Friday, November 27, 2009

Homelessness on the Rise in San Fran

Our Street Soccer USA partner, Glide Church, faces huge demands , particulalry among families.

KCBS - Homeless Numbers Continue to Rise

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Street Soccer Charlotte gets a special visit from US National Heather Mitts

Street Soccer 945 of the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte just ended the fall season but has kept the momentum going through the winter. Even though a first round playoff exit in local league play hurt team spirits, it has not stopped the team from turning out in numbers at each practice to work on getting better . The team has stayed busy with events at Pheiffer University and Belmont Abbey College as part of homelessness and hunger awareness week, and at Thursday's practice the team had a special visitor stop in-Heather Mitts from the US Women's National Team! Heather met fellow female player and SSUSA Rep for the Homeless World Cup 2009, Ebony Wright, and then she ran the team through a series of passing drills before the team divided up into small sides and played a king of the court competition. Heather teamed up with Ebony, new player Juneau, and volunteer Matt. The competition held nothing back giving Heather's group a challenge each time on the field. This is the beauty of street soccer programming, it doesnt matter to our team if you are new to the game, if you are old or young, or say, a professional athlete, we are all equals on the field. We just played and had fun with it. After practice we had the chance to take some photos and the team thanked her for coming out, they waited until after she left however, to talk about how cool and inspiring it was to be able to play with a pro player and how they cant wait to see the pictures so they can post them to their facebook page! Thanks to Athletes for Hope for helping make this happen.

Ebony Wright, SSUSA National Team 2009 & Heather Mitts, US National Team

Monday, November 23, 2009

Street Soccer feels like Seabiscuit

Underdog hope. If you have a heart, take the time to watch this.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Exercise helps Mental Health

Check this article
“It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms,” says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student affiliated with the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth, who has been studying how exercise differently affects thinking and emotion. “It’s pretty amazing, really, that you can get this translation from the realm of purely physical stresses to the realm of psychological stressors.” Read more at the link above from this NYT piece.
SSUSA's Chris Lodgeson pictured exercising here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Also from NYT

an excerpt to think about

While federal officials say homelessness over all is expected to rise 10 percent to 20 percent this year, a federal survey of schools showed a 40 percent increase in the number of juveniles living on their own last year, more than double the number in 2003.

At the same time, however, many financially troubled states began sharply cutting social services last year. Though President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package includes $1.5 billion to address the problem of homelessness, state officials and youth advocates say that almost all of that money will go toward homeless families, not unaccompanied youths.

“As a society, we can pay a dollar to deal with these kids when they first run away, or 20 times that in a matter of years when they become the adult homeless or incarcerated population,” said Barbara Duffield, policy director for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

Sex on the street

This article describes some sophisticated pimps, but what i learned quickly in charlotte is that everything is transactional on the street, and there are lots of part time, occasional, and not quite conscious they are pimping pimps out there. It's not squalid. it's the human side of people our programs are trying to project, but sex is a refuge--often a pitiful one, a disease, a trade in poverty. We have to offer viable alternatives but we also have to understand where people are coming from.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanks Ramapo College and Friends

12 member of SSUSA NYC tean traveled outside the concrete jungle to Ramapo College in NJ to play the men's team from the college in a service learning scrimmage. The whole community rallied, read more here



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Midwest Cup!

Midwest Cup! Big weekend for Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Ft. Worth in Kansas City check out great story on Kevin of Ft. Worth, just follow link.

Foster child dies homeless

In Silicon Valley, a former foster child dies homeless-San Jose Mercury - Tragic and why ssusa is importan

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wildcats visit SSUSA-Charlotte at Urban Ministry Center

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Davidson field hockey team demonstrated its culinary skills for a great cause, cooking dinner for Street Soccer 945, a soccer program for the homeless, last Wednesday.

A program of the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte, Street Soccer 945 was originally founded by Davidson men’s soccer alumnus Lawrence Cann. Street Soccer 945 was the founding program of Street Soccer USA, a national network of 16 grassroots soccer programs for the homeless. Lawrence’s brother, Rob, is the current director of Street Soccer 945.

"It was a great experience to spend time with athletes from all different backgrounds,” said junior Ellie Szykowny. “By the end of the night we were singing along to an impromptu piano concert and sharing inside jokes. It's great for us to be able to make a connection with members of the Charlotte community."

The Wildcats cooked up a large meal, brought it to the Urban Ministry Center, and then dined with the street soccer team. The teams had a great time getting to know each other, sitting together by their respective positions on the field. The ‘Cats also gave the members of the soccer team water bottles with motivational quotations written on them.

"I think we were captivated by the sense of family that had developed between the Street Soccer players,” said junior Christine Rua. “There was a very obvious feeling of mutual commitment and consideration within the team that we as athletes could easily understand and connect with. The experience didn't feel like 'service' - simply put, they were letting us see inside their family and we were letting them see inside ours."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ESPN's AK Clemmons writes about Street Soccer USA

Link to article here
Story highlights player AK visited in Charlotte-Ebony Wright, Ray Isaac, and Tim Cummings.
Pictured here is Ray Isaac, receiving a Sport for Social Change Award for not only overcoming homelessness, but giving back by continuing to be mentor and coach to other people struggling to escape homelessness.