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Street Soccer USA is a New York, NY based non-profit that uses soccer “to get homeless men, women, and youth off the streets."

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Over the years I’ve come across quite a few non-profits that use sports as a tool to enact social change. Most of them focus on youth. It makes sense–when you’re young it’s easy to pick up new sports and you stand to gain the most from the positive influences of being on a team. Lately, I’ve started to see a few organizations that are using sports to help end homelessness. A few months ago I wrote about Back On My Feet which “promotes the self-sufficiency of people experiencing homelessness by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.” Today I came across Street Soccer USA, which is a New York, NY based non-profit that “to get homeless men, women, and youth off the streets, scoring goals on the field, and achieving their goals in life.” It’s a really neat idea, and it seems to be working.

Achieve Your Goal!

Street Soccer USA operates teams in 20 cities across the country, and the teams compete in annual tournament against each other (there’s even a national team). For the rest of the year they train three times a week and compete locally. Beyond the actual soccer, there is a ton of programming focused on helping “players improve social skills, self esteem, physical/mental health, and eliminate barriers to employment.” Street Soccer USA has developed some great partnerships and sponsorships, and these enable them to operate on such a large scale (20 cities is really big for a non-profit). If you’re loving Street Soccer USA’s story (though I wish they would go into more depth of how it started), take a look at their jobs on Idealist. Right now they’re looking for a Program Coordinator in San Francisco, CA. The position looks like a great fit for a new or recent grad, so check it out.

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