The Teen Project and Fostering Dreams through Dance partner up to bring the Flash Mob phenomenon to Venice Beach and raise awareness about homeless youth exiting foster care.
Flash Mob to End Homelessness will be hitting the Venice Beach Boardwalk, at the very end of Windward Ave, this Friday, August 8th at 3pm. The youth recently saved from the streets will be leading the dance with over 100 performers. We have permission from the authorities, but it will definitely be a surprise performance for all beach goers.
The Problem — No Way Out - Homelessness affects teens in many different ways. Fifty percent of homeless teens age 16 and older drop out of school. Many resort to using drugs which can lead to addiction as a means of coping. Many homeless youth leave home after years of physical and sexual abuse, strained relationships, addiction of a family member and parental neglect. In Los Angeles an estimated 4,000 youth are homeless and living on the streets. More than 1 in 5 youth that arrive at shelters came directly from foster care.
The Teen Project was created by Lauri Burns, a prior system kid. The Teen Project opened the doors to a new 100 bed licensed drug rehab & life transformation center in April. The new center provides treatment, education and job obtainment as well as stable long term housing. Fostering Dreams through Dance's mission is quite simple: educate, empower and inspire foster youth to find their passion and follow their dreams through the art of dance.
Lauri Burns knows the foster system first-hand. A former dependent of the court and a survivor of years on the streets as a youth prostitute, Lauri lived in 23 different places (not including motels) after leaving the system in just five years. Despite numerous traumas, Lauri found the strength to turn her life around, and has now fostered over 30 teens. She's also a successful businesswoman and serves on the Orange County Foster Advisory Board.
The Flash Mob is a pre-choreographed dance or movement that is performed as a large group in a predetermined public space, creating a giant, spontaneous public spectacle of unified musical expression, then suddenly dispersing as if nothing happened. This particular Flash Mob was choreographed by FDTD founder Melanie Buttarazzi in collaboration with Flash Mob America and Booiaka creator Tatiana Tamai and taught to a group of homeless girls of different backgrounds who are currently living at Freehab, a 100 bed free drug rehabilitation and job training life transformation center. Thanks to Flash Mob America and Booiaka, about 100 people are expected to show up from random locations and participate in this mission to end youth homelessness.