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Jewel is dating

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"These are hardworking families, and I think that's something the film does a good job highlighting." She told her own stories to illustrate how homelessness spirals into other problems."I almost died in an emergency room because they didn't see me because I didn't have [health] insurance," Jewel said. I was dying of lead poisoning and he gave me some antibiotics and saved my life. And when you don't have a physical address, much less of an education, it's very, very difficult to get a job and break that poverty cycle." While Jewel has long been open about her hardships, she's even more forthcoming in her new memoir, "Never Broken," which includes some details that surprised readers — like her romance with Sean Penn.

The 42-year-old blonde went for a walk with her boyfriend of just over a year, NFL footballer Charlie Whitehurst."With what I was going through in my divorce and everything else, I wanted to strip away all the structure and get back to the heart and essence of myself as a singer-songwriter," she said."It was like time travel, having a conversation with my 18-year-old self." RELATED: Jewel: Giving birth is 'such a gift' Jewel has been open about her struggles — from emotional and physical abuse at the hand of her father, to being broke and homeless, and living out of her car.It's been 20 years since Jewel, then a fresh-faced Alaskan barely out of her teens, released the album that would change her life forever, "Pieces of You," her one-way ticket out of the cycle of poverty she'd known all her life.The singer reflected on her past in an interview with, explaining how it helped shape her new album and memoir, and her life as a mom to 4-year-old son Kase with rodeo star Ty Murray, whom she divorced last year.8 and tells the stories of three families who sought help through public housing.

RELATED: See London through the eyes of the homeless "There are stigmas that these people are lazy, or don't work, or do drugs," Jewel said.

That happened after she turned down a boss' sexual advances and lost her job, she said.

"For me, the hardest thing was being treated as if I was sub-human — as if I didn't matter," she said.

We now know the relationship is not brand new because Whitehurst’s teammate, Matt Hasselbeck, revealed that he had the duo over for Thanksgiving. Hasselbeck told Steve Gorman Sports on Wednesday Indianapolis’ quarterback coach, Clyde Christensen, who was also at the gathering, was totally unfamiliar with the pop star.

In fact he was so unfamiliar with Jewel that he couldn’t quite get a grasp on her name.

"I don't want anyone thinking happiness is beyond their reach because they don't have the right job or economic background, or a home.