Steve Harvey has done pretty well for himself over the years. The man’s written several best-selling books on relationships, he has his own daytime talk show that crushes in the ratings, and he even gets to host Family Feud. However, there was a time when his career trajectory was not so cut and dried. Recently, Harvey revealed that he was homeless for several years before hitting it big in showbiz.
The 56-year-old TV personality say that back in the late 1980s he didn’t have anywhere to leave for three whole years. He traveled for gigs and occasionally could get people to put him up in hotels when he signed on to perform as a comedian, but he didn’t have a home. Even though he wasn’t a schlub and was working as often as possible, when he did make money, he often sent as much of that cash as possible to his ex-wife, Marcia, and his two children. Harvey recently told People that becoming homeless happened a lot quicker than you might think it could happen.
"One or two gigs fell through, and suddenly I was homeless."
At that time, Harvey still owned a 1976 Ford Tempo. He began living out of the vehicle, which proved to create other obstacles in his life. When you are homeless, how do you store food? Where do you clean up? According to Harvey, he owned a small Igloo cooler that became a makeshift refrigerator and he cleaned up at gas stations, showering in hotels when he was able to secure a gig and land a better place to sleep for the night.
Harvey now says the experience was one of the hardest things he ever had to live through.
"It was so disheartening, a week is really the maximum you can do. This was three years! It was rock bottom. But even in my darkest days I had faith it would turn around."
It’s easy to look at a famous person and be jealous of their successes and their numerous high-end possessions and homes. For many famous people (not everyone, but many people), success doesn’t come that easily. It takes years to build up a resume and get your name in the limelight, and Harvey wasn’t able to get his big break until Showtime at the Apollo several years later. As bad as being homeless must have been, no doubt his experiences living in the Tempo have stayed with him and allowed him to maintain his drive every step along the way.