Ever since I heard about the Homeless World Cup it has been a dream of mine to attend the event one day. I've always supported via social media, but there is nothing like being there and helping to share the stories of homeless people that have been given a new purpose on life. A few months back I was speaking at Los Angeles's Social Media Club and Howard Brodwin, from Sports and Social Change, came up from the audience and told me about the Street Soccer West Coast Cup. I didn't know how, but I knew I would have to figure out a way to visit San Francisco to attend and support.
This interview is the first time I met Lawrence Cann and Rob Cann, founders of Street Soccer USA. At 9 years-old, the family house burned down, and the boys learned first hand the importance of community. As they grew older, and soccer became a big part of their life, it was just natural to use the power of community that soccer helps create to help others.
"We Believe that Ending Homelessness is a Team Sport"
Started in 2006, Street Soccer USA partners with local homeless service agencies to provide an athletic program that's fun and creates community and purpose. Currently in 16 cities, the National Cup is being held in New York City next month.
It was really great seeing a large group of homeless people playing soccer, but what I liked the best was seeing people of all ages interacting and having fun. I am not sure if Sacramento's Lady Salamanders won their soccer matches, but they sure had a great time dancing to the music between games. Of course, being that I call Los Angeles home, my heart and screams went for the Los Angeles Team.
But don't just take my word for it. Listen to David who lives in a shelter in Los Angeles, or listen to Dawn, who is about to time out of a program in Sacramento, and meet Gina as she shares her amazing story:
Please support your local Street Soccer team and Street Soccer USA.h