San Francisco’s First Street Soccer Initiative for Homeless Tournament Kicks Off
SAN FRANCISCO — In partnership with SF Recreation and Park Department (SF Rec and Park) and Mayor’s Office of Housing Opportunity, Partnership & Engagement (HOPE), Street Soccer Program hosted its first USA West Coast Cup in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza on Saturday, June 22, 2013. More than 40 registered Corporate and Community teams from Bay Area were competing in the tournament with proceeds supporting Street Soccer USA (SSUSA). In addition 10 team of homeless individuals competed in the West Coast Cup as part of a sports for social change curriculum developed by SSUSA to help the homeless secure employment, housing and further education.
“Mayor Lee is very excited that Soccer and the Street Soccer team are catalysts to end homelessness through mentoring, employment and locate housing,” said Bevan Dufty, Mayor Lee’s Director of HOPE.
“This is the City’s first Street Soccer Program for Homeless Initiative where we provide young homeless adults with the opportunity to healthy recreation in our parks,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “We are proud to be a partner in the Street Soccer USA West Coast Cup.”
Street Soccer USA is a great way to address the soft skills deficit that prevents our homeless and impoverish participants from entering the work force and pursuing further education.” Rob Cann, Founder of Street Soccer USA. “We believe that ending homelessness is a team sport and we thank all of our partners and sponsors for joining our team and making the West Coast Cup possible.”
Street Soccer USA is a sport-based organization focused on eradicating homelessness and poverty via onsite soccer programs and community building at social service agencies and homeless shelters in 20 cities across the nation. 75% of participants, who range from youth to adult, successfully connect to further education, improved health, jobs, and housing within a year of joining the program. This is the first collaboration between Street Soccer and SF Rec and Park to launch the initiative helping homelessness in San Francisco. For more information about Street Soccer USA: www.streetsoccerusa.org.