Aside from the goodness of this outreach, there's a wonderful tech angle here that should be of interest to anyone reading my blog. Ever the fair-trade entrepreneur, Philip recognized that Tony, his coffee companion, has a lot to say, but lacks a voice to connect with world at large.
So, Philip has recently set up a blog solely for this purpose - HomelessManSpeaks.com. They chat, share stories, and Philip puts it up on the blog, allowing Tony to get his thoughts out there. It's a fascinating window on street life, and what it means to be homeless.
Aside from reading about what it's like to be Tony - along with photos from Philip for a visual perspective - the links on the blog page indicate there's a web-based ecosystem out there around the homeless world. There are links there to both support groups dedicated to the needs of the homeless, as well as other homeless people/groups who have found a way to get on the Net.
This really struck me, and from a blogger's perspective, it's a great example of how the Web works in weird and wonderful ways. It's not just about tech or commerce, that's for sure, and this story says a lot of about how blogs can serve a higher purpose, and is a truly democratic medium that gives a voice to those who usually don't have one. And of course, it's all the more profound in the week leading up to XMas.
Well done, Philip - you're setting the bar high here, and hopefully this will inspire others to find similar ways to use technology for the public good.
Technorati tags: Philip Stern, Jon Arnold, blogs, Toronto