A chance meeting with a homeless man in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles led to an unlikely friendship. The two men found themselves talking about their lives and how they had both been affected by the struggles of homelessness, poverty, and mental illness.
Richard Hutchins was living on the streets of Los Angeles, when he met Charlie. The two quickly became friends and would go on to create art together.
(CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Only a few weeks ago, painter Richard Hutchins was homeless and living in Skid Row shelters, but a fortuitous meeting and a viral video transformed his life and brought Hollywood and Oprah Winfrey calling.
On June 24, 2023, artist Richard Hutchins and Charlie Rocket attend the red carpet art exhibition at The Cool HeART at Sofitel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills for artist Richard Hutchins. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Charlie “Rocket” Jabaley is a Grammy and Emmy award-winning brand marketer who is most known for finding 2 Chainz and Travis Porter. He was out shopping for groceries when he came across Hutchins at the famed ‘Rock and Roll’ Ralphs on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, and the two exchanged a viral video. Their worlds were about to be turned upside down.
Jabaley, who runs the Dream Machine Foundation, told CBS2 News This Morning’s Suzanne Marques, “When we pull up to the Ralphs, there’s this man sitting on the corner, on a shopping cart, and he says to us now, ‘Hey, let me drive that vehicle,” because he loved our Jeep.
Hutchins said, “I call everyone nephew because it shows respect for the younger generation.” “I said, ‘What are you doing, nephew?’ As a result, Charlie extended his hand to shake mine. He introduced himself as Charlie and handed me a $100 note. They inquired about my problems and what had occurred in my life.”
Richard used to be a successful artist until a series of failures in his life, including a stint in jail when he created paint out of sweets and coffee. His art studio burnt down after he was freed. He’d been living in shelters until a fortuitous encounter with Charlie, who inquired about his ambitions.
“It was also extremely specific,” Jabalay said. ‘I simply want my work to make people happy,’ he added. I want to see it in an art museum or see someone be impressed by my work.’”
On June 24, 2023, Richard Hutchins speaks to the audience at The Cool HeART at Sofitel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills during his red carpet art exhibition. (Photo credit: Getty Images) )
His life was never going to be the same again. Jabalay gave him art materials, and while Hutchins was painting, Jabalay went to work via his charity organization making Hutchins’ wishes come true. He put up an art website for Hutchins in a couple of weeks, and on June 24, he staged a star-studded red carpet and art exhibition at the Sofitel in Hollywood. Hutchins began selling paintings to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey.
In a recent Zoom chat with Hutchins, Winfrey warned him, “Richard, you’re not charging enough money.”
Winfrey said, “I saw something, like an Angela Davis picture, it’s like $150.” “Listen, I’m going to pay $1,500 for it because it has to be 10 times what you’re asking.”
Hutchins’ painting has earned more than $200,000 so far.
Hutchins is already making plans to pay it forward with Jabalay by his side. He hasn’t forgotten who he is and where he comes from.
“President Biden is a wonderful guy, and Madam Vice President is a lovely woman,” Hutchins continued, “but someone would have to come down here and actually walk Skid Row.” “I’ve never seen a sitting president visit Skid Row in my life.”
Hutchins claims he has never slept in a tent. He was usually found in shelters.
Hutchins said, “I’m scared to sleep in a tent at night.” “I’m serious, they set fire to tents. And the ladies are dying there, oh my God, God bless them. The mayor must do anything to get someone off of Skid Row… Make them a member of that committee and put them on the board.”
Anyone experiencing homelessness, or who is struggling to feed their family and is at danger of becoming homeless, should dial 211 for assistance. Click here for a comprehensive list of resources provided by the L.A. County Homeless Services Authority.
Richard Hutchins was living on the streets of Los Angeles when he met a woman who changed his life. Reference: richard hutchins website.
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