[UPDATE: After receiving an ostensibly bizarre press release Tuesday about helping the homeless via street soccer, we scoffed. Many did, in fact. Perhaps too soon and, for worse, inaccurately. In an effort to learn more and give you, the readers, a clear perspective on the San Francisco street soccer initiative, we asked Gothamist sports writer Dan Dickinson to tell us more. You can read more here.]
According to a press release just sent by Rec and Park, San Francisco plans on curing homelessness by making the homeless play soccer. We are not making this up.
The city of San Francisco, much to our surprise, is famous for its love of soccer. You didn't know that? Neither did we. But: "San Francisco is a City that loves soccer,” said Homeless Czar Bevan Dufty, Director of the Mayor's Office of HOPE. "Mayor [Ed] Lee supports Street Soccer USA as a way to show players and fans that soccer and teamwork can help end homelessness."
Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of SF Rec and Park, had this to say: "SF Rec and Park is proud to be in partnership with Mayor’s Office of HOPE and Street Soccer USA to launch the City’s first Street Soccer Program for Homeless ... It has always been SF Rec and Park’s priority to ensure everyone can get out and play."
And now, to the press release:
"Street Soccer USA is a sport-based organization focused on eradicating homelessness and poverty via onsite soccer programs and community building at social service agencies and homeless shelters in 20 cities across the nation. 75% of participants, who range from youth to adult, successfully connect to further education, improved health, jobs, and housing within a year of joining the program. This is the first collaboration between Street Soccer and SF Rec and Park to launch the initiative helping homelessness in San Francisco. For more information about Street Soccer USA."
Also, both homeless or housed people can play.
But you also must pay. "The cost of entry is collected via a personalized team fundraising page which you will receive after completing the form," Street Soccer USA points out, adding that participants can pay an entry fee all at once or use a "crowdfunding page."
What's that phrase associated with Marie Antoinette? Something about cake?