You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dwayne Johnson Details Experience with Homelessness at LAFH Awards

L.A. Family Housing presented Dwayne Johnson with its highest honor: the Inspiration Award. The actor accepted the trophy Thursday night during an emotional ceremony where victims of homelessness, including Johnson himself, shared their stories.

Members of Hollywood and other distinguished guests gathered at The Lot in West Hollywood for the awards dinner, hosted by actor P.J. Byrne. Throughout the night, guests bid on various auction items to support the organization’s humanitarian mission, including house seats at a U2 concert that went for $15,000 and an eight day European cruise that went for a total of $16,000.

For the eighth year in a row Blair RichWarner Bros. president of worldwide marketing and home entertainment chaired the event, which culminated in speeches from her and Johnson. Ahead of the dinner, Rich called Johnson “the most inspiring person I’ve ever met.”

“He always talks about his journey and overcoming odds to become who he is today, so I can’t really think of anybody who stands for this issue of overcoming adversity and how poverty doesn’t have to be the limitation or definition of who you are more than Dwayne Johnson,” Rich said.

After a high school girl and family helped by LAFH spoke about their struggles with low income and limited access to basic health and living needs, Johnson recounted his past experience with homelessness during his acceptance speech.

“When I was 14, we were evicted,” he said. “Me and my mom and my dad — I grew up an only child — we were evicted from Hawaii, and we were forced off the Island. We didn’t have a place to live, and I know what that’s like.”

Johnson had to pause at moments to keep his composure during his speech, in which he also detailed his grandmother’s battle with homelessness and his separation from his family. He also recalled coming home to eviction notices and having to steal food from grocery stores to bring back to motels as he bounced from city to city across the country.

“Why this award is really special to me is that I know what it’s like not to have the security of a home,” Johnson said.

The “Rampage” star also reminded other Hollywood attendees in the room of of their elevated positions and thanked them for supporting a cause that could have helped him and his family when he was growing up.

“Sometimes the families are so removed from us, we don’t know who they are,” Johnson said. “Well, what you give tonight, you would have been giving to me.”

The ceremony also honored first lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland with the Sydney M. Irmas Outstanding Humanitarian Award. Others attendees included mayor Eric Garcetti, Cameron Boyce, Dermot Mulroney, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. By the end of the night, the event raised a record total of $1.65 million for individuals and families in need. Rich made the highest donation of the night at $25,000, after another bidder challenged her to match his donation by raising her initial bid of $20,000.

“Last year we helped over 7,000 people. We put 644 families into permanent housing, and that doubled from five years ago. So we are growing,” Rich said. “The event is growing, the support is amazing, but the need is there, and we have a lot to do.”

More Scene

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

  • Kate Bosworth'Nona' film premiere, New York,

    Kate Bosworth Helps Launch Campaign for Female Filmmakers

    In her 20-year career in Hollywood, Kate Bosworth has starred in blockbusters like “Superman Returns” as well as indie darlings like 2014’s “Still Alice.” But the actress has always had a desire to get more involved from the ground up. Now, she is partnering with Women In Film and Chloe Wine Collection to launch the [...]

  • Amandla Stenberg and Sofia CarsonVanity Fair

    Oscar Week Kicks Off With Vanity Fair's New Hollywood Party

    The night was definitely still young Tuesday at Vanity Fair’s New Hollywood party in Los Angeles. The magazine kicked off Oscar week with a party — the first of its three-event Campaign Hollywood series — at Ysabel in West Hollywood to celebrate new and emerging talent. Co-hosted by Yalitza Aparicio, Henry Golding and Amandla Stenberg [...]

  • Oscars Ultimate Party Guide

    Oscar's Ultimate Party Guide 2019

    Welcome to Oscar week. It’s the time of year when Hollywood’s film industry celebrates all things movies. But it’s certainly not just the big show everyone is looking forward to. With voting closed, it’s all about the parties now. Who’s doing what and where and when are they doing it are the questions everyone is [...]

  • Yalitza AparicioTeen Vogue Young Hollywood Party,

    'Roma' Star Yalitza Aparicio, 'Central Park Five's' Jharrel Jerome Sound Off on Trump

    Yalitza Aparicio recently reunited with Alfonso Cuarón, who directed her in “Roma,” for a W magazine photo project that featured her standing at various barriers built at the border between Mexico and the United States. The message? “You can make a name for yourself despite the differences,” Aparicio told Variety on Friday at Teen Vogue’s Young [...]

  • Karl LagerfeldChanel Paris-Londres 2007/8 Show, London,

    Legendary Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld Dies at 85

    Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion icon – and iconoclast – who outfitted and photographed such stars as Nicole Kidman and Lady Gaga, has died. He was 85. Lagerfeld died in Paris, fashion house Chanel said. Although his health had been failing, he kept working up to his death, issuing instructions regarding Fendi’s fall ready-to-wear collection, which [...]

  • Eric Wareheim, 'The Simpsons' E.P. Matt

    Beefsteak Gathers Comedy Bigwigs for Meat and Mayhem

    The masterminds behind Beefsteak, a debauched tribute to the meaty arts that raises thousands for the Los Angeles Food Bank, switch things up each year so that guests are never bored. Organized by comedy players including Eric Wareheim, “The Simpsons” executive producer Matt Selman, and ABC Studios VP of comedy Cort Cass with Redbird chef Neal [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content