Woman Who Has Lived On The Streets Since She Was 4 Years Old Bravely Smiles While She Explains Her Story

Now, many people are asking how they can help her.

homeless woman, portland, smile @examiningportlandz2r / TikTok 

A woman is detailing her traumatic and heartbreaking childhood beginning when her mother abandoned her when she was just four years old and somehow, manages to smile through the entire recap. 

The woman, who has been living on the streets for most of her life, explains how she was neglected by her parents, got involved with drugs when she was just a child, and reveals her hopes and dreams moving forward. 


The homeless woman shares that she was abandoned by her mother when she was just 4 years old. 

A series of TikTok videos posted by user @examiningportlandz2r depicts a woman wearing a black beanie over her head in a blue sweater as she is being interviewed by a man behind the camera. According to the woman, who smiles warmly at the camera, her name is Brittany and she is originally from Utah. 

When the interviewer asks her if she grew up with both of her parents, Brittany replies, “No.” According to her, she was looked after by someone who was not her biological parent and did not “necessarily adopt” her.


“I just basically grew up by myself,” Brittany tells the interviewer when he asks her if she was adopted or placed in foster care. Her mother reportedly abandoned her when she was just four years old. When the interviewer tells Brittany that he is “sorry to hear that,” she smiles at him and replies, “It’s okay!” 



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While Brittany shares that she did manage to graduate high school and was on the drill team, she describes her childhood as “lonely.” 

At just five years old, Brittany was first introduced to drugs while she was among of group of adults smoking a joint of marijuana and passing it around to one another. 




After graduating high school, Brittany was interested in becoming a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), but dropped out of her training program before she could take the state certification exam. 

Afterward, she picked up a ride from someone and wound up hitchhiking from Utah to Portland, Oregon. Brittany admits that she “does not like” Portland very much, and hopes to one day make it to California. 

Brittany plans on finding housing and getting a job in the future. 

As of right now, Brittany reports that she is sober and that she is currently attempting to find housing through TPI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to acquiring and managing “affordable, multifamily properties that provide decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing to very low, low, and moderate-income families.” 


Brittany seeks the help of TPI each morning, but so far has had no luck finding housing. 

“I would like to get a job and get off the streets for sure,” she says when asked about her plans for the future. 



Brittany offers viewers one final piece of advice for viewers. “Be weather smart, and if shoes are uncomfortable for you the first time, just don’t wear them.” 


The interviewer thanks Brittany for her time. 

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TikTok users were shattered by Brittany’s heartbreaking story. 

“She has the sweetest face. my heart aches to watch this. I want to find her and keep her safe forever,” one user commented. 

“She just broke my heart, she’s so sweet,” another user wrote. 

Other users praised her ability to maintain her beautiful smile despite her pain and struggles. 

“How does her light still shine so bright?! What a warrior,” one user noted. “That human is so beautiful. The kindness of her despite humanity failing her,” another pointed out. 


People want to know how they could help Brittany and others like her who are living on the streets. 

There are various ways one can assist the homeless in their areas. They can donate food and blankets to homeless shelters, advocate for affordable and supportive housing, and volunteer with homeless aid groups

In Portland, Blanchet House is a non-profit organization that offers “food, clothes, and community” to anyone who enters their doors. 

According to their website, Blanchet House is “on a mission to alleviate suffering and offer hope for a better life by serving essential aid with dignity.” 


Portland residents can get involved with the organization by making sack lunches, medical care kits, donating new and used clothing, etc. 

If you are ever walking through the streets and come across someone like Brittany who is clearly struggling, offering them a bright smile and a conversation just like hers, goes longer than you may think. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.