Agape Guru

This guy named Mark -- a musician, a pauper, a diabetic who refused to take insulin to “be a danger to himself” and keep his hospital bed, escaping the winter of 2012-13 in Catholic Charities style -- told me he saw a kid get his throat slit for hogging a basketball hoop. Mark said a felon lost to this kid in a game of H.O.R.S.E. and in a moment of rage decided jail beat the competition, slit his throat.

Mark had compelling stories, along the lines of Sean Carter's rhyme, “I've seen hoop dreams deflate like a true fiend's weight.” But Mark could not figure out how to package those stories, or handle the logistics that would pay for his bed. compiles the many disparate jobs, volunteer opportunities, free beds and shelter programs, places that serve a free bite. It's a kind of Angie's List for panhandlers, and for people who would like to help people like Mark find rooms where they can play their piano and maybe bring a little joy to someone else. The goal is to help redirect “hoop dreams” into more fulfilling games.

Local newspapers used to connect local contractors with local talent. Unfortunately Facebook and Twitter broke that business model, and replaced it with national memes, and stupidly curated advertising. For some reason this has lead to elite conversations about there being “no jobs.” But there are plenty of jobs to do.

Agape Guru seeks creative ways to connect distressed people with productive lifestyles and develop work skills. This domain has ambitions to help transform the way communities deal with crime and hungry wanderers, but the plan is still in nascent stages. The initial journalism to form the basis of this business idea is being published on