Once homeless, now helping out

By Fiona Guo

LeAndria Johnson sings for a cause close to her heart


Before winning the third season of BET’s “Sunday Best” gospel singing competition last year, Le’Andria Johnson was a bankrupt and homeless single mother with three children.

So she understands what it’s like to deal with hardships and to struggle on a daily basis.

Johnson is headlining a fundraising concert for the moneless called “Up From the Ashes” at South Church in Lansing on Friday. The event was originally supposed to happen April 1, but was postponed when Johnson learned her younger brother had been killed in a shooting in Orlando, Fla., just before she was about to board a flight to Lansing.

“I’ve been through even more since winning the (BET) competition so I’ll probably be more intense,” the 27-year-old Johnson said. “We all go through things. I’m not afraid to tell my story. And I want everyone to know I am a real person.”

Lansing’s Breadhouse Choir, Signs of Adoration and the Unspoken Praise Mime Dancers will be joining Johnson in the performance. Proceeds from the concert will raise the awareness of homelessness in Lansing and surrounding cities.

“Some of the money raised will go to Lansing School District, because they have a program to help homeless students,” said event organizer Angela Mathews.

‘Up From the Ashes’

7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6 (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) South Church, 5250 Cornerstone Drive, Lansing $20 in advance, $23 at the door; $18 per ticket for groups of 10 or more (517) 862-9458