SoCal TikTok influencer working with followers to get homeless family off streets

Shayla Girardin Image
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
SoCal TikTok influencer helping get homeless family off streets
A SoCal homeless man with three young sons who were living in their van is off the streets thanks to the efforts of a TikTok influencer.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A TikTok influencer with over 3 million followers is using her platform to help a local homeless man and his three young children.

They were sleeping in their van, suffering during the searing heat of summer.

Jackie Gansky met Hugh and his three sons a week ago. She spotted them while she was visiting a park in West Hollywood and observed how they were struggling in the summer heat.

"I said why don't I get you a motel for a few nights and maybe we can make a fundraiser page and get the community to come together," she recalled.

Hugh says the family has been homeless for seven months now.

"It was excruciating," Hugh said. "The babies, they were stressed. ... We were suffering a lot."

Hugh would stay awake at night to watch over his children and would see the boys wake up with bloody noses from the heat.

Jackie and her friend Anna Noel Olson helped the family get a room and they set up a GoFundMe page.

"Today it feels like a miracle," Hugh said. "It's like a miracle because last week we were suffering."

The account has since raised more than $60,000 - and they're aiming for $150,000.

"Most of the donations have been just $5 to $10. So your daily Starbucks," Olson said. "Or just taking a little bit of money to give to a good cause. We also ask anyone who is a little more blessed or fortunate to donate what they can. But every little penny matters."

Now they're setting their sights on the future - working to get Hugh a job and get the family into an apartment.

"The goal is to set them up long term so then they don't have to be out on the streets looking for money," Jackie said.

Thanks to the donations the family is moving into an Airbnb for the foreseeable future.

"We know it's going to be alright eventually because if you do good it comes back to you," Hugh said. "I tell my kids to think good and try to do good. And stay happy, stay joyful."