The Homeless Games
As often championed on this site, sport has endless ways of benefiting the community and having a social impact. Another way that sport has a social impact is using sport to help end homelessness and giving them the opportunities to make new pathways for themselves.
There are two such examples of sport being used to uplift people who are or have experienced homelessness.
The first is the Homeless Games. These are a two day annual event held in Liverpool, UK. Providing a multi-sport event for people who are or have experienced homelessness in the last two years for people across the United Kingdom. The Homeless Games also has arranged social help to attendees through health and well-being stalls and services including: Cancer Awareness, Drink Awareness, Substance Misuse, Sexual Health Advice, Massage, Health Checks, Premier League Health Courses, Dental Advice, Healthy Eating and Dietary Advice.
This event is a great way to help reach at risk people in our society and provide them with necessary tools and services to help them get out of poverty.
The Homeless World Cup is another such example. The Homeless World Cup Foundation “is a unique, pioneering charity which uses football to inspire people who are homeless to change their own lives.” They seek to use football to support and inspire people who are homeless to change their own lives and also change the perceptions and attitudes towards people who are experiencing homelessness. They operate through grassroot street football groups in over 70 countries around the world.
They are working towards mass changes through football. As in all instances with sport, when a person who homeless gets involved with football, they build connections and relationships and learn how to trust and share. They learn responsibility by attending practices and games by being on time and being ready to participate. They also feel empowered. 77% of Homeless World Cup players changed their lives significantly because of their involvement with football.
Sport has an untapped power to help end all forms of homelessness. This is another way that we can use sport to uplift those who need help.