Adam Lippin is the founder of a peer emotional support app called HearMe. Lippin was inspired to create this app because of his own experience dealing with addiction and loneliness. He remembers growing up in New York as a gay man during the AIDS crisis and watching his peers “become so lonely.” Reflecting now, he realizes that he’s wanted to find a way to help people connect since that experience — his ultimate goal being that he wants everyone to have a person in the world that they can talk to when they need or want to. HearMe, Lippin believes, is the technological answer to that. People are responding, in kind. The app launched about six months ago but has seen an upwelling in downloads since people across the country began to socially distance in response to COVID-19. As of now, you choose a listener based on a category. Those are various subjects to talk about — subjects like “relationships” or “LGBT” identity. So people who feel skilled, or feel like they have more lived experiences, in one of those particular categories can sign up to specifically participate in relation to those subjects.