SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A new sense of excitement brewing in the streets of Sacramento and it has to do with soccer. A local program that brings the game of soccer to the homeless community is getting a boost.
We dug deeper into a newly announced partnership that will help elevate this program to new heights.
Many may not have known that this program even exists, but it’s been in place for a few years. The homeless get to play on streets. Some homeless have already started the program and say the impact is life changing.
By the smiles of these women, you would never know they’re homeless. They’re at Sister Nora’s Place to seek shelter and a sense of community. When I mentioned soccer their faces lit up.
Donna, Melody and Simoni have all signed up to play soccer through Street Soccer USA Sacramento, a program that started a few years ago, serving only a few dozen.
“It’s a lot of positivity,” said Simoni Laguna, who is homeless. “There isn’t a lot out there for the community.”
Volunteers bring the homeless together to play wherever they can, on the street, on a field. But it’s become much more than just a game.
“I found it very therapeutic, and it got me back in touch with myself,” said Laguna.
“Once we did it, started talking and feeling fine,” said Melody Cosio, who is homeless. “You know we start relating to one another.”
Sacramento Republic FC is now helping finance Street Soccer USA Sacramento. Allowing this year round program to touch even more lives.
“They touch those that are most in need through this beautiful thing called soccer. [It] just happens to be something we also care a lot about,” said Republic FC President/Founder Warren Smith.
“We’ll provide guidance and continue to be a cheerleader for them,” said Smith
And they will be breaking the teams up in adult and youth and maybe even get soccer tips from the champions themselves.
“I think most of the guys would like to go and do that,” said Justin Braun, a Republic FC player. “To give that population a chance to play, and give them a feeling of community, Is gonna be awesome.”
And while these women have already started, they’re excited for what’s to come.
“It allows us to feel someone cares about me, someone will have my back,” said Cosio.
With Republic FC backing the program, they’re hoping to reach upwards of 400 people, with teams being formed early next year. The teams will also be training to compete in a national tournament against other city programs.