I like to thank Kate Linthicum for journeying with the youth as she dedicated countless hours to this great article. I also like to thank Katie Falkenberg for her dedication and amazing photos of the youth.
Here is a link to the article.
Here is a link to the photo gallery.
If people want to support the L.A. Street Soccer Academy please go to www.jovenesinc.org and make your donations. We would appreciate any donations.
The article was written before the Alex went to Brazil to participate in the Homeless World Cup. For reasons that were out of control of the writer, the article was published today. I will be writing a couple of articles about my experience at this year’s Homeless World Cup in Brazil in the Community Connection, a community newspaper of L.A.CAN. Some of the articles will be included in future blogs. I will write some thoughts about my experience at the Homeless World Cup in a future blog. I will say that it was an amazing experience. It was an honor to meet the Palestinian team. The homeless world cup final was played between Brazil and Chile, which Brazil won. I think this was the first time that a homeless world cup starts and ends with the same teams. In the first game, Brazil beat Chile 7-6. The final was not nearly as closed. The women’s world cup was played between Brazil and Mexico, which Brazil won. In their build up to the final, Brazil and Mexico played each other 3 times with each game providing excitement in the crowd….The overall standings in the men’s cup, had Mexico coming in at 3rd place, Palestine at number 10, South Africa at number 11 and team USA coming in at number 20. The USA women’s team did well in their debut. Aside from their 11th place finished, they played great and had a lot of close games.
Sports has always been a vehicle for social change. We have seen it in South Africa where during the apartheid, South African prisoners struggled for the right to play Soccer in Robben Island. Once they did they formed the Makana Football Association, which would form the blue print for a New South Africa or Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrie line. Sports have demonstrated to be at the forefront of social movements.
One of the beautiful things about sports is that it brings people together from various walks of life and for one common purpose and that’s to have fun, whether a team wins or loses.To me that is exactly the goal of using soccer to bring awareness to the homeless issue. It’s to see the person as a human being; with respect and dignity. Soccer invites our society to see homelessness with eyes of compassion. It allows us to call people by their names and not by titles such as; wino, crazy, lazy or bum. Soccer brings dignity back into people’s lives. I have always felt that sports along with music and the arts are vehicles to bring the catalyst that our nation so desperately needs in trying to address one of the world’s social problems. Let us continue seeing with the eyes of compassion, listen with the ears of understanding, so that our hearts will continue to beat to the sounds of justice, freedom and equality while our spirits dance to tune of THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN.
Soccer: Transforming lives one goal at a time.