Lauri Burns, Former Prostitute Who Turned Her Life and Those of Street Girls Around, Cheered
That was in the 1980s, and as of today Burns has not only totally turned her life around but those of 30 young females she has taken off the streets as a foster mom and countless others through her Teen Project shelters.
The Mission Viejo woman's do-gooding is recognized in this month's People magazine, which begins it's profile with then-23-year-old Burns shooting up alone and ready to die in a Santa Ana motel room.
She had grown up in a physically abusive home on New York's Long Island, shoplifted and taken drugs by the time she hit her teens, spent some time in a mental institution, gotten pregnant at 19 and left her baby daughter Summer with friends for weeks at a time.
Catching a glimpse of herself in a mirror that Santa Ana night in '86--"My hair was all over. I had blood dripping down my arms. It was the most horrible feeling."--and a near-fatal beating she took at the hands of her john months earlier, were enough to scare Burns straight.