EXCLUSIVE: Miley Cyrus has joined Russell Simmons as an executive producer of the upcoming documentary about homeless youth called Lost in America. She will also appear in the Rotimi Rainwater film alongside Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, Jewel, Jon Bon Jovi, Sanaa Lathan, and Rebecca Gayheart-Dane. The film was directed by Rainwater, who himself was a former homeless youth.
Rainwater told Deadline, “I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would get this many people to shine a light on youth homelessness. 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, which just experience their own Columbine with a mass shooting six times the victim base of of the Pulse Club with almost five times the casualties as Columbine, is going to 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.
That Cyrus came aboard is not surprising, given that she has been fighting youth homelessness for years. In 2014, she founded The Happy Hippie Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rallying young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.
“Lost in America is an important film to me and my Happy Hippie Foundation because it helps to build our understanding and compassion for homeless youth,” Cyrus said in a statement. “And I think if we had that acceptance and compassion, we could change and brighten the futures of these young people.”