Homelessness Hits Home for Kane Brown

"We Didn't Have Anywhere to Go"

Charity starts at home. But what if, in the worst of times, you don’t even have a home?

That’s what it was like in Chattanooga, when times were tough for country newcomer Kane Brown. “When I was younger, my mom and I lived in a car because we didn’t have anywhere to go. After graduating from high school, even though I was working, I didn’t have enough money to pay rent so I stayed with my Nana,” Brown said when he spoke at a congressional briefing about trying to tackle the rental housing crisis.

Brown has partnered with Make Room, a non-profit group that advocates for solutions to end the rental affordability crisis. According to their website, more than 25 million Americans, including nine million children, are facing housing insecurity each year. And 11 million households have to spend more than half of their income on rent.

“I’m proud to partner with Make Room to help other people who have been in similar housing situations. I just want people to know that they can make it through hard times like I did,” he added. To that end, Brown’s doing his part by donating a portion of the pre-order proceeds from his debut album to Make Room.

Brown is not the first country singer to use his platform to help end the housing crisis. In 2010, country’s Jimmy Wayne walked from Nashville to Phoenix to raise awareness about the issue, because he’d grown up in and out of foster homes and often slept in the woods or in empty buildings. He ultimately wrote a book about the experience, called Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.