Honda Civic

I’m living in my car to beat the housing crisis — here’s how I blend in

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.

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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. [1]

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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. 

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Read: Homeless People Can Now Move Into $15K Tiny Homes

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@nikitacrump

Yeah, I’m homeless, & sometimes I’m road tripping away from any of my gym locations/sometimes a pandemic happens & my gym closes #quarantine #homeless

♬ Hit It – Yung Skrrt

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.

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@nikitacrump

It took me a long time, but I’m finally showing you how I find places to park & stay the night. 🤙🏽 #iliveinmycar #hotelcivic #howto #faq #nightroutine #carlife #homeless #civic #hotelprius #livinginacar

♬ original sound – Nikita Crump

Another video showed how she finds a new spot to park every night. Her plan includes using Google Maps’ satellite view to seek out “nice neighborhoods” or residential streets with big houses and pools. Then she zooms in to see how many cars are already parked there. At night, she drives there to see it for herself. With her clean Honda Civic, she blends in and can sleep undisturbed. Other times, she sleeps in parking lots.

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A Day in the Life

A typical day begins with removing her window covers and folding up her bedding. Then she goes to Planet Fitness to shower and brush her teeth. Back in her car, she attaches a black tray to her steering wheel, which becomes her table. In one video, she eats canned fruits, and peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Sometimes, she orders a sandwich from Subway. And she does laundry at a laundromat, taking care to fold her clothes there since it’ll be a difficult task to do inside a small car.

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Since she keeps all of her worldly possessions in her Honda Civic, she works to keep the space organized using storage containers. She uses portable charging devices for her phone and laptop. “I’ve been homeless by definition most of my adult life,” she said. “I’ve even lived in my car before, briefly. So I’m not that unfamiliar with being in uncomfortable situations and being homeless.” So cutting out rent wasn’t an absurd idea to her. Plus, she always enjoyed facing new challenges and new experiences. As a result, she went from a housing crisis to affording a happier life for herself.

Keep Reading: World’s Richest Man Elon Musk Says He’s Homeless And ‘Rotates’ Among Friends’ Houses

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Sources

  1. “My story.Nikita Crump
  2. “I’m living in my car to beat the housing crisis — here’s how I blend in.” New York Post. Zachary Kussin. August 1, 2022
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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