A TikTok creator says in a viral video that they were surprised to learn a local unhoused person attended the same college.
In the video posted last week, Lars (@blackqueerliberation) says that their class consciousness—or their awareness of their own class or status in society—was “unlocked” after learning that an unhoused person in their area attended the same college.
“We all have more in common with the unhoused than the ruling class,” Lars wrote.
On Monday, the video had almost 180,000 views on TikTok.
@blackqueerliberation We all have more in common with the unhoused than the ruling class. #classconsciousness #communism ♬ original sound – Lars (they/he)
Many commenters on Lars’ video said that their sentiment resonated with them—and that “everyone is closer to being on the street than they realize.”
“Degree or not,” one commenter wrote. “Most of us are a pay check or 2 away from being homeless.”
“You’re closer to being houseless than being a billionaire,” another said.
TikToks from unhoused people telling their stories have shifted public perception of homelessness in the last few years. Not only have unhoused people become more visible, but TikTokers who share the individual circumstances that left them without a home also combat the societal stigma surrounding homelessness.
“When it happens to you, you’re like, ‘Oh, wow, I actually get it now,’” Kyla Kelly, who shares videos of her life as a “working-class homeless person,” told the Daily Dot of homelessness in 2022. She and her husband still live in their car.
Other commenters on Lars’ said they’ve also been unhoused, temporarily or otherwise.
“I was homeless 2 weeks after graduating,” a commenter shared. “Both parents were in jail and we got evicted. Ppl judged me so harshly for being a victim of circumstance.”
“I was homeless in college and a summer,” another said. “Not fun.”
“It happened to me cause I lost my job that I just got and had no parents or savings to fall back on,” one user shared. “It’s so hard to get out of homelessness.”
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s 2023 State of Homelessness report, homelessness has been steadily “on the rise” for the last six years. And, just like anyone else, highly educated people can end up living on the streets.
The Daily Dot reached out to Lars via TikTok comment.