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Former Homeless Heroin Addict Turns Life Around, Becomes Philanthropic Millionaire

This former addict has turned his life around, going from rehab to a super-successful entrepreneur who’s smoothie and juicing chain now employs others down on their luck. This is his story.

Homelessness and addiction are both global problems. One man, American Khalil Rafati, is doing everything he can to combat them both.

A former car salesman, Rafiti moved to Los Angeles to run a car lot – but soon found himself addicted to heroin, and shortly thereafter, on the streets. According to, approximately 26% of the homeless population is addicted to some form of drug, and Rafati was among them, his life in tatters. In 2001, Rafiti nearly died after intentionally overdosing at a house party in Malibu. Two years later, after being released from jail and back on the streets, he realized he had to change his life. As he writes in his book, I Forgot to Die, “I reached the bottoms of all bottoms. There was no more digging left to do, all of my shovels were broken. I was done.”

Rafiti got clean, and after doing so, founded a transitional living facility for others who’d been where he was, Riveria Recovery. He began juicing to help the patients: “It was meant to rejuvenate and strengthen the patients,” Rafiti recalls. “Lethargy in sobriety is pretty brutal, especially if you’re coming off a long run with hard-core drugs,” he added.

Soon people from all over the country were visiting the rehab facility just to try Rafiti’s smoothies, and he realized it was time to expand and open his first juice bar, SunLife Organics. The chain now operates six locations through California.

Rafiti now makes it a point to hire others looking to change their lives, claiming his mission to “love, heal, and inspire.”

This story is evidence that one is never too far down the beaten path to turn back and positively affect others with their life. You can be the change; all that is required is the decisiveness to do so.

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Former Homeless Heroin Addict Turns Life Around, Becomes Philanthropic Millionaire Reviewed by matt on 06:50:00 Rating: 5