Twitter gives homeless a voice in new project

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Among the social groups where internet innovation has least impact, the homeless are probably those most left behind. But a new project called ‘Underheard in New York’ is granting an intriguing insight into the daily lives of this demographic. You can now follow participants Danny (@putodanny), Albert (@albert814), Derrick (@awitness2011) and Carlos (@jessie550) on Twitter.

The scheme was the idea of a group of interns at New York creative advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, who have provided four homeless men with pre-paid mobile phones and Twitter accounts. The four homeless men now have over 2,000 followers, who tweet them words of encouragement and sometimes job leads.

“Danny said he always wanted to tell his story, but hadn’t because he thought no one would be interested,” intern Rosemary Melchoir told the Los Angeles Times.

The tweets from the homeless men are the same as everyone’s tweets in the sense they focus on everyday issues, but the reality of the men’s situation may put our own gripes into contrast: “The employement agency will open at 9:am, I will travel to the Bronx, NY in order that I may iron my suit and shirt,” said Derrick. “Hi putodanny sending love from new york to all people who suport me and the projec that we doing,” said Danny.

ShinyJess