Sometimes the internet is like a great big community. One that supports its members who are in need of help.Aaliyah (@oc.liyahh) revealed her struggles of working full-time, without a home of her own, in a heartfelt TikTok video. Little did she know that sharing her story would lead to not only sincere support from total strangers online, but some actual solutions for her problem.
As a full-time employee at Home Depot, Aaliyah worked eight-hour shifts, five days a week. But once she clocked out, it didn’t get much easier.
Having only her car for shelter, Aaliyah would have to use facilities like Planet Fitness to take a shower, only occasionally being able to afford a night in a hotel. With those kinds of challenges, it’s perfectly understandable she admitted to always being tired and “barely ever smiling.”
Aaliyah’s clip soon went viral with more than 5 million views, and though there were some accusations of Aaliyah “faking it,” the overall response was incredibly supportive. Some even came out to share similar experiences.
“I used to sleep in my car and take showers at the gym also and worked two jobs and barely slept,” one person wrote, encouraging her with, “now I own a small business, my house and two vehicles.”
Another added, “keep at it. I was homeless…I would shower at friends’ houses and ride a bike to work. Now I got my own place and car.”
It does help to hear how others have overcome obstacles you’re currently facing, but Aaliyah received even more reason to remain hopeful.
Unbeknown to her, Aaliyah’s very workplace could provide assistance. Many TikTok users informed her of the Homer Fund, a grant program that provides financial assistance to employees facing hardship. According to the company website, more than 150,000 associates have already been helped.
In a series of follow up videos, we find out that Aaliyah did reach out to the Homer Fund, and received not only emergency funding to get a hotel, but permanent housing as well.
This young woman went from “barely being able to smile” to dancing and feeling “beyond grateful.”
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