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  • Writer's pictureThe Big Magazine Staff

Director Rotimi Rainwater Highlights Youth Homelessness In Documentary Film ‘Lost In America’ 2020

August 25, 2020

A must-see powerful feature film takes an in-depth look at youth homelessness in America.

Lost in America, a must-see feature film taking an in-depth look at youth homelessness in America -Photo Instagram

Directed by Rotimi Rainwater (who was once homeless himself) sets a spotlight on his six-year journey to expose youth homelessness in America, and the many issues that surround it including sex trafficking, failure of foster care services, and the rampant rejection of LGBTQ youth.

Lost In America is executive produced by Rosario Dawson and musician, Jewel. The film features interviews with more than 30 youth in 15 cities, along with high profile politicians and celebs who have also experienced or lived with homelessness including; Tiffany Haddish, Halle Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Miley Cyrus, Russell Simmons, Sanaa Lathan, Rebecca Gayheart-Dane.

“Being youth and homeless is obviously an issue that is very close to my heart and this documentary is very personal to me, and why I chose to be a producer and get involved,” said Jewel. “I am honored to have written and performed this song for the documentary LOST IN AMERICA and to help bring awareness to this epidemic.”

Rotimi is a writer-director and producer who may be best known for his feature documentary film, Sugar, a story that derives from Rainwater’s actual life experience on the streets. His film “Lost in America” explores an honest look at what homeless youths have to endure just to survive in the streets, and questions what organizations and systems are doing right and where they are failing to help these youths.

The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened an already fragile and unsafe homeless population. According to a recent study, nearly 4.2 million kids live out on the streets. On a single night in 2019, 35,038 unaccompanied youth were counted as homeless. Of those, 89 percent were between the ages of 18 to 24. The remaining 11 percent (or 3,976 unaccompanied children) were under the age of 18.

The National Alliance to end homelessness estimates that over the course of a year, approximately 550,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults up to age 24 experience a homelessness episode of longer than one week. More than half are under the age of 18. With heightened unemployment rates and some families on the verge of eviction, the financial strain COVID-19 has put on families is not something that’s just felt by adults. Covid-19 transmission has increased among homeless youths associated with inter-generational and temporary housing/shelters.

This film is an important conversation starter in recognizing how the pandemic is affecting youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

Lost In America Trailer:

To watch or learn more about Lost In America visit:



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