Charles Ramsey: ‘I’m Broke Bro’

by Yesha Callahan

Charles Ramsey Earns Free Burgers for Life

Black Internet memes come and go after their fifteen minutes of fame.  And occasionally the “go” part includes going broke.  Charles Ramsey isn’t an exception to the rule.  It was all lights, camera and action after Ramsey “rescued” three women who were held captive in a mad man’s house in Ohio for a decade.  Unfortunately for Ramsey, a life time of burgers doesn’t pay the bills or provide a roof over his head.

Ramsey is now unemployed and homeless. He said that he’s homeless because no landlord wants the hassle of taking him in. He claims he can’t hold down a job because of the attention he receives. He said when he worked in a kitchen so many customers would barge in to shake his hand that he was fired.

According to the Daily Mail, Ramsey earned $30,000 after he discovered the women which included $15,000 in donations from those who wished him well. Meanwhile, he is scheduled to appear at four more speaking engagements and can expect his earnings to hit $50,000. 

From the Daily Mail:

Ramsey bought the BMW, which he was forced to sleep in for a few nights, paid off debts and before long the $15,000 raised for him in an online fund by well-wishers was gone.

Ramsey says that he has gone for jobs as a prep cook, restaurant worker and a dishwasher, which was his old job before he became famous.

But once word gets around of where he is working, it becomes impossible because of all the interest, even if he is out of sight of the public.

It all adds up to an unenviable paradox: Ramsey is too famous to lead a normal life, but not famous enough that he can make a career out of it, he says.

‘I don’t have an address, I don’t live anywhere. I go from house to house, to friend to friend, to family member to family member,’ he said. ‘What I’ve been doing for the past four weeks is wearing out my welcome with everybody who knows me.

‘Some places I don’t think I’m allowed to go back, I don’t know why, I don’t do nothing.’

He pleaded: ‘Just give me a job.


  • Yvette

    I’m sorry that he’s homeless, but WHY in the world would he buy a BMW?

  • Yvette

    I’m sorry he’s homeless, but WHY in the world would he buy a BMW?

  • Risse

    He bought a BMW??!! Really??!!!

  • JS

    Something seems off. Seems to me that a restaurant owner would love the attention of him being there because it would bring in customers. Sure it slows down his productivity levels but if it is THAT much of an issue then he is more than making up for it with profits he generates for the business with all that activity.

    I also really don’t see how you go broke after 15,000. Poor money management.

  • AB

    “blacks always broke because we dont know money”- j cole

  • Cat

    This dude LOL…

  • AB

    “blacks always broke cause we dont know money’- j cole

  • JS

    Early 2000s model BMWs are pretty good cars and you can get them for around $5000-6500 with low miles. I am assuming that is what he must have done since the article said he bought the car and paid off debts, it hasn’t been repo’d so he must own it out right. Still though he shouldn’t be completely broke.

  • MusiKCityK

    Let’s not pretend that $15K is a lot of money, that can be spent in less than 30 minutes in a mall alone. While I agree the BMW was probably not the best idea he saved lives so cut him a small break.

  • Patricia

    Why didn’t he make sure he got an apartment? $15,000 is not an insane amount of money but surely, he could have gotten somewhere to live with it.

  • victoria

    Im assuming it was a used BMW because he purchased it for less than $15,000.

  • march pisces

    ok all i have to say is $15K could have paid the rent up for several months if not a couple years on a nice place to live.

  • Shamika “Positively Jewls”

    Sigh! His first mistake was buying the BMW, even though he probably got a used one for cheap. Unfortunately, it’s all about money management and he didn’t give himself a chance to let the money work for him. All in all, I hope he gets back on his feet.

  • victoria

    Purchasing a car and paying off debt can make $15,000 disappear easy. However, people should always secure a roof over their head before they pay creditors and keep a few bills stashed away.

  • Kacey

    I’m guessing that many of these people coming into the restaurant to see Mr. Ramsey weren’t sticking-around to buy stuff – just barging in to chit chat, disrupting work, getting in the way, etc, then leaving.

