A son of Vietnamese immigrants, previously living in a shelter for the homeless, is now earning a six-figure salary after he developed an application to help others like him.
It all started off when Preston Phan, 29, quit his job at Boeing and moved from Seattle to San Francisco hoping to get employed at a technology company. But, things didn't go according to the young man's plans, and owing to a lack of money and resources, Phan was left with no choice but to stay at shelters.
He then took up a job as a security monitor and took coding lessons whenever he had extra time on his hands. Phan, who often had problems finding a bed at a nearby shelter, then came up with the idea of developing an app to help others like him.
"I was doing store protection, like protecting their assets, and the people I often got were homeless people that I would have to lie down and sleep next to, so that was kind of like an awkward thing," Phan recalls.
Using his technical skills and already having deep insight of the problem, the 29-year-old then started putting together an application to help homeless people locate the nearest bed.
"I started developing an application where you can make the bed reservation through your phone and walk to the nearest location," he said while speaking to SF Gate.
He then shared his work with the local Homeless Coordinating Board, but unfortunately nobody thought much of his idea.
But Phan had a clear goal in mind, kept at his coding classes and continued on the same path undeterred and one day he came across a representative from LinkedIn.
Upon sharing his ideas, Phan was immediately offered a job that would pay him a six-figure salary of $115,000 per year.
Now, although he wants to continue his work at the social media company, Phan wishes to pursue his project of helping the homeless.
"I do want to come back to the app. I feel like that [City Hall] rebuttal just wasn't really thought through. It would help people immensely. It would help them get back on their feet," says Phan.