In a viral video circulating TikTok, a creator who goes by Cj, @cjcohn on the app, posts a shocking video where he reveals that a homeless camp had been lit on fire. With 51 thousand likes and over one thousand comments, many were concerned and horrified that someone would light a homeless person’s tent on fire. According to the TikToker’s caption, this took place in Portland, Oregon, and is unfortunately not an isolated event. According to the New York City Department of Homeless Services, “the number of homeless people killed in NYC has increased by 300% since 2018.” And, even more concerning, the attack on homeless people by lighting them on fire has been reported before.
Portland Oregon 😔
Unsurprisingly, many of the commenters were disgusted that someone would do this and heartbroken for the man who did not even realize his camp was on fire. Even if the man would have been left unscathed, many noted that he obviously does not have much, and this was the destruction of his property and ruining of what he uses for shelter. One person wrote “What is wrong with people?! The guy is already struggling n it’s cold. That’s heartless. Glad you caught it on time.” Others shared the sentiment that this was, unfortunately, a common thing that happened, with one person saying “People be running around setting homeless tents on fire. You probably saved their life.”
Reply to @chrisfischer43 Portland is wild
While some wondered what would possess someone to do this to another person, some believe that those without a house are “ruining” the streets and are “getting what they deserve” when it comes to ruining their tents and setting them on fire. This hatred and lack of empathy for those who are unhoused are what causes people to do things violent against them, and even some in the comments were sharing this anti-homeless sentiment.
Many were grateful that Ej got there in time and was able to put the fire out before it got too out of hand, but the video still raised concern and awareness surrounding the incident. Homeless people already have to worry about enough, especially when it comes to surviving the streets, but now this is an added concern they might have to look out for, which is upsetting.