After years of struggling to pay rent amidst the housing crisis, Nikita Crump threw in the towel and moved into her Honda Civic. She documented her journey online and garnered over a million followers on TikTok, where she shows her unique routine and gives advice to other people in her situation.
Beating the Housing Crisis by Moving Into Her Car
Before she moved into her car, Nikita Crump worked full-time at T.J.Maxx and was “hardly making enough money to survive,” she wrote on her website. She begged her manager for more hours and training to earn the never-coming promotion; meanwhile, she was forced to pay rent late, eat cheap packs of ramen on the regular, and sometimes not having enough money to eat at all. She had enough of struggling to survive every day. So she moved into her Honda Civic on October 31, 2019. She got another job working with butterflies and eventually quit T.J.Maxx.
Not many people knew about her move, and the few that did weren’t very supportive. Still, Crump was confident about her decision. The stress of paying rent had vanished and she hadn’t realized how much of a burden it was. “I started to feel happier and more free all around. I documented updates on my YouTube, where I had just 69 subscribers at the time,” she explained. She created a plan where she would do laundry, shower, and park overnight, and how she would organize her car and spend her free time. 
She made her first TikTok on July 3, 2020. It was a simple 14-second clip of her washing her hair in the bathroom at work. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, she couldn’t shower at the gym.
“Nobody knows I’m in here.”
She wasn’t well-acquainted with TikTok at the time but her videos went viral quickly. Eventually, she was able to quit her job with butterflies and make online content full-time on Youtube and TikTok. Now, she is working on renovating a van to become her new home. She also does a lot of traveling and camping, the best advantage of living in a mobile home.
Her videos show the ins and outs of her life and provide advice to those also affected by the housing crisis. For instance, one video displays the window covers she made herself. One side has black fabric which presses against the glass while the other side has reflective and insulated material. They provide her with stealth and safety, as they hide her while she sleeps. “It’s totally inconspicuous,” she says in the clip. “Nobody knows I’m in here.”