LA’s people walker is beating loneliness, one step at a time 洛杉磯的遛人師戰勝寂寞,一步一腳印





Chuck McCarthy’s walking service provides fresh air, exercise and companionship for $30 an hour but peeing on trees is an absolute no-no.



The Los Angeles-based entrepreneur works with humans, not animals, and is striking a blow for health and social inclusion as the founder of the city’s first people-walking business.



"I was thinking about becoming a dog walker. But I’ve never had a dog in the city," McCarthy said. "I was also seeing a lot of personal trainer ads. And so I said to my girlfriend, ’Maybe I’ll just become a people walker.’"



McCarthy was joking but the more he thought about it, the more he realized there was a need for the kind of comradeship he could provide.



The People Walker started as a one-man operation two years ago. But demand was so high that McCarthy now has a roster of 35 walkers, and a website where people can choose routes and walking partners.



It’s not that people have fewer friends, say experts, but rather that the "gig economy" has produced a generation of freelancers with none of the routines or social bonds that traditionally connected workers.



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