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If you need a pick-me-up today, here you go, because this story about a former heroine addict named Khalil Rafati—who turned his life around to go from homeless to a millionaire—is so inspiring it's hard not to feel good after hearing it.
Talking to the New York Times, Khalil detailed how, 13 years ago, he was just a homeless man who was addicted to heroin, living in the dangerous L.A. neighborhood, Skid Row, and weighing a measly 106 pounds. His life has changed dramatically since then, however.
Releasing a book entitled I Forgot to Die, Khalil Rafati talks about how he went from a man on the brink of death due to addiction, to becoming the owner of the juice bar chain SunLife Organics, getting back to being healthy and building a million-dollar brand.
According to the New York Times story, Khalil moved to Los Angeles in the '90s as a car salesman, but found himself dealing drugs and, eventually, leading him to try heroin. Shortly thereafter, Rafati said he was a full-blown drug addict who nearly died in 2001 following an intentional overdose at a party. He was also arrested and served jail time a couple of years later, eventually landing on the streets after his release.
Per the New York Times:
"I reached the bottoms of all bottoms," he said. "There was no more digging left to do, all of my shovels were broken. I was done."
Realizing he was near the end, Rafati became dedicated to sobriety, even founding Riviera Recovery, which is a living facility for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. Not long after, a friend of his introduced him to 'juicing and superfoods', and the rest is history.
Beginning to make his own smoothies and selling them to patients, Khalil found that his newfound passion could become his career, via the New York Times:
"It was meant to rejuvenate and strengthen the patients," he told The New York Times. "And give them some much-needed strength.
"Lethargy in sobriety is pretty brutal, especially if you're coming off a long run with hard-core drugs."
"So many outsiders came to Riviera Recovery just to enjoy one of my smoothies," he said. "It even became a bit embarrassing since many of these people were not part of the Riviera Recovery program."
After opening his first juice bar in L.A. shortly after, he now boasts six different locations in the city, which has helped him grow a net worth to over a million dollars, while still staying on his mission to inspire those who were much like him over a decade ago.
"Right from the start he was trying to better my life," said Cache Coelho, who was addicted to OxyCotin before he moved to Los Angeles. "He pushes us very hard in a father-like sense."
Khalil Rafati lives by the phrase, "'love, heal and inspire," and that's obvious after hearing his story. To read more about Rafati, check out the full feature over at the New York Times.