Distrust of Banks Stands between Homeless Coder and His Profits

Business Insider
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Programmer Patrick McConlogue stirred controversy last summer by staging a social experiment in which he offered to teach a homeless man, Leo Grand, to code. McConlogue believed the skill would enable Grand to escape homelessness. Grand eventually released an app called Trees For Cars which generated 15,000 downloads and a $10,000 profit. But Grand is unbanked and that money now sits unused in McConlogue's bank account. McConlogue has encouraged Grand to open an account to make the transfer, but Grand refuses. Mitchell Netburn, president and CEO of Project Renewal, says it's not uncommon for homeless people to be paranoid about banking. "They don't always understand how banks work. Who has access to them. Who can track them."