In New York City, winter before last, a non-profit handed out a whack of cells to street folk on the condition that they tweet their doings throughout the day. It was supposed to be a temporary project but as of today I see at least four brothers still tweeting. “Fighting homelessness 140 characters at a time”. You can eavesdrop on twitter at @underheardinNY or visit the website at underheardinnewyork.com .
Do a “people” search for “homeless” on Twitter and have a listen to folk tweeting from shelters, subways, or while sleeping rough. The net has given a voice to a lot of people who never got heard before.
Homeless find friends, acceptance on social networks
A study by sociologist Art Jipson at the University of Dayton finds that many homeless people are highly engaged in social media, despite very limited access to the internet. Such sites provide them with valuable information and companionship regardless of their social status.
Jipson hosts a local radio show about music and sociology, and one day asked a caller’s location. The caller, as it turned out, was homeless, but still clearly engaged in social pursuits like this one. The event started Jipson thinking that perhaps this phenomenon was more widespread than anyone suspected.