Homeless World Cup

The Homeless World Cup is a unique, pioneering social movement which uses football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives.  For more details, read Mel Young’s new book, Home Game.

We envision a world where anyone and everyone who is or becomes homeless can gain access to one of our National Partners’ transformative programmes. Our mission is to inspire homeless people to change their lives through the power of football.

We operate through a network of more than 74 national partners to support football programmes and social enterprise development. We provide a focus for – and celebration of – their year-round activity by organising and delivering an annual, world-class, international football tournament for national teams of homeless men and women.

Homelessness can force people into isolation, which affects their ability to share, communicate their thoughts, and work with others.

When a homeless person gets involved in football, they build relationships; they become teammates who learn to trust and share. They have a responsibility to attend training sessions and games, to be on time, and to be prepared to participate. They feel that they are part of something larger than themselves.

The sense of empowerment that comes from participating in street football helps homeless people see that they can change their lives; and our National Partner organisations give them the tools they need to do just that.

A survey of Homeless World Cup players showed that:

  • 94% say the Homeless World Cup positively impacted their lives;
  • 83% improved social relations with family and friends;
  • 77% changed their lives significantly because of their involvement with football; and
  • 71% continue to play the sport.

The players at the tournament are the tip of the iceberg, individuals whose efforts and dedication to National Partner programmes—and to changing their lives—have earned them the opportunity of a lifetime. The reach of the Homeless World Cup extends much farther than the 500 players who attend the annual event. The Homeless World Cup movement includes:

  • 74 National Partners
  • Working in 450+ locations
  • With 100,000 homeless people involved every year

The Homeless World Cup has impacted the lives of 1 million homeless people around the globe since our founding more than a decade ago.

Here Mel Young explains what the Homeless World Cup means: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66rmfyERkU8