From our partner organization in St. Louis, Peter and Paul Community Services
ST. LOUIS (April 23, 2010)
Doug Carter was homeless on and off for the past several years in St. Louis. While participating in a transitional housing program at Peter & Paul Community Services, Doug learned about the agency’s street soccer team, the St. Louis Roadies. He never thought a ball could change his life but three years later he has his own place, a part-time job and is pursuing a Missouri Commercial Driver’s license in order to supplement his income as a cab driver.
“Looking back now, I was just tired of being tired, tired of losing jobs and moving from place to place. I remember one winter sleeping out in a tent behind an abandoned building downtown with a couple other guys. One of the guys at our camp froze to death. He had been there throughout the winter and rarely got out of the cold when the weather was really bad. It finally caught up with him. It was really sad. I continued to work with Peter & Paul staff on my résumé and stayed involved with the soccer team. I have no idea as to why, but the coaches and players chose me as team captain. I was pretty happy about that. Through it all I’ve kept my faith. I’m actually proud of myself and where I am now. I’ve come a long way.”
Since joining the Roadies Doug has competed at the national level in Kansas City at the Midwest Invitational and Washington D.C. for the Street Soccer USA Cup. This summer he will travel with the team to Washington D.C. to compete against homeless street soccer teams from 16 other cities. Organizers of the Street Soccer USA Cup will choose 8 players to represent the United States in the Homeless World Cup in Rio De Janiero in the fall.
Doug is not the exception. Internationally, 77% of participants in Street Soccer programs make a significant life changes such as moving off the street, or pursuing further education.
With 800,000 people homeless on any given night in the US, homelessness is a widespread and worsening national problem.
Mizzou Senior Luke Hesse first heard about the St. Louis Roadies while home for Easter break.
“I heard about Doug’s story from a family member who helps out at Peter & Paul Community Services. I got in touch with Pete Campanella who heads up the coaching staff for the Roadies and spoke to our house president about playing a match. The idea kind of took off from there.”
The Roadies take on Phi Kappa PSI on Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m.
Date/Time: Friday, April 30, 2010 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Venue: Cosmopolitan Park, 1615 Business Loop 70W, Columbia, MO 65202
In Case of Rain The match will be played indoors at Mizzou. Call 314-662-2877 for indoor venue. Open to the public
Other news out of St. Louis...
Congratulations to St. Louis Roadie Captain Daniel Blue for moving into his new place and enrolling at L'Ecole Culinaire!