16 April 2024

Woman Who Spent 3 Hours Pretending To Be Homeless Says She Now Believes ‘Homelessness Is A Choice’

3 min read

Is it really just a choice to be homeless? Well, according to two influencers, Sam Rossi and Mandy Lyttle, it is.

They’ve ignited controversy on the video-sharing app TikTok after sharing their radical views on homelessness, claiming it to be a matter of personal choice. One TikTok user, Murph, shared a series of snippets of their videos to expose their unconventional outlook. 

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After spending three hours pretending to be homeless, she now believes ‘homelessness is a choice.’

“If you’re homeless, you’re there by choice. 100%. Having that experience just the way that I chose to go experience that by choice… it’s just the only difference is the stories that you’re telling yourself,” Lyttle said.

In her worldview, homelessness is simply another life experience that is completely optional. Lyttle elaborated that people can either choose to experience it or craft a series of “BS stories” that seem to force them into that experience, but even then, it remains a choice. 

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Murph highlighted this controversy, drawing attention to their contentious beliefs, and the fact that both Rossi and Lyttle are profiting from a questionable business venture.

“Some of you may have gone to her profile, might have thought a lot of her videos were clickbait… I’ve done some digging, and I’ve found out that there’s much more than meets the eye here,” Murph said.

Rossi, on the other hand, further deepened the controversy by suggesting that individuals should panhandle if they believe money is hard to earn. “If you still insist that money is hard to make, go stand on a corner with a sign that says, ‘I need help.’ You’ll learn very quickly that you can receive money doing absolutely nothing,” she said.

By doing this, Rossi insinuates that one can prove to themselves that making money requires no effort. She justified her claim by recounting her own experience of earning $50 merely by holding a sign on a street corner with her friends.

In subsequent videos, she continued her contentious arguments, claiming, “Homeless people are wealthier than you… Have you ever given money to a homeless person just because they were there?… Infinite examples of people getting money for nothing.”

Rossi’s views went further off the beaten path when she stated that this “effortless” way of receiving money was the secret behind her retirement at 27, and the lavish lifestyle she leads. “I used to work really hard, struggle for money, be broke, all that s–t, and now I live like a literal queen,” she said.

Conveniently, both Rossi and Lyttle are part of a get-rich-quick scheme. 

They market their program, called “Phase 2.0,” on their respective TikTok accounts. A big selling point, similar to many scams like this, is that it’s extremely easy to make significant amounts of money.

So, sending them $22 for a book or $44 for a monthly subscription doesn’t seem like much once they “teach” you how to amass a lot of wealth very quickly.

But is there truth to their claim that panhandling is an easy way to make a good amount of money? According to a 2007 study, the average panhandler makes between $200 and $300 per month, which was and still is well below the minimum wage.

The reasons for homelessness are numerous, and it can be insensitive to say that it is optional. It’s clear that the conversations surrounding this topic need a more empathetic and informed approach, rather than blaming unhoused individuals for their living situations.

Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.