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Celebrities Who Used to Be Homeless, Live in Cars

(Last Updated On: September 25, 2017)

Homelessness is an unfortunate epidemic affecting more than 560,000 people in the United States, according to a 2016 report by the Homelessness Research Institute. It can happen to anyone: you, a family member, your neighbor—or even the famous faces you see on television and movie screens. Still, there are dozens of resources and organizations—from Volunteers of America to End Homelessness—that you can help in the fight to end homelessness.

And though it may be surprising to learn that stars such as Bella Thorne, Chris Pratt, and Jennifer Lopez once had to scrounge for food or sleep in their cars, their tales shouldn’t be sob stories, but rather beacons of hope that things get better. Ahead, take a look at 10 celebrities who, at one point in their lives, were homeless.

Bella Thorne with ombre green hair at the 2016 American Music Awards

Bella Thorne

Before finding her big break on Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up,” Bella Thorne and her family struggled hard financially, and, at one point, were almost homeless. To keep her family off the streets, Thorne, who admitted that she and her family were living off Stouffer’s coupons, auditioned for “Shake It Up,” a show she had no interest in, considering she was neither a singer nor a dancer.

“We were about to live physically on the street if I didn’t have that role,” Thorne told MTV. “We were living off Stouffer’s coupons, and that’s all we had to eat every day. That may not sound like a big deal to everybody, but when you’re a single mom raising four kids with debt and you have nothing to your name, it’s fucking shitty.”

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Halle Berry with natural curly hair at the 2017 Oscars

Halle Berry

After moving to Chicago to pursue an acting career, Halle Berry found herself homeless after her savings dried up and her parents refused to send her more cash. That was when Berry began staying in homeless shelters, an experience she thanks for toughening her up. “It taught me how to take care of myself and that I could live through any situation, even if it meant going to a shelter for a small stint, or living within my means, which were meager. I became a person who knows that I will always make my own way,” she told Star Pulse.

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Jennifer Lopez Beauty

Jennifer Lopez

When she turned 18, Jennifer Lopez and her mom fought about her future, according to W magazine. Lopez had aspirations of becoming a dancer, while her mom wanted her to go to college. Reaching a standstill in their negotiation, Lopez left her home to pursue a dance career. She spent her first few weeks sleeping on a couch in a dance studio before landing a dancing job in Europe and eventually, her big break as a Fly Girl for “In Living Color.”

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Chris Pratt Style at the Oscars

Chris Pratt

Before Chris Pratt became a household name as part of the “Jurassic World” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchises, he was living out of his van in Hawaii. In fact, Pratt was living in that same van when he was cast in the film “Cursed Part 3,” the launching pad for his career.

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Daniel Craig style at 'Spectre' premiere

Daniel Craig

Before becoming synonymous with James Bond and the 007 franchise, Daniel Craig was homeless for a time. When he was starting out as a struggling actor, Craig would sleep on park benches because he couldn’t afford housing, according to Hollyscoop.

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Hilary Swank with slightly wavy hair at 2016 Vanity Fair Oscars party

Hilary Swank

When she was a teenager, Hilary Swank moved to Los Angeles with her mom to pursue acting, according to TIME. Not having a lot of money, Swank and her mom were forced to live out of their car until they moved to an empty house, which they stayed in for a few months.

“We had a friend who was selling their house,” Swank told CBS News. “And so they said, ‘You know, there’s no furniture, but you can stay there at night. And then, during the day, you have to leave so we can try and sell it.’ So we got air mattresses. Blew the air mattresses up. Slept on the air mattresses. And left in the morning.”

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Jewel Hair

Jewel

At 18, when Jewel was starting her singing career, she was fired from her job because she refused to sleep with her boss. Soon after, she was kicked out of where she was living for failing to pay rent. The singer was homeless for a month, struggling to find a job because of poor health, before her music career took off. “People treated me like I was contagious. They thought the homelessness might spread to them,” Jewel said in 2017.

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Jim Carrey Style

Jim Carrey

As a teenager, Jim Carrey dropped out high school and lived with his family in a Volkswagen bus, which his parents drove and parked at different spots around Canada. Carrey eventually moved out into a tent on the lawn of his older sister’s house and kept the bus in her driveway. The comedian has cited the time as a defining experience that influenced his sense of humor.

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Stylevester Stallone Style

Sylvester Stallone

Before breaking onto the Hollywood scene with the “Rocky” franchise, Sylvester Stallone was homeless and was forced to sell his dog for $50. However, a week after selling his dog, Stallone had his big break. He sold his script for “Rocky” and became financially stable again. He reportedly bought back his dog for $3,000.

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Taylor Kitsch Hair

Taylor Kitsch

In an interview with Us Weekly, Taylor Kitsch revealed that he was homeless when he first began acting in New York City. He admitted he used to sleep on the subway before moving to an apartment with no electricity and furniture, which forced him to steal candles and cooking supplies, and sleep on blow-up mattress. “It was a blue train from downtown all the way up to 182nd and at night they’d change, they’d take longer, A, C or E,” he said of his experience sleeping on the subway.

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