED: Money < Education

Part 2

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“’Leo’ rejects the money for an opportunity to learn to code.”

I wouldn’t write about the homeless, the politics, or the judgements, I would write about the power of one. I would write about the gift of education, and most importantly I would be hopeful.

Yesterday the internet exploded around a blog post I made about my plan to offer to help a man with a simple question,

Option #1: I will give you $100 in cash.

Option #2: I will return tomorrow with a basic laptop and three books to learn to code. I will then come an hour early before work and teach you to become a software engineer.

Within an hour, TechCrunch, Washington Post, Huffington Post had weighed in on the conversation. People emailed, commented, blogged both positive and negative ideas or criticism around the idea, me, the views etc. Outside of all of this, people have a big heart for this. That is a great thing.

Before you walk by the nameless faces…they might be Leo.

It turns out Leo is a genius particularly concerned with environment issues. As I sat there becoming increasing stunned, he rattled off import/export prices on food, the importance of solar and green energy, and his approval for “efficient public transportation initiatives [referring to NY’s new Citibike]”. He is smart, logical, and articulate. Most importantly, he is serious. It’s up to him if dedication is also his gift.

The next step…

UPDATE: Leo’s Code Kit arrived this morning at 10:10AM! Dropping off later this afternoon.

First, per our agreement, for the next two months I will come to work and hour earlier and meet with him for a coding session.

I am overnighting this gear:

An NYC “meetup” to connect, a campaign to empower.

Second, we are going to hold a public “meetup” for those of you in NYC to discuss some of the feedback from the press and public, focusing on what should be done. I think this would be a good venue for non-profits to also connect around the issue of homelessness.If you have a venue you would be willing to let us use for an evening please reach out to me: pmcconlogue[at]gmail.com.

One of the ideas several people have suggested and we will discuss is to run a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for office space and a temporary home.

Stay updated, follow on Facebook.

Third, regardless of where people stand, issues aside, Leo has accepted the challenge. The story will continue here on Medium, or on his new Facebook page which he will take over.

Next post, we will hear directly from Leo.


Patrick McConlogue

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PS: For those of you who sent emails with ideas, I promise to respond to each and every one of them as fast as I can. Your ideas and feedback are beyond helpful, they are critical.

PSS: Some responses from the internet…

Washington Post

Give a Man a Fish And He’ll Eat For A Day, Offer to Teach a Man to Code and You’re Kind of a Jerk

Huffington Post

Patrick McConlogue, Startup Founder, Suggests Homeless Learn To Code, Is Shocked By Backlash


Tech gets it’s own Model Proposal

Business Insider

NYC Programmer Defends His Plan To Teach A Homeless Guy How To Code After Getting Blasted In The Press Yesterday”.

PSS: Some responses from people…

  • “Very interesting indeed! My heart would hope that he would take the opportunity rather than the money…”
  • “Hey Patrick I would love to learn about coding too.. I’m a fast learner, i just work all the time.. I work 7 days a weeks and been at a same job for 3 years, but i want a good job.. I’m tired of not having a good job.”
  • “Considering I’m homeless and the Founder & CEO of a just on the edge of success tech-startup… it hits a little close to home. Heck ~ I’m meeting with a VC this Friday and I’m going to great lengths to makes sure I maintain my look, feel & attitude. “
  • “Fascinating all around, I am hoping he accepts the laptop in the books but you haven’t verified his motivation to learn or his motivation for tangible items.”