11_canda

National partner profile: Canada

Participants

They work with marginalised men and women living in shelters or on the street.

Locations

Toronto, Hamilton, Brampton, Ottawa, Mississauga, Thunder Bay, Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Comox Valley, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax

Street Soccer Canada

PartnerPage_Canada_logo

Street Soccer Canada began as an initiative by housing advocate Paul Gregory to put together a team for the Homeless World Cup in 2004. It is now a thriving network of more than 20 soccer programs in a dozen cities across the country. In addition to running local programmes, they also organise and participate in national and international tournaments.

Street Soccer Canada has been supported by Kara Lang, Canadian soccer star and promoter of women’s football. She worked as technical director and coach for Street Soccer Canada between 2011 and 2013.

Street Soccer Canada aim to engage and connect with marginalised shelter users, and individuals who have been isolated and are on the fringes of society using the positive power of sport. Sports can make a huge difference to the life of a marginalised person, and players say that they come away with a sense of contribution and hope. A broader goal of Street Soccer Canada is to raise awareness about global issues of poverty and systemic challenges within social welfare systems. A majority of the participants have reported higher levels of self-esteem and a willingness to reintegrate to society.

Among other initiatives, Street Soccer Canada run a social enterprise laundry service which provides clean linen to shelters and other non-profit organisations, as well as offering some of the participants a place to work and give something back to the community. The service helps those involved be part of a larger goal.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement

11_canda

Through the positive influences of physical exercise and new friendships, Street Soccer Canada is helping people move beyond their difficult past and make a play for their goals.

Sometimes, all it takes is one small step to get the ball rolling.

Goals for the future

Social Inclusion

To raise awareness about global issues of poverty and systemic challenges within social welfare systems

Programme Development

To engage and connect with marginalised shelter users, and individuals who have been isolated or are on the fringes of society using the positive power of sport

Additional information

Partner since

2004

Football Activities

In addition to running local programmes that provide 16 weekly sessions across Canada, they organise and participate in national and international tournaments.

Team selection

The Team Canada coach chooses players based on their personal progress and commitment to the programme. Canada’s team is usually mixed, made up of both men and women.

Non-football services

Street Soccer Canada run a social enterprise laundry service that employs participants. They also provide housing mediation and assistance.

Participants challenges

Players struggle with substance abuse, family breakdown, and crime.

Country challenges

A  withdrawal of the federal government’s investment in affordable housing, declining wages, reduced benefit levels, and a shrinking supply of affordable housing have placed more and more Canadians at risk of homelessness (Homeless Hub, 2014).

Homlessness definition

Homelessness describes the situation of an individual or family without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means, and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination. The definition further involves four categories: unsheltered, emergency sheltered, provisionally accommodated, and at-risk of homelessness (Homeless Hub, 2014, p.38).

Homelessness Statistics

It is estimated that more than 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a year, with more than 35,000 Canadians homeless on any given night. Between 13,000 and 33,000 Canadians are chronically homeless. The majority of homeless people stay in either emergency shelters or in some sort of provisional accommodation, while there are believed to be around 5,000 homeless people who are unsheltered (Homeless Hub, 2014). The first coordinated homelessness count will take place in 2016 (ESDC, 2015).

Go behind the scenes with our National Partners

Join the Supporters Club and play your part in changing the lives of homeless people.

Membership gives you access to exclusive stories and additional information about these remarkable organisations, each of whom use the power of football in different ways to help homeless and socially disadvantaged people.


Become a supporter
The Game is Real

Supported by: