Friday, December 4, 2009

Street Soccer USA

Mission Statement: “Soccer for social change…Ending homelessness through sports.”


My donation: $5

Homelessness has always been a soft spot for me. When I was in high school, I played in an orchestra that rehearsed at Cal State Northridge. As soon as I turned 16, I started driving myself to rehearsals every Sunday night. To get there, I took the Reseda exit off the 101, and every Sunday night, the same homeless man was standing on the corner. He seemed nice enough, so I started giving him a dollar every week when I drove past him. Then, I started bringing him food – a sandwich here, an apple there. I thought we had a pretty good relationship.

One week, I decided to go all out. I asked my mom to help me put together a care package – toothbrush, toothpaste, bottled water, snack packs. I was so excited to drive to rehearsal that week. And wouldn’t you know it – my homeless friend wasn’t there.

Street Soccer USA acknowledges that the homeless are generally looked down upon, marginalized and socially excluded. By creating a team environment, the Organization provides a community of support and helps the homeless to build trusting relationships.

I was impressed to learn that one year after joining the Street Soccer program, 75% of participants move off the streets.

I never saw my homeless friend again. I can only hope that he got his life together and ended up off the streets too.

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