marc roth

marc roth bw

[san fran]

intro’d to Marc via this article:

marc roth article

How did he move out of the shelter and into TechShop?

One wintery morning in 2011, Roth awoke after a rough night in a homeless shelter in San Francisco.

It was Christmas, and Roth was determined to make a change for the sake of his two kids living with their mother in Las Vegas. He had originally relocated to San Francisco to build a better life for his family, but had developed nerve damage and a condition called Meralgia Paresthetica from standing for hours on end at a pizza restaurant. This condition left him with medical bills so steep, he was soon unable to pay rent and return to his job, and he found himself on the street.

When he spotted a business card for TechShop in the shelter’s garbage bin, it seemed like a sign. Intrigued, he fished it out.

TechShop, a membership-based do-it-yourself workshop, provides tools, equipment, and classes for the community. The San Francisco venue is one of the hubs of the burgeoning “maker movement,” the trend to employ DIY techniques to develop unique technology products.

A maker, remade

Fast forward a few years to spring 2013. Roth is now an entrepreneur with a funded laser company. He threw himself into design with such gusto that he’s an Autodesk instructor, consults for LeapMotion, and teaches seven classes at TechShop.

Most importantly to him, Roth still regularly interfaces with the local homeless. He’s a living testament that the right program can make all the difference.

His dream is to build his own version of TechShop called “the Learning Shelter” that specifically caters to the homeless. He envisions a venue with shower facilities (a desperate need in the city), accommodation at a nearby church, computers, equipment, 3D printers, and an openness to any and all ideas. He claims to be already in the early stages of discussions with Autodesk about potentially donating computers.


and the beat goes on…. (very cool):

The Learning Shelter – IndieGoGo Launch Party

learning shelter


n San Francisco, data on homelessness suggest that there are from 7,000 – 13,000 homeless living in this city at any time. All great impact starts with successful prototyping and then scales.

March – May 2014 will see 4 participants in 90 days go from homeless to hacker following in the footsteps of Marc Roth (follow link to see personal story) who managed to bootstrap a new life for himself and his family in San Francisco’s hottest tech learning environment, TechShop SoMa (a maker space where anyone can buy a membership and learn/work on anything from basic sewing, to CNC machining). As a reach back and out of gratitude Marc conceptualized a place built to produce success through training, mentorship, and community. With the help of numerous partners and the Mayor of San Francisco’s amazing workforce development team, it is now coming to fruition….



july 2014:


more on maker/hacker spaces

Mark Harvoth

Leo Grand


this isn’t (doesn’t need to be ) rare.

imagine – facilitating authenticity…

finding all the geniuses inside.. waiting to be seen/heard/loved.


jack et al

and imagine if we called – facilitating curiosity – school – in the city – as the day?

7 billion such researchers/entrepreneurs/happy people.. no?