“Soccer For Social Change…Ending Homelessness Through Sports”
That’s the message that greets you on the homepage for a group known as Street Soccer USA — an organization that works to help the homeless by inspiring them to better their lives through soccer.
Founded by Lawrence Cann, Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) currently operates in 20 cities throughout the nation and hopes to expand its reach in the next five years.
“It’s very logical. You come, you join our team, you meet friends, you set goals…it’s really a process,” describes Cann.
Known the world over for being a sport to unite and rally around, soccer is proving itself a life preserver for teens like Jasmine Morris in Washington D.C.
“I’ve stayed in like weird places before, so it gets tough. It’s not OK for a teenager to go through that in their life,” says Jasmine.
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Adults and teens like Jasmine are asked to set 3, 6 and 12-month goals for themselves as soon as they join. And SSUSA uses a systematic approach to empower their participants and ensure their success.
Recently released from prison and now homeless, TK, a former drug trafficker, sees the organization as his lifeline.
“I guess without the game, I would’ve dropped out of school a long time ago. That’s what keeps me going, y’know it just keeps me going”
And as Jasmine will tell you, “it makes me feel good…it’s like a secret little family.”