Story at a glance

  • Romana Peet has been homeless since December 2017 when she lost her rental home in California’s Thomas Fire.
  • Peet’s story was featured on the YouTube channel Invisible People, which highlights people struggling with homelessness.
  • Her GoFundMe has since raised more than $19,000.

A community has rallied behind a homeless California woman after her story went viral on YouTube.

Romana Peet, a 48-year-old woman who has a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in industrial engineering, became homeless in December 2017 when her rental home was destroyed by the Thomas Fire.


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Months after losing her home, her boyfriend died unexpectedly, leaving her unable to secure FEMA and Red Cross funds for the fire because his name was on a majority of the housing documents.

Peet then made her way to Los Angeles, living out of her car with her dog Johnnie until he died in 2019. She lost her car soon after.

"I was one of the fire victims who slipped through the cracks," Peet wrote on her GoFundMe. "I need some help getting back on my feet."

Peet’s story recently went viral after she appeared in a video for the YouTube channel Invisible People, which highlights and offers aid to people struggling in the homelessness crisis. 

In Los Angeles County, more than 66,000 people are homeless.

Peet is currently living in a tent in Westminster Park and is receiving mental health and substance abuse aid.

Since her story has spread online, Peet has raised more than $19,000 on her GoFundMe, which she said will be used to pay rent and utilities to help her get back on her feet as she searches for a job.

"We plan to use any donations received to pay for housing; healthy, healing foods; utility bills; possibly a little doggie if we are lucky," Peet said. "We should be able to stabilize during that time and become self-sufficient, productive members of society."


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Published on May 07, 2021