Held in D.C. over the last week, Street Soccer U.S.A Cup, with a mission of soccer for social change.
With their 16-city league they aim to get homeless men, women, and youth off the streets, “scoring goals on the field, and achieving their goals in life.”
Since 2009, SSUSA is incubated under the HELP USA umbrellas of social services. In just a few years, SSUSA has grown from one program to a 16 city league of programs across the country from Los Angeles to New York. SSUSA reaches more than 20% of the chronically homeless in a given service area, and realizes a 75% success rate in effecting a positive life change such as addressing a substance abuse problem or mental health issue, securing full-time employment or moving off the street. The sense of belonging, mentorship, and structure that SSUSA programs provide can be the difference between people languishing on the street and successfully re-integrating into society. Each year SSUSA hosts the Street Soccer USA Cup, a major sports for social change event. The first took place in Charlotte 2006. This summer the event will be hosted in Washington, DC by the Ted Leonsis Foundation and the Washington Kastles.
Additionally, Street Soccer USA is the official partner of the Homeless World Cup and organizes the United States participation in the annual 48-nation Homeless World Cup.
SSUSA brought a team of homeless soccer players to the Homeless World Cup in Scotland (2005), South Africa (2006), Denmark (2007) and Melbourne (2008). SSUSA will bring a team to the Homeless World Cup in Milan, Italy in September 2009. SSUSA involved 1,000 people nationally in its programming. Of national team members, 28 of the 32 to date have moved off and stayed off the street since representing the country.
SSUSA continues to innovate and lead in the development of new solutions to poverty and homelessness through sports.
The U.S. World Cup brings 16 teams of homeless men and women from all over the country(Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Charlottesville, Chicago, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Montgomery County, New York, Richmond, Sacramento, San Francisco, St Louis, and Washington DC, together at Washington’s Kastles Stadium, in the center of downtown D.C., for three days of celebration, encouragement, and, of course, soccer.
The finals are occurring as I write this. Check their site later today to see how the tourney went down, or to donate to the organization.
Our National Team will be named today too. The Homeless World Cup to be held in September, in Milan, Italy.