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National partner profile: Israel

Football for The Homeless

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Football for the Homeless was established in 2012 by Uri Shoham and Omri Abramovich in order to improve the lives of homeless people and with the goal of representing Israel at the Homeless World Cup.

They organise weekly training sessions, with a view to establishing a national homeless league.

Their main location is Tel Aviv, and homeless participants are usually referred to the programme by their social worker. Two of their teams focus specifically on men suffering from mental health issues.

Participants are also able to gain coaching qualifications, thereby enhancing the sustainability and growth of the organisation. As a result, one of the graduates now works as a coach for the organisation, and they are aiming to expand this aspect of their work.

Their programme is funded by the Ministry of Public Security’s budget for crime prevention.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement

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The main mission of Football for the Homeless is to use football to improve the lives of homeless people. Participation in sport enables participants to keep fit and healthy, learn how to achieve goals, be punctual, and embrace responsibility.

The mission extends beyond working directly with homeless people to changing the attitudes of the society, fighting stereotypes about homelessness, and creating empathy and understanding.

Football requires teamwork and building partnerships, which is a good way for homeless people to form contacts and new friendships.

Goals for the future

Women's Programmes

To set up a women’s team and start running a programme for women

Capacity Expansion

To expand relationships with universities in order to recruit interns and volunteers

Social Inclusion

To promote group cohesiveness through team building activities

Additional information

Partner since

2015

Football Activities

Football sessions once a week and coaching qualifications

Non-football services

Access to education

Participants challenges

Substance abuse and mental health issues

Organisation challenges

Lack of infrastructure and equipment

Country challenges

The Ministry of Social Affairs only deals with a handful of cases, since only those suffering from drug addiction, mental health problems, neglect, or those who have spent at least 30 nights sleeping rough, are eligible for assistance (Y Net News, 2009).

Homlessness definition

In Israel, the term “homeless” is not generally used. Instead, a distinction is made between two institutional categories – “rough sleepers” and “the roofless.” Rough sleepers (also referred to as street dwellers) are dealt with by the Social Affairs Ministry, whereas the roofless are dealt with by the Construction and Housing Ministry (The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute).

The definition of street dwellers does not include minors or recently released prisoners (Haaretz, 2011).

Homelessness Statistics

The authorities report around 2,000 people living on the streets, but it is estimated that there are another 1,000 whose cases have not been recorded. Because of the limited definition of homelessness, there are around 10,000 people in insecure housing conditions who do not meet the criteria for social housing (Haaretz, 2011).

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