  • JS

    $15K isn’t a lot of money but with smart planning it should keep you from being homeless. Also the merits of his good deed are not attached to his poor money management so I see no reason to make excuses for him.

  • Hollywood

    Says him who is biracial.

  • NOitAll

    What’s with the “rescued” in quotes. Was he not the one to help Amanda Berry out of that house?

  • BeanBean

    I feel really bad for the guy, but why would he buy a BMW???? I’m sure a used Honda Civic would’ve gotten the job done. I think he could get some sort of job, especially with all the reality tv crap now. If he gains access to an agent, I think he could end up getting some sort of show. Look at Honey Boo-Boo. I wish him luck, he deserves to be comfortable.

  • BeanBean

    Truest statement ever!!!! Financial literacy is everything, unfortunately many blacks are still financially illiterate.

  • Kay

    Wow. I feel bad for the guy and can’t look down my proverbial nose at his financial mistakes because folks who make ten to twenty times his pay have to be taught good money management skills. However, one thing is always important: making sure you have a roof over your head. I don’t care if you have to pre-pay rent for 6-8 months or more, if you do that, at least you know if all else fails you have a place to stay. In some areas, landlords may not take rent that way, but someone should have advised him to put the money aside and let that be his housing fund. Investing something should come next and a used car that only serves to get him from point A to point B would have been good. And you can pay back creditors little by little instead of in one fell swoop or negotiated. But I don’t know what kind of people were around him. He may not have had anyone to tell him anything about how to deal with all this. I hope he gets a job soon. No one deserves to be homeless.

  • Deidra

    I must agree that he could secure his own spot if he wanted to get something and not worry about a landlord but there could be some reason that he hasn’t since I’m sure that has come up at some point. It’s not like we know his whole story regardless of his interviews and articles written up on him.

    I smh at the fools putting the man out of a job like they don’t’ have any common sense. Respect him at his place of employment but at the same time maybe it’s time he moved on from working for someone else and did his own thing.

    Buying a house and becoming self-sufficient looks like the best thing for him. Close the chapter on your old life guy.

  • The Comment

    thank you!

  • Tina

    Poverty is a state of mind that has nothing to do with race. Have you ever watched the life after the lottery show where a lot of people end up poorer than they were before winning?

  • Jennae

    I understand what you’re saying, in general, but please understand that he bought this BMW AND paid bills with $15000. Which probably means that it’s a pretty old, used BMW — that probably cost about the same as or less than a newer Honda Civic. So there’s that. Not to mention we really aren’t in a position to police how he spent the money.

  • Maude

    It’s a shame (and quite bizarre) that he can’t hold a job due to the disruptiveness of his notoriety (if that’s the whole story), and yes, he did an amazingly good thing–but why do we as a culture treat every unexpected event like a potential payday? Isn’t helping your fellow man enough?

  • Pepper

    I wonder if “paid bills” includes alleged back child support payments

  • Pepper

    Plus car insurance is expensive even on a used BMW

  • Pepper

    The man was washing dishes. I can see it taking away from his work if he was assigned to the grill, and needed to get orders out. It’s no secret that Ramsey loves to talk, and talk, and talk. I bet that had a lot to do with him being let go

  • ….

    Yeah but the upkeep of a BMW is WAY more expensive than a Honda.Being able to buy something after one check dosent mean that you can truly afford it.Also, once he made his money situation public by running to the media he made it open season for ppl to comment on it an criticize him.

  • kgo

    Is anybody surprised that the man is broke? Look and listen to how he presents himself.

  • Tina

    He got a total of $30,000. It included $15k of donations. A new Honda civic would have been better than an old BMW.
    Maybe with the money from his future speaking gigs, he can get on his feet.
    I wonder how much he’s paying those lawyers he hired.

  • pearlsrevealed

    He has a right to own a car– even a used BMW.

  • JS

    No its average. I think it just depends on the model, however if you get a sedan and not the sporty models its relatively cheap.

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