Underheard in New York | Fighting homelessness 140 characters at a time


Taxi drivers, waiters and people living in the street. This is the ‘Top 3’ of people who know a lot about almost everything and have more stories to tell, of what they see or what happened to them.

I guess when you are in direct contact with people, working in a busy café or living at the street, you are more exposed to all sort of bizarre situations and very close to see the good & bad of what it is.

Taxi drivers and waiters never miss the chance of talking to you about any topic (if they are this sort of person). There is even a book a friend recommended me, about the waiter’s experience of Steve Dublanica: ‘Confesiones de un camarero’ in Spanish, ‘The Waiter’ in the English edition. “If I also wrote a book of all the things I’ve seen in the bar…”, my waitress friend said to me. I believe so!

So, let’s go to the point: There’s been an initiative in NY that gives “voice” to four homeless people via Twitter. They don’t have customers to shoot with talking about their experiences, but they have instead a very powerful tool: Twitter, thousands of followers and media coverage!

Here is what they write on their web about the action:

“In a time when communication is all around us, we felt it was necessary to give a voice to the people who needed it most. Between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2010 the total number of unsheltered individuals within New York City rose an estimated 34%. We gave Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos- four homeless residents of NYC- prepaid cell phones and Twitter accounts in order to include them in our global community. Get to know them by clicking on the images above”.