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60 Days Later

Although Underheard in New York is currently on hiatus as we figure out the project’s future, we wanted to thank all of you who engaged with Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos throughout their time as Underheard in New York tweeters. Not only did you listen to their voices and interact with them on Twitter, but you also unexpectedly provided them with material things to help them better their lives. Due to the great success of this site they were able to donate a refrigerator to a local New York shelter.

And to a greater extend you guys provided them with something invaluable: a restored sense of confidence in themselves and a newfound faith in the kindness of strangers. But why take our word for it? Watch the video below to find out how Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos feel about their experiences with Underheard in New York.

As you all know their SMS cards expire every thirty days. I went down to the Rescue Mission to refill their card for the third straight month thanks to your donations.

If you are interested in donating SMS cards or old cellphones to help keep Underheard going as we sort out the program’s future – the project currently lacks funding – then please feel free to contact us at underheardinny@gmail.com.

What’s Next for Underheard in New York?

Underheard in New York was created as a thirty day initiative to give the homeless population of NYC a voice. You listened- so many people listened.

We received a lot of messages asking about the future of the project and if Danny, Derrick, Carlos and Albert will keep tweeting. We think they will- regardless of whether it’s with
Underheard in New York or not. A community formed around them and that
has impacted their lives.

We’ve read the inspirational messages and encouragement you’ve sent their way, and so have they- Albert mentioned on Thursday that he now has “a little smile sometimes.” He didn’t used to smile that often, but now that he has found out how caring people are around the world he is “able to crack a little smile sometimes.” They’re all so grateful to have you out there listening.

They’re also grateful for those who wanted to do more that they are offering college grants for any upcoming students. See more here grantsforcollegesite.com

Derrick received a phone call from NY Giants player Steve Smith, as well as a ticket to an upcoming game and a fundraiser for the NYC Rescue Mission in his name. He received an offer of a job interview, which he went on Friday morning.

Albert had his $200 worth of transit tickets paid, something that goes beyond just the money he didn’t have. Instead of ignoring the problem, its been taken care of and there will be no legal stumbling blocks in his future as he pulls himself back to his feet.

Carlos has created ‘angels’ out of followers, and received an offer of office space, a $30 metro card so he doesn’t have to walk 2.5 hours to the library each day.

Danny found someone to write down his life story, one which now has a much happier ending- @craftsygirl found his daughter through social media and the two of them reunited after 11 years apart.

So what happens now? With the money left in our budget, we put another 30-days of unlimited texting on each man’s phone. We don’t believe their stories are done being told.

We also don’t believe there aren’t other stories to tell. Underheard in New York is working with BBH, the agency that gave us the opportunity and guidance to create this project, to develop an expansion model that would bring Underheard to your own city. We will keep everyone updated as things develop here- we’re very excited to continue the project and get you involved.

Our blog updates will eventually stop, and we won’t be posting twitter updates so much ourselves, but this project was never about us. We’ll have one last video to recap the month and as always, you can reach us at underheardinny@gmail.com or @underheardinny if you have questions, suggestions or anything in between.

Day 27

Last week was eventful for Derrick – so eventful that we weren’t able to fit everything into our blog!

In addition to being featured in the New York Times City Room blog and receiving a call from Steve Smith, who encouraged his Twitter followers and Facebook fans to donate to the NYC Rescue Mission, Derrick also received a ticket to a 2011 season New York Giants game. Not only will Derrick get to attend the game, but he’ll also have a chance to hang out on the field during practice. Thanks to Elliot Shriftman for making it all possible!

derrickticket-1024x571

As if that weren’t enough good news Derrick was able to line up three job interviews for this week, one of which contacted us to relay their offer to Derrick. Send some encouragement and good luck to @awitness2011 this week as he works these job interviews to his daily routine. We all hope that Derrick has good news to tweet by the end of the week!

Day 28

It’s been quite awhile since we initially mentioned Albert’s two transit tickets – or maybe it’s that so much has happened recently that two weeks feels like an eternity.

In any case we’re happy to announce that Chris from Australia offered to pay for Albert’s two tickets. Today, Willy and I went with Albert to the Metropolitan Transit Authority Adjudication Bureau in Brooklyn to pay for those tickets.

Needless to say Albert is relieved to have that weight off his shoulders. We’re not sure what problems Albert might have faced if the tickets went unpaid. See his response below.

Update: Albert has also quit smoking thanks to electronic cigarettes!