YouTube hits raise $10K for homeless dad, son after one video goes viral

Lionel Barnes from The Lionel B Show on YouTube.
Lionel Barnes from The Lionel B Show on YouTube. (Photo by Blackishtea via Wikimedia Commons)

One viral video uploaded to YouTube racked in $10,000 for a homeless man and his teenage son, quickly turning around their lives.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, things were looking down for Lionel Barnes and his son who were living out of their car after Barnes had been let go from his information technology job.

Homeless and on the hunt for employment, Barnes would park in front of restaurants and use the free Wi-Fi to submit job applications.

Barnes later began using the Wi-Fi to upload YouTube videos after remembering his old Google Adsense account, a program that allows creators to earn money from their online content.

“I had $38 in there, and you need at least $100 before YouTube will payout. I thought, if I could just make another $62, I can get a whole $100,” Barnes said according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Barnes created The Lionel Barnes Show, later shortened to The Lionel B Show, in which he discussed Black celebrity gossips such as Steve Harvey’s divorce and Lil’ Kim’s “baby daddy.”

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Barnes’ videos garnered views in the thousands, which were far from allowing him to earn a living.

Then he uploaded “Jay-Z Runs Up on Offset About Beyonce,” a video in which Barnes speculates about a drama between the men and included footage of Jay-Z talking to the rapper Offset backstage at an arena.

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