Halsey is one of the biggest names in pop music right now, but the young singer certainly knows what it’s like to struggle.
In a candid speech delivered while being honored at Ending Youth Homelessness: A Benefit For My Friend’s Place in Hollywood, she shared the darkest moments of being a homeless teen in New York City just a few years ago.
“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 me so I could pay for my next meal,” she said.
“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, ‘cause they did, very much,” she said. “But a series of unfortunate circumstances led me to be in that position, and it can happen to absolutely anyone.”
Halsey also revealed that when she signed her first record deal, she was living out of a bag and forced to tell the executive about her situation.
“I had one demo in my pocket, and I was carrying a gray duffel bag. Sat down in his cubicle at the time. And he asked me, ‘What’s in the bag?’ And I looked at him dead in the eyes and I said, ‘This is my house,’” she said.
“We shouldn’t help these people because there’s a chance they could turn into a celebrity,” she added. “We shouldn’t help because ‘They could make something of themselves!’ Because they are something right now.”
Watch her entire speech below: