Elderly Woman Working In A Grocery Store Reveals She’s Homeless & Sleeping On The Ground — ‘Life Shouldn’t Be This Hard’

Thankfully, her life is about to change.

elderly grocery store employee standing in front of produce pikselstock / Shutterstock

We live in a world that is full of heartache. Everyone has something they’re going through. 

Sadly, the economy has made hardship and financial desperation much more common. This was the unfortunate truth for an elderly grocery store employee.

A man stumbled upon an elderly grocery store worker who was homeless and sleeping on the ground every night.

TikToker Charlie Rocket visited a nearby Kroger one day to find a heartbreaking scene.

@charlie Link in bio to donate 🥹 We talked to miss Sonja for an hour and she said it was okay for our foundation to launch her a fundraiser. 100% of the donations go directly to her 🙏🏻❤️ #elderly #homeless #fypp #kindness ♬ What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture "Barbie"] - Billie Eilish

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“I saw this elderly woman working at Kroger,” he said in a video. “The manager told me she’s living in a homeless shelter. Life shouldn’t be this hard. Let’s help her out.”

In a subsequent video, Rocket asked the woman, Sonja, some simple questions to get to know her better. Her answers were heart-wrenching.

“Can you tell me what your dream is in life?” he asked her.

“My dream?” she responded, thinking. “I need some housing. Affordable housing. I’m staying at the women’s shelter.”

Rocket followed that up with, “What is something you’re praying for?”

Sonja simply said, “Strength.”

“How do you get between here and the shelter?” he asked.


Sonja’s answer to this question was equally sad. “I walk down the street. I take my time because, you know, it’s hot out there,” she told him.

“How long have you been in the shelter?” he asked as his final question.

“Well, this is the third trip,” Sonja replied, explaining she had been in the shelter before.

woman grocery shopping in produce section Greta Hoffman / Pexels


Rocket ended his video with a short plea to viewers.

“Sonja’s an elderly lady I met yesterday at Kroger,” he said. “She told me that, at the homeless shelter, she has to sleep on the floor, on a little mat.”

Rocket explained that he wanted to help Sonja. “Affordable housing in Nashville is about $1,000 a month. Let’s try to raise enough money to get her housing for at least a year,” he concluded.

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Luckily, Rocket is in a unique situation to help people like Sonja.

Rocket wasn’t just any average person off the street who walked into Kroger that day. He’s a philanthropist and the creator of the nonprofit The Dream Machine.


According to The Dream Machine’s website, Rocket hit “rock bottom” when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Despite his medical challenges, he held on to his dream of becoming an athlete.

@charlie Link in bio to donate. My heart broke to pieces when she told me she was sleeping on the floor some nights at the homeless shelter 💔😔 Miss Sonja needs our help! Let’s get her into a house and retire her 🙏🏻 #elderly #fypp #viral #homeless ♬ To Build A Home - Slowed + Reverb - The Cinematic Orchestra

“Over the course of the next 12 months, he ran four marathons, completed an ironman, lost 125 pounds and reversed his brain tumor,” his bio noted. “His dream saved his life, and he is now dedicating the rest of his life to making dreams come true for others in need of a miracle.”

Through The Dream Machine, Rocket helps others who feel like they are at “rock bottom” achieve their dreams and get the help they need.


He has started a fundraiser to help Sonja. So far, $60,219 has been raised, with the goal of $70,000.

Homelessness is a major problem in the United States.

It’s not difficult to tell that homelessness has become an epidemic nationwide and globally. Far too many people don’t have a place to call home.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Point-In-Time Count for January 2022 found that 582,462 people were homeless in the U.S. That comes out to roughly 18 out of every 10,000 people.


Thanks to the current economy, inflation, and the housing crises, those numbers are only growing.

cardboard sign that reads "homeless and hungry" MART PRODUCTION / Shutterstock

These statistics are heartbreaking and show that Sonja is far from the only person in this situation.

However, thanks to Rocket and the kindness of strangers, Sonja’s life will improve. He initially wanted to raise enough money for her to be able to afford housing in Nashville for a year. Instead, he has raised enough money for her to pay for affordable housing for five years, and the number continues to grow.


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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.