“I Lived on Food Stamps”, Whoopi Goldberg Recounts Her Past Struggle as a Homeless Single Mother

year ago

The story of Whoopi Goldberg is one of resilience, perseverance, and ultimately triumph. Despite the many challenges life threw her way, Goldberg refused to let go of her dreams of becoming an actress. Throughout her journey, Goldberg’s love for her daughter remained her greatest motivation, driving her to make any necessary sacrifices to ensure her child had the best possible life.

childhood marked by many struggles and financial hardship.

Significant struggles marked Whoopi Goldberg’s childhood, including poverty, homelessness, and single motherhood. Alongside her brother Clyde, Whoopi grew up in housing projects in Manhattan, but their family encountered financial hardships after her father abandoned them, leaving her mother to raise them on her own. Despite these obstacles, Goldberg’s mother worked tirelessly at multiple jobs to support their family.

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Goldberg’s life took a difficult turn as she dropped out of high school and fell into bad habits. She found herself at a low point, feeling lost and without a sense of purpose. Goldberg described feeling trapped and hopeless, with limited opportunities due to her youth and lack of education.

She’d confess: “I was convinced I wanted to be an actor. I just needed a bit of time to convince the acting profession. So in between, I needed a job.” Therefore, determined to tackle new challenges, she moved to San Diego to cement herself into any kind of job. She ended up being a waitress, a bricklayer, and even a mortuary cosmetologist.

Whoopi welcomed her first and only daughter, but raised her entirely by herself.


Whoopi got married in 1973 and became pregnant with her first child, Alexandrea Martin, who would also be her only child. Although she tried hard, life was challenging, and she had to rely on food stamps as a welfare mother to support herself and her daughter. “I know what I’m talking about when I’m talking about the value of welfare because I was on it,” she confessed.

Goldberg was motivated by her mother’s example of single-handedly raising her and her brother. She became a source of unyielding support for her daughter and was dedicated to doing everything in her power to guarantee her well-being.

Also, her daughter got candid about the difficulties they faced at that time, saying, “I know what it’s like with the food stamps. I remember that. I remember we slept in the bed together. I remember when we wanted to travel, we would drive across the country in broken-down bugs. We didn’t have the money to go to the movies.”


When asked why she considers her daughter to be her best friend, Goldberg answered, “Because she is one of the most trustworthy and loyal people I know. She is somebody who makes me laugh, and we can talk to each other at any time of the day or night.” Whoopi and Alexandrea have an exceptional bond that has been strengthened by their shared experiences of growing up together through challenging times.

They have been through thick and thin, holding hands every step of the way. As a result, their relationship has evolved into that of best friends. “She’s really my best, best friend.”

Her climb to success

20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection/East News

Whoopi Goldberg’s success began with her one-woman show in 1983 called Spook Show, which later transferred to Broadway and earned her fame. Her role in The Color Purple led to an Academy Award nomination and cemented her status as a household name.

From that moment, Whoopi’s career took off, leaving an indelible mark on the entertainment industry with her unparalleled talent and dedication. Her performances in iconic movies like Sister Act or Ghost have touched the hearts of audiences around the world. Not only has Goldberg excelled as an actress and host, but she has also achieved success as a producer, author, and activist.

© The Deep End of the Ocean / Columbia Pictures, USA TODAY Network / Sipa USA / East News

Her numerous accolades are a testament to her exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to her craft. Yet, throughout the years, Goldberg had 3 marriages that ended in divorce and led her to swear off marriage for good.

Despite this, she continued to focus on her career and raising her daughter, who became an actress and producer as well. Though Goldberg initially did not want her daughter to follow in her footsteps, Alexandrea pursued a career in the entertainment industry, also experiencing some success.

Rob Rich/Everett Collection / East News

She’s also a devoted granny.

0000001 / Reporter / East News, © skeezydoesit / Instagram

As Alexandrea has grown older, she has become even closer to her mother, understanding the challenges she faced in raising her. Now, as a mother of 3, Alexandrea has used her experience to become an even better mother, and her bond with her own mom is stronger than ever.

Their close relationship is a testament to the enduring power of family and the love that can overcome any obstacles. Whoopi Goldberg’s family has expanded over the years, and she is especially close to Amara Skye, her oldest granddaughter. “She’s pretty supportive in anything that I do,” Skye gushed over her grandmother.

The arrival of her great-granddaughter Charli Rose was an even bigger blessing to their family, and Whoopi expressed her overwhelming joy and appreciation for the new member.

Gone are the days of poverty and hardships for Whoopi and her family. The memories of those tough times are now a distant echo as her success has allowed her to invest in real estate and buy herself a stunning home.

The actress’s unwavering determination and resilience, coupled with her family’s unwavering love and support, stand as a testament to their ability to overcome the challenges of their past and create a brighter future. In her belief, every person has a purpose and a reason for being here. She said, “I fear waking up one morning and finding out that my life was for nothing.”


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