The Teen Project, launched by Lauri Burns is going one step further to save America’s homeless young women in Los Angeles. On the evening of Saturday, November 15th there will be a fundraiser to benefit Freehab—the very first “free” drug rehab for LA’s homeless youth. Freehab is a 100-bed facility for women 18-24 years old, otherwise known as Transitional Age Youth (TAY), who are currently homeless on the streets of Los Angeles—many of whom have been sex trafficked. The majority are exiting foster care or escaping violent homes. Freehab will impact a minimum of 15% of LA’s homeless young women every year.
Freehab, built by The Teen Project, was designed by: Maroon 5, designer Cynthia Vincent, Access Hollywood, Danny Trejo’s team, Charmean Interiors, and over 50 concerned community members to create a warm non-institutional environment conducive for healing and a successful future. Freehab was officially licensed as a treatment center just 78 days ago. Already they have provided 55 homeless young women with drug treatment.
All Proceeds from the upcoming event will be dedicated to building the onsite Technical & Career Center at Freehab. The Tech Center training will consist of: web development, web design, media arts, search engine optimization, database development and more. The Teen Project is partnering with Manifest Works, a 12-week program in film, television, and media production and LA Valley College to teach CNC machining. The team is committed to partnering with all agencies offering access to technical and career training. The center will represent a full life transformation for LA’s most vulnerable youth. The majority of the young women served, lack job experience and have not completed high school. If they are not given the tools they need, they will become homeless again. Given the bed count and stream of kids entering thus far, The Teen Project expects to impact a minimum of 14% of the total female TAY homeless population in LA in any given year.
The Teen Project was founded by Lauri Burns, an abused child who was placed into the foster care system and became homeless on her 18th birthday when care ended. Burns was abducted by two gunmen in 1987 with the intention of killing her while working the streets as a prostitute. Her life was saved by a stranger. A former trick (also an abused as a child) delivered Burns to a drug treatment center and funded her initial stay. She was provided a grant for computer school and went on to a thriving career at a fortune 100 aerospace company, authored an inspirational book Punished for Purpose, and raised 31 foster children. In 2007, she founded The Teen Project to save America’s forgotten children. The Teen Project has created The P.A.D., a homeless drop in center in Venice Beach, and a college housing home. Two years ago Burns launched a national cell service. Today any youth in the nation can TEXT SHELTER to 99000 and receive a text with a safe place to go within 40 seconds.