Man talking and holding shirt(three split)


‘They 100% thought you were homeless’: Store gives shopper free stuff because they assumed he was unhoused. He isn’t

'I don't know if that's a win or a loss.'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Nov 29, 2023   Updated on Nov 29, 2023, 8:37 am CST

A man recently discovered a new life hack—if you look homeless, people will give you free stuff—but he’s unsure if it’s a good or bad thing.

Wondering if he should be thrilled or upset, TikToker Nathan Martinelli (@travelvlogupdate) posted a video to ask whether it was a “win or a loss.” The video has received over 352,000 views as of publication.

“All right, so I was just at a thrift store, and I wanted this shirt,” Nathan began. “It’s like a single stitch vintage shirt, and I don’t know if it’s that I look super rough right now, but they were like, ‘Just take it. It’s free. It’s on us, OK.'”

Nathan paused before continuing, “But I think it’s because they thought I was homeless. And I don’t know if that’s a win or a loss.”

Most commenters called it a win.

“Definitely a win, just keep paying it forward,” a viewer wrote.

“Happens to my bro all the time he gets free food if he goes in and orders at the counter lol,” a second added.

“A win today lol,” a third responded.

Nathan replied: “I’ll take the small wins.”

Some chimed in on the question of whether he got the shirt because the worker assumed he was unhoused.

“I [work] at a thrift and they definitely thought you were homeless,” one said.

“One time a homeless man gave Me a banana, guess I looked hungry,” a second shared.

@travelvlogupdate The stuff that happens when you thrift. #funny #thrift #thrifting #secondhand #win #loss #beard ♬ Otra Vez – ProdMarvin

Though Nathan’s story has a happy ending, homelessness is growing in the United States. Currently, there are 582,462 unhoused individuals in 2023, an increase of 2,000 since the last census.

Homelessness has been rising by 6% annually since 2017, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

California has fared the worst, with 30% of all unhoused people in the U.S. In an effort to combat the epidemic, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has introduced a plan to eliminate street homelessness by 2026.

The Daily Dot reached out to Nathan via TikTok comments for further information.

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*First Published: Nov 29, 2023, 10:30 pm CST