The Greek Homeless Football Team was set up in in 2006 and made its debut appearance at the 2007 Homeless World Cup. Diogenes NGO was founded in 2010 to coordinate the “Kick out Poverty” project as well as other activities aimed at supporting socially excluded people, and to continue the work of the Greek Homeless Football Team.
Based in Athens, but with activities also running in other parts of Greece, Diogenes NGO focus mainly on homeless people, people living below the poverty line, people in substance abuse rehabilitation, asylum seekers, and illegal immigrants.
Greece’s biggest challenge is the ongoing economic and financial crisis. Austerity measures have created a new category of long-term unemployed citizens who increasingly turn to begging. There are also many unregistered immigrants who are often homeless and are subject to xenophobia and racism (HRW, 2012).
Nearly 857 000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece in 2015. Close to 172 000 people came in 2016 to Greece by sea alone. Currently, close to 63 000 refugees and migrants are stranded in the country. (ECHO, 2017)