Futbol Calle (Street Football), an initiative started by football marketing agency Acción Total, is a network of street football projects that creates opportunities to deliver psycho-social development to men and women across Chile through sport. Based on a participatory and inclusive approach for vulnerable participants, it uses football as a platform for personal development.
Training sessions run twice a week in each location, led by a multidisciplinary team of teachers, social workers, and psychologists who not only coach, but also provide guidance and support for personal development. They aim for a positive impact on the quality of life of the participants.
Their programme is backed by former Chilean football star, Ivan Zamorano.
A count of people experiencing homelessness was last completed in 2011. The figure reached was 12,255 (OECD).
The percentage of the population below the poverty line as of 2017 was 8.6% (World Bank).
In 2017, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, visited Chile on an official ten-day visit.
According to the report, “the UN expert said she was shocked by the abandonment by the government of people who are homeless, many of whom have disabilities. This population is basically invisible. They are offered few to no government services and certainly no housing options but for periodic shelter and charitable services.”
Ms. Farha reported on the discrimination faced by migrants, both documented and undocumented, in accessing adequate housing. “I call on the Government of Chile to reform its migration law, including with explicit references to access to housing and to regulation and monitoring of private sector lessors”, she said.
The Special Rapporteur acknowledged that the Government of Chile has put in place programmes to enhance inclusion and integration as well as a number of innovative pilot programmes addressing distinct housing needs.
“However, without addressing housing as a human right, signalling a shift away from the view that housing is a commodity I fear vulnerable populations in Chile will continue to experience housing inequality which is unacceptable in a country that has indicated its strong commitment to human rights.”
More on Ms Farha’s findings can be found here.