Rosario Dawson is raising awareness about homeless youth.
The 38-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist will appear in the upcoming documentary about homeless youth called Lost in America, executive-produced by Miley Cyrus and Russell Simmons.
Dawson will appear in the Rotimi Rainwater-directed film alongside Cyrus, Halle Berry, Jewel, Jon Bon Jovi, Sanaa Lathan and Rebecca Gayheart-Dane.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would get this many people to shine a light on youth homelessness,” says Rainwater, who himself was a former homeless youth. “It’s phenomenal but also truly needed to make others aware of the problem.”
He noted that about 5,000 youth die each year on American streets from homelessness. “That’s 13 who die every day. It’s like Columbine happening every single day.”
Las Vegas will be the host town for Intersections: The 2017 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit taking place Nov. 2 and Lost In America’s Rainwater will be speaking. It’s being sponsored by Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.
Lost in America follows the four-year journey of Rainwater and his team as they interviewed more than 30 youth in 15 cities, from the drainage tunnels of Denver to the streets of Orlando – where Rainwater lived homeless for almost a year after getting discharged from the Navy to take care of his mother who was battling cancer.
While growing up in New York City, Dawson’s mother moved the family into an abandoned building, a squat on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where she and her husband renovated an apartment and installed the plumbing and electrical wiring for the building, creating affordable housing where Rosario and Clay would grow up. Dawson has cited this part of her history when explaining how she learned that, “If you wanted something better, you had to do it all yourself.”