Halsey spoke at the Ending Youth Homelessness: A Benefit for My Friend’s Place Gala on Saturday in L.A., and talked about how she was homeless when she was 19. And when she was homeless, she considered doing what sadly many homeless teens have to do to survive: turning tricks.
E! News says that shit got real for a 19-year-old Halsey (born name: Ashley Nicolette Frangipane) after she was kicked out of her house and ended up living on the streets. She gave a speech at the gala all about how important it is that we take care of homeless people–detailing her own experiences of a life without a home just five years ago. Her parents had kicked her out after she dropped out of community college and she ended up on some bad times:
“When I was living in New York, I was a teenager. My friends were picking out decorations for their dorms, and I was debating on whether or not I should let a stranger inside of me so I could pay for my next meal… It wasn’t because I did something bad. It wasn’t because something was wrong with me, and it wasn’t because my parents didn’t love me—because they did very much… But a series of unfortunate circumstances lead me to be in that position, and it can happen to absolutely anyone.”
Okay, well I mean, dropping out of community college is kind of bad–not “time for homelessness”-bad but like, I’d get mad at my kid too. Like it’s community college; even Olivia Jade could do that shit.
During her speech, Halsey said her life changed forever after meeting Capitol Music Group’s Jeremy Vuernick who signed her to a record deal:
“When I met him, I had crazy hair, I had one demo in my pocket and I was carrying a gray duffel bag… Sat down in his office, at his cubicle, and he asked me, ‘What’s in the bag?’ I looked him dead in the eyes and I said, ‘This is my house.”
To which Jeremy probably said, “Oh, um, don’t feel like you need to give me a house tour, especially the bathroom.”
The Jewel of 2000s pop stars then said this about helping the homeless:
“I need you guys to realize that and while it’s very exiting that I am a record-selling, show-playing pop star, when I tell people that story, they go, ‘Oh my gosh, you went from being homeless to being a pop star, that’s amazing, we should help these people because we don’t know what they could become.’…Wrong. We shouldn’t help we think because there’s a chance that they could turn into a celebrity. We shouldn’t help because they could really make something of themselves—because they are something right now… I know better than anyone how important having a creative outlet is when you’re in a time of need, but this is so much bigger than arts and crafts. This is life or death, and I hope that you take it very, very seriously. I really do.”
If you A) know who Halsey is and B) know her backstory, you may be side-eyeing her plight of homelessness. When Halsey first said she was homeless, some accused her of lying to make her bland suburban backstory seem more interesting. They pointed out that at the time she was supposed to be homeless, she was posting videos from her bedroom which was covered in One Direction posters. She said this about that to The Guardian in 2017:
“People say: ‘How could you be homeless, you were a One Direction fan?!’ It’s like, can’t you be both? Everyone wants to pick on me all the time. What do I have to do, an Excel page with a fucking timeline of my life, just so you guys will give me some credibility?”
Actually, you can’t be homeless and a One Direction fan. If you consider yourself a Directioner, then that means you buy tickets to all their shows, buy as much merch as possible, and spend thousands on a tiny strand of Harry Styles’ hair on eBay. You can’t do that if you’re broke! But then again that might explain why Halsey nearly sold ass on the street. To fund her One Direction habit.