S.F. Hopes Homeless Will Start Playing Soccer, Find Homes
The same man who thought adorable puppies would solve San Francisco's panhandling problem is now saying that soccer could do what former Mayor Gavin Newsom could not: end homelessness.
Like that. Only homeless.
The city's Recreation and Parks Department just announced it was partnering with the Mayor's Homeless czar Bevan Dufty and Street Soccer USA to kick off the city's very first street soccer team for the homeless.
Officially, the city plans to host the Street Soccer USA West Coast Cup in San Francisco, in hopes that homeless folks will start getting a little bit of physical exercise (although that goal is pretty universal).
"San Francisco is a City that loves Soccer,"Dufty said in a statement released this afternoon. "Mayor Lee supports Street Soccer USA as a way to show players and fans that soccer and teamwork can help end homelessness."
Street Soccer USA is a sport-based organization focused on eradicating homelessness and poverty through onsite soccer programs and community building at social service agencies and homeless shelters in 20 cities across the nation. Some 75 percent of participants successfully connect to further education, improved health, jobs, and housing within a year of joining the program.
The West Coast Coast Cup is a premier sport for social change event where communities come together to compete in tournaments. In addition, the soccer tourney will serve as a platform to fundraise for programs that teach job and life skills to homeless folks in San Francisco, according to the Recreation and Parks Department.
You don't have to be homeless to play. The soccer event will include more than 40 business and local community teams playing soccer tournaments at Justin Herman Plaza on June 22 and June 23.
And afterwards, they can go freshen up with a free shower on Muni.