Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jobs and Education

Op-Ed Columnist - Escaping From Poverty - NYTimes.com This OP ED highlights effective strategies for fighting poverty. We would argue that homelessness, being a degree of poverty, needs the same remedies. Jobs and Education.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ramapo Recognizes SSUSA

The Ramapo College of NJ recognized the great work everyone is doing at Street Soccer and highlighted last summers Street Soccer USA Cup in its bi-annual alumni magazine. Check is out at the bottom of the link here...

Friday, March 19, 2010

SS945 Charlotte Improves to 3-2

Street soccer 945 does it again! Taking home another win last night brings the season standings to 3-2. I arrived about 15 minutes before they took the field. It was a cool crisp evening and Street Soccer 945 was warming up. I was a little shocked at first as I had never seen so many Street Soccer 945 uniforms donned at once. I counted 14 players in all. Impressive turn out to say the least. Also in attendance, beyond the usual Watershed superfans, was a group of students from South Mecklenburg High School. Representing their soccer team and a community service group, these students not only came out and cheered but also served orange slices to the players at half-time - very cool and nostalgic!

So maybe we should talk a little about the game itself? The team really gelled, tonight, and put on a beautiful display of teamwork and ball control. Our defense was solid. Communication was solid. Offense was solid. Passing was solid (except for Pete). The team was simply solid tonight. First out the gate with a goal was Mister who popped in a nice one to the left side after receiving a great cross from Pete. And the crowd goes wild. Mister wasn't done, though, and came back a short time later to slide another goal in. Literally. After playing a pass back, Pete ran the ball up and delivered another beautiful (adequate) cross to Mister who slid at the last possible moment to sneak the ball into the goal. And the crowd goes crazy. The third and fourth goals were delivered in the second half. Bern was the source of a beautiful power shot from just over the half that made the net at the back of the goal weep in pain. And the crowd goes nuts.

Attending the Street Soccer 945 games is more than watching good soccer, it's a chance to watch transformation at work. As you witness the skills of the players increase, you are also given the opportunity to see their lives change. Regardless of the score, Street Soccer 945 will always win.

To learn more about Street Soccer 945 in Charlotte, NC or to get involved contact Brittany at blarson@urbanministrycenter.org

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tues. Night in NYC

Hi everyone, we have an amazing and free opportunity to enjoy ourselves and help Street Soccer USA, 6-9pm at Le Colonial Restaurant on E. 57th Street and Lexington.
No Cover Charge, first drink bought by our fan Venanzio Ciampa of the Promotion Factory, and specially prepared food by an amazing chef with a calling. Read below and please come out and enjoy. 40% of the bar will be donated to Street Soccer USA.

Read below:

For Xuan Pham, Executive Chef of Le Colonial, the answer is yes. Having earned professional degrees in Paris and working in pharmaceutical companies in France and California, Pham has a scientific understanding of how the body works. When a different opportunity arose, she felt she could better serve people giving them nourishing food rather than drugs.

Born and raised in Saigon, Pham has seen her share of homelessness, poverty and disease and she has a deep interest in supporting these causes. Pham is uniquely qualified to help. With a professional background in both pharmacology and cooking, Pham understands the healing nature of food and how to eat to maintain a healthy body. She is eagerly embracing SSUSA’s mission with this opportunity to make a positive contribution by providing nourishment.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dance United

One of our advisors, Amy Farkas, of Unicef, shared this article. I thought it was great, especially the second half. Lot's of people don't know that Street Soccer USA started as an art program and that our first team was called Art Works Football Club. Indeed the power of relationships forged through shared experience is at the core of what we do. When human beings affirm each other, hope, dignity, and purpose are abundant and palpable. If recovery, achievement, progress etc. are going to take hold for those stuck in homelessness and poverty, these goals must be cast on a foundation of personal pride and purpose in life.

It no surprise to me that targeted programming around arts and sports combines creativity and discipline in a way that help participants balance the two in their own lives. I am glad we are measuring it and so thrilled that as a society we are starting to take advantage of the power of such activities to build a healthy community.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Man off the Street

I had a meeting today in midtown about the program. As I walked toward the subway a voice called out to me. It was Juan who was part of the SSNYC program and played for SSNYC in this summer's cup. He's now head doorman at the Chanel store. I actually had no idea where that store was believe it or not (even though I knew he worked there), but now I sure do. Here's a photo I snapped of Juan on the job.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SSNYC Looks For 4th Consecutive Win

After last Fridays convincing 14-7 win over formerly first place Team Denmark, SSNYC looks to defeat another first place team. Please come out this Friday and support SSNYC as they try and continued their 3 game winnning streak!!!

Date: Friday March 5

Time:11 pm

Opponent: Tokio Marine

Location: Chelsea Piers

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Charlotte's Street Soccer 945 Collaborates with Troop 162

On a sunny but chilly Saturday morning in Charlotte, NC, Kevin Gassaway and Troop 162 spearheaded an effort to build walls for the outdoor Street Soccer court at the Urban Ministry Center. Thanks for all your hard work! Below, Kevin shares his experience.

Today I spent the morning at the Urban Ministry Center with the Street Soccer 945 team and with several members of my Boy Scout Troop 162. We were there building a new wall for the street soccer court since the old one was run down and not in good condition. We cut 2x8's, painted plywood, drilled nails, and put the wall together. Craig(Swagger), Jose, Justin, Osman, Fransisco, Pete, Brittany, and other members of the team helped us out with the project.

After we finished building the wall, Swagger, Pete, and Brittany talked to us about the Street Soccer program. Swagger talked about the confidence that it brought him to play soccer and how it helped him not only on the court, but off it as well. When we finished hearing about his experience in the program, we got to test the walls out with a 3 on 3 Street Soccer Tournament, while we ate lunch with the players. Each team had 2 Boy Scouts and a member of the Street Soccer team. The Czech Republic (Jose, Anthony Dellamea, and Conor Renaghan) beat Mexico (Osman, Fransisco, and Brittany) in a shootout to win the tournament. The wall passed our test and worked out very well. Hopefully it will be helpful in the future as well.

The players were all really fun to play with and taught me a lot. They would help me if I did anything wrong and encouraged me and the rest of the group to do well. My team didn't get to win the tournament, but it was still a lot of fun to get to play with Swagger and all of the other players. Today was a really fun experience and I would love to play with them again, and even help out on the team.

Check out this video to see more.

To learn more about Street Soccer 945 in Charlotte and to get involved, contact Brittany at blarson@urbanministrycenter.org