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article imageLife on the streets tweet by tweet Special

By Lynn Morris     Feb 18, 2011 in Technology
New York - Four homeless men in New York City have been given mobile phones and are using Twitter as part of a social media project to raise awareness about homelessness.
Three interns at an advertising agency in New York came up with the project, called Underheard in New York , which provides a glimpse into the daily trials, hopes, concerns and ambitions of homeless people.
Rosemary Melchior said: “We think that the best way that we, as Millennials who’ve grown up with social media, can help the homeless population is to help them be better heard and understood.”
Carlos  one of the men taking part in Underheard
Carlos, one of the men taking part in Underheard
Courtesy of Willy Wang
So they found the four men Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos through the NYC Rescue Mission and gave them each a phone, set them up with Twitter accounts and explained how to text a Tweet.
So far each man has over 2,000 followers on Twitter.
Ms Melchior, 22, of BHH advertising agency said: “Our aim is to enrich the lives of homeless citizens of New York City by restoring their voices and reconnecting them to the global community.
“By giving the homeless access to the same technological tools and platforms as the rest of us, we believe that Underheard will correct misconceptions about a stigmatised sub-culture and demonstrate the power of social networking.”
Albert  another of the participants in Underheard
Albert, another of the participants in Underheard
Courtesy of Willy Wang
She said that through the project they have heard some inspiring stories from people about their own experiences with homelessness and that she knows the four men involved value the interaction.
She added: “The best way people can help our tweeters is by engaging with them.”
The project will run until each man’s month of unlimited text messaging ends but after that they will keep the phones and Twitter accounts so could continue if they can find money for phone credit.
To find out more follow @putodanny @awitness2011 @albert814 and @jessie550 on Twitter.
Derrick  another of the homeless men taking part in Underheard
Derrick, another of the homeless men taking part in Underheard
Courtesy of Willy Wang
More about Homeless, Homeless man, NYC, Social media, Advertising
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