By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A local woman with a graduate degree in engineering who once had a career in data analytics is shining light on the homeless crisis in Los Angeles County.

Romana Peet, 48, said she holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley. In the past, she has worked as a statistician.

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Her current home is a tent pitched at Westminster Park. She has been homeless since 2017.

“I mean, I never even envisioned myself living outside before,” said Peet.

Her story is now gaining a lot of attention online after it was shared on YouTube.

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When the home she was renting in Ojai, California burned in the Thomas Fire, she and her boyfriend were distraught.

After her boyfriend passed away, leaving much of what they owned still in his name, she could not get much help after the fire.

“I was just lonely and depressed and it was a weird crossroads,” she said Sunday.

Peet said she has dealt with mental health and substance abuse problems but has undergone programs for both.

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She started a GoFundMe to raise money for housing and utilities so she can get back to work. As of Sunday, she had raised nearly $14,000.