National partner profile: United States of America

Organisation details

Street Soccer USA
5 Hanover Square, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10004 USA
Contact: Rob Cann


Currently or recently homeless men and women; young people aged 8-17 living in low income housing developments and family homeless shelters


Cities across the US, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Street Soccer USA


Street Soccer USA is a registered non-profit organisation that promotes and develops a national network of Sport for Development programs based in social service agencies across the country. SSUSA creates positive community through sports around youth and adults who are homeless, dramatically transforming the context in which participants live from one of isolation and marginalization to one of support and encouragement.

SSUSA organises the Homeless World Cup Team USA, bringing players from 19 cities ranging from California to Washington, D.C. together via the Street Soccer USA Cup.

Their national ambassadors are players from 22 Major League Soccer teams, who have championed the SSUSA mission across the country and have directly impacted lives of many of SSUSA’s programme participants

To date, more than 90% of street soccer players have experienced positive outcomes in terms of self-esteem, emotional self-regulation, increased social network, ability to trust others, and improved mental/physical health. More than 75% of street soccer players connect to jobs, housing, complete a rehabilitation program, or further their education within a year of joining the program.

SSUSA also hosts the country's premier sport for social change event, the Street Soccer USA Cup. Hosted last summer in New York City's Times Square, the annual cup features the SSUSA programme teams, as well as an open division with more than 50 business and community teams participating. Regional events in California, North Carolina, and the Midwest are also hosted as feeders to the national tournament.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement


Street Soccer USA’s mission is to improve health, education, and employment outcomes for the most disadvantaged Americans by using sports to transfer the skills necessary so that individuals can achieve these outcomes for themselves.

They also seek to raise awareness about the challenges of poverty in America so that a more level playing field for all can be developed.

“When we play, we play for more than just winning or losing. We play to better ourselves, to better our community, and to better the world”

Goals for the future

Capacity Expansion

To extend their reach to more cities and strengthen each city’s program


To scale their skills transfer programs in order to improve community health, education, and employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth and young adults

Infrastructure Development

To develop urban mini soccer pitches in underserved communities


To build sustainable enterprise that unites the country behind social change through sports, funds their grassroots programs, and provides employment opportunities to their program graduates

Additional information

Football Activities

Weekly practice sessions, referee and coaches training programs, and tournaments including the Street Soccer USA Cup Series

Team selection

National team players are selected based on their achievements and ability on the field and leadership qualities.

Non-football services

Support for players who have suffered physical or sexual abuse, essential life skills programmes, goal-setting sessions, financial literacy, résumé writing, job counselling, study hall, optional social outings, Jobs Academies Program which includes job readiness resource partners such as law firms, community colleges, and scholarship funds.

Participants challenges

Poor access to resources and support networks, marginalisation, substance abuse, violent backgrounds, mental and physical health issues, imprisonment

Country challenges

In 2013, the official poverty rate was 14.5 percent, which means 45.3 million people lived in poverty (US Census Bureau, 2013). The 2008, economic crisis significantly increased homelessness, job insecurity, and poverty (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009), leaving young people among the most vulnerable (City Lab, 2013).

Homlessness definition

There are four federally defined categories under which individuals and families may qualify as homeless: 1) literally homeless; 2) imminent risk of homelessness; 3) homeless under other Federal statues; and 4) fleeing/attempting to flee domestic violence (HUD).

Homelessness Statistics

On a single night in January 2013, there were 610,042 people experiencing homelessness. Homelessness has declined by 9% since 2007 (HUD, 2013). However, unofficial estimates of total homelessness range from 1.6 million to 3.5 (NCH, 2009), and in 2013, 2,483,539 children experienced homelessness (NCFH, 2014).

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