How Miss Colorado 2011 ended up homeless

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
How Miss Colorado 2011 Ended Up Homeless

By Ryan Buxton

Former pageant queen Blair Griffith grew up in a nice house in an affluent neighborhood, but it all changed when she lost her father to prostate cancer when she was 15. Her mother, now a single parent, was so stressed that she had a heart attack. Her insurance company decided it was the result of a pre-existing condition, leaving the family to pay more than $500 a week for her medication. Eventually the family couldn't afford rent, and they were evicted.

Griffith shared her painful story of how she ended up homeless when she was seemingly on top of the world during an interview with HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski on Wednesday.

4 PHOTOS
Blair Griffith
See Gallery
How Miss Colorado 2011 ended up homeless
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: (L-R) Miss Colorado USA Blair Griffith, Miss New York USA Amber Collins, and Miss Georgia USA Kaylin Regue pose with an officer at a 2011 Fleet Week kick off event with the Miss USA contestants at Pier 88 on May 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Miss Colorado USA, Blair Adair Griffith attends the 2011 Fleet Week kick off event with the Miss USA contestants at Pier 88 on May 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: Miss Colorado Blair Griffith builds bikes for children of the troops at Pier 88 on May 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for USO of Metropolitan New York)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


"I was in my early 20s, and this actually happened right after I had won the title of Miss Colorado USA back in 2011, so it was really, really hard to be sort of living this double life of being this beauty queen where everything had to seem perfect on the outside, but inside going home -- or not going home -- at night, wondering, 'Where am I going to sleep tonight?' or 'What am I going to do next?'" Griffith said.

Though she was ashamed of her story at first, now Griffith is joining forces with Start From Here, a campaign to end youth homelessness, in an effort to expose as many people as possible to the true stories of the homeless experience.

See highlights from 2014's Miss America contest:
52 PHOTOS
Miss America 2015 - Miss New York Kira Kazantsev - 9/14/2014
See Gallery
How Miss Colorado 2011 ended up homeless
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev poses for photographers during a news conference after she was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev talks during a news conference after she was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev poses for photographers during a news conference after she was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, right, walks the runway after she was named Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev waves after being crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, right, walks the runway after she was named Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, left, who was also once Miss New York, looks on during the walk. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, right, gets a kiss from her mother, Julia Kazantsev, after Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev walks the runway after being crowned as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev walks the runway after being crowned as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, left, gasps after she was named Miss America 2015 as she holds hands with Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, center, celebrates, while holding the hands of Miss Alabama Caitlin Brunell, left, and Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray after advancing to the final round of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top right, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, left, celebrates after she is named Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Also seen is Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett, who took first runner up honors. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
The top five finalists in the Miss America 2015 pageant stand together, from left, Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, Miss Florida Victoria Cowen, Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell, Miss New York Kira Kazantsev and Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Kazantsev was crowned Miss America 2015. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett, right, gasps after she is announced as a finalist during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Garrett took first runner up honors while Miss New York Kira Kazantsev won the crown. Looking on are Miss Oklahoma Alex Eppler, left, and Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn plays the piano during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart performs during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Contestants don their swimsuits during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Arizona Outstanding Teen Amber Barto waits for start of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, left, celebrates after she's announced as a finalist during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Outstanding Teen Michaela McLean, 16, left, and Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen Amy Smith, 15, tap hands before the start of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri walks on stage during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oregon Rebecca Anderson takes the stage with contestants during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Utah Karlie Major, bottom right, stands with other contestants as supporters hold up signs during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn celebrates after moving on to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, center, celebrates after advancing to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oklahoma Alex Eppler dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Utah Karlie Major, bottom right, stands with other contestants as supporters hold up signs during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Contestants don their swimsuits during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Texas Monique Evans walks on stage during the swimsuit portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart performs during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn plays the piano during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, center, celebrates after advancing to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn celebrates after moving on to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Oklahoma Alex Eppler dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Kentucky Ramsey Carpenter walks on stage during the swimsuit portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oregon Rebecca Anderson takes the stage with contestants during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


More on AOL:
First photo of 'Real Housewife' Teresa Giudice in jail released
Giuliana Rancic admits she's 'really thin': It's hard for me to look in the mirror
Kourtney Kardashian shares first pic of her adorable son Reign!

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners