Celebrities Who Were Homeless Before They Became Famous

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Famous Celebrities Who Were Homeless

Homelessness affects so many people in this country and unfortunately it can happen to anyone at any time.  For those that are homeless or going through a hard time there is a sense of hopelessness because sometimes there’s no telling how they will be able to get out of it. There is also a sense of loneliness because these individuals feel as though they are on their own and they don’t have anyone they can talk to or can relate to them.  

The fact is, even celebrities have gone through homelessness—before and after the fame.  For those that are less fortunate that should be motivation to know that there is a come-up on the other side of the struggle, as long as they can push through.  We can’t all be rich and famous, but if it’s meant to be and you’re willing to put the time and effort in, than it is possible. 

These celebrities who were homeless worked their way up from their struggles with their talents. Here’s ten celebrities who were homeless that worked their through their struggle.

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Halle Berry

Yes, that Halle Berry!  The actress lived in a shelter in her early 20s, after moving to NYC to pursue her dreams of acting.  The move was as instantly successful as she imagined and she had to make ends meet.  It wasn’t long before she found her big break.

Steve Harvey

The comedian and in demand host was living out of his Ford Tempo for 3 year before doors began to open up for him.

Ella Fitzgerald

“The Queen of Jazz” was a homeless teen runaway before making it big.  You kids today might not know how amazing Ella Fitzgerald was, but she had to overcome a lot to get to where she was.

Michael Oher

The NFL athlete lived on the street before being adopted.  His mother battled drug addiction and didn’t make the best choices, sadly.  Oher, of course, inspired the book & movie, “The Blind Side.”  He is probably one of the more well known, former homeless celebrities.

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Chris Gardner

The millionaire businessman inspired the Will Smith film, “Pursuit of Happiness”. He lived on the street and in shelters with his son before getting an opportunity in finance. He now owns multiple companies.

Jennifer Lopez

The talented singer, actress, dancer slept on a sofa in a dance studio for months after moving out her mom’s house at 18 years-old because her mom didn’t want her to dance.  The leap of faith led to her gig on “In Living Color” and doors haven’t stopped opening for the Bronx native.

Tyler Perry

The director, actor, playwright is famous for Madea now, but he told Oprah his story of being homeless on and off for 6 months.  He lived in his car or in a “pay-by-week” hotel while trying to make ends meet.   When his play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed” became a hit things finally began to change for Perry.

Djimon Hounsou

The actor immigrated to France from Benin, a French speaking country in Africa, hoping to find work.  He was living on the streets in Paris until fate would land him modeling gigs.  He was discovered when he was randomly approached by an agent.

Steve Jobs

The CEO & founder of Apple didn’t have a dorm room.  He slept “on the floor in friends’ rooms, returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food, and would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna Temple.”

#StageShot #summerwhite

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The Detroit native  and successful R&B singer was homeless for years while dealing with a drug addiction.  He overcame it and has released four albums over the last few years.  His story is a true inspiration for those struggling with personal obstacles.

A$AP Rocky

The Harlem rapper spent 2 years living in shelters in NYC with his mother.  He is now a successful spokesman for brands, but his teen years were tough after his father was incarcerated.

Lil’ Kim

The Brooklyn native rapper was homeless during a couple periods in life.  Once at 8 years old with her mom and again as a teen.  Meeting The Notorious B.I.G helped her turn her life around for good!

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, there are more than 63,000 homeless people living in shelters in New York City alone, as of November 2017.  Of those people, 3 out of 4 of those that are homeless are entire families with 23,694 homeless children.  
Over 45,000 different homeless children spent the night in a shelter at some point in 2017.   

Unfortunately, homelessness is just another of the world’s ills that affects African-Americans and Latinos at an incredibly higher rate than any other ethnic groups.  Approximately 58 percent of New York City homeless shelter residents are African-American and 31 percent are Latino.

Nationally, according to a report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, on a single night in January 2015, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness—meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.  In a single night in California in 2016, 21.48% of the population experienced homelessness.  That’s over 100,000 people to just put things in perspective.

All that to say, have some compassion.


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