Many states have a StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology) program. Oregon, for example has a website here: http://www.strut.org/. You can donate used computer equipment and students learn how to put it together and place computers in the classroom or students' homes. That's how I got my start in technology. It's a great cause.
Oregon State University now offers an online, one-year, computer science degree. The only requirement is that you have ANY bachelor's degree. This sounds perfect for this "friend." Do the time and work and you'll be employable by any company that wants to hire a CS grad. Reference: http://eecs.oregonstate.edu/new-online-post-baccalaureate-computer-science-degree
The subject is the title of a book I just finished reading. Being a programmer myself, it has opened my eyes to a WIDE array of possibilities and is causing me to dream big! Get yourself a copy from the library or have a cup of coffee at Borders and read it over the next week or so and you will learn how to take your skills to ANY industry and apply yourself to get the position you love.