Akram Mohsin, who manages his family’s business, Tower Gas and Mini Mart, could easily have treated the transients who live nearby or are his customers as a nuisance.
Instead, he took to popular app TikTok to highlight their quirks, their talents, their joys, likes and dislikes – most importantly, to emphasize their humanity.
His videos, which depict them as lovable neighbors, almost like family, have touched hearts everywhere, garnering millions of views.
Donations, gifts, food, and notes with kind words for the people he films have begun pouring in from across America, and Mohsin often shows the reactions of the transients who receive them.
One video in particular, showing a man named Phil reading the notes sent to him, gained him a fan following.
“What made him really popular and what they really loved is that he read every single note, gave it a kiss, and tucked it away in his pocket. He saves them,” says Mohsin.
Another showing a man named Lloyd singing ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ for Mohsin – and a spellbound TikTok audience – prompted many requests for repeat performances.
Mohsin says it’s a side of the homeless, and of Fresno, that most people in the country don’t always get to see.
“Around the world, Fresno is known to be a rough area. But on my TikTok I don’t try and exploit anything. I just try and show the brighter side of it, put a good rep out for Fresno,” he says.
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