The Mirror says as a child the Villa defender lived in a homeless shelter for a year with mum Dawn and his three sisters.
Aged 15 he considered quitting football after being released by Southampton after seven years in their academy.
Mings was able to take refuge in football after his family was moved into social housing.
He said: “In moments of difficulty there's always positives you can take from them.
“It's given me an ability to empathise with people outside of the game.
“Not that I feel it's my duty but I really enjoy being able to lend a hand and give back to people, who are in a situation that wasn't too far away from the one I was in.
“Everybody has their own special story, but obviously mine is special to me. I'm living the dream at the moment."