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A Message from Mel

From humble beginnings in 2001, the Homeless World Cup and its partners now span the globe, with more than 70 countries taking part and more wanting to join. We touch the lives of 100,000 homeless people each year and make a significant change to the lives of many—all through the beautiful game of football.

However, with 100 million people homeless globally, we’re still just scratching the surface. We need to galvanize our global fan base if we’re really going to make a difference.

My message to people always is: Do small things. If we all do something small, we’ll change the world.

Together, we can change lives through football.

Mel Young, Co-Founder and President, Homeless World Cup

Our Mission & Vision

The Homeless World Cup is a unique, pioneering social movement which uses football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives.

We envision a world where anyone and everyone who is or becomes homeless can gain access to one of our National Partners’ transformative programmes. Our mission is to inspire homeless people to change their lives through the power of football.

We operate through a network of more than 70 National Partners to support football programmes and social enterprise development. We provide a focus for—and celebration of—their year-round activity by organising and delivering an annual, world-class, international football tournament for national teams of homeless men and women.

To learn more about the problem of homelessness around the world, visit the Foundation’s Resource Library.

Our Work

Homelessness can force people into isolation, which affects their ability to share, communicate their thoughts, and work with others.

When a homeless person gets involved in football, they build relationships; they become teammates who learn to trust and share. They have a responsibility to attend training sessions and games, to be on time, and to be prepared to participate. They feel that they are part of something larger than themselves.

The sense of empowerment that comes from participating in street football helps homeless people see that they can change their lives; and our National Partner organizations give them the tools they need to do just that.

A survey of Homeless World Cup players showed that:

  • 94% say the Homeless World Cup positively impacted their lives;
  • 83% improved social relations with family and friends;
  • 77% changed their lives significantly because of their involvement with football; and
  • 71% continue to play the sport.

The players at the tournament are the tip of the iceberg, individuals whose efforts and dedication to National Partner programmes—and to changing their lives—have earned them the opportunity of a lifetime. The reach of the Homeless World Cup extends much farther than the 500 players who attend the annual event. The Homeless World Cup movement includes:

  • 73 National Partners
  • Working in 420+ cities
  • With 100,000 homeless people involved every year,

The Homeless World Cup has impacted the lives of 1 million homeless people around the globe since our founding more than a decade ago.

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