Northern Ireland

Street Soccer NI

Street Soccer NI is a charity that uses football to bring positive change to people’s lives. They work with disadvantaged groups including the homeless, long term unemployed, refugees, people with addictions, mental health issues, ex prisoners and more.

Street Soccer NI has 7 weekly projects in Northern Ireland (5 projects for men, 1 for women and 1 for people with learning disabilities) with around 70 people a week coming regularly to the project. They help each regular player to develop a support plan and they support them to meet their needs and achieve their goals including housing, education, volunteering and employment.

Their main funding comes from the Department for Communities, Housing Executive, East Belfast Mission and Irish football Association.

Meet the teams

Men’s Team

Number Name
1 Stephen Shields
3 Mehrshad Esfandiari
4 Matthew Gallagher
5 Jake Allely
7 Gary Grant
8 Brian Lindsay
9 Dominic Rodgers
10 Marc Cross

Women’s Team

Number Name
2 Danielle Donnelly
5 Kiera Moss
6 Joleen Larkin
7 Lisa Donnan
8 Seanna McGuinness
9 Ruth Boyle
10 Nicola Smye

Organisation Details

Participants

Homeless men and women over 16 years old, people suffering from substance abuse, mental health issues, former prisoners, refugees, asylum seekers, and long term unemployed

Locations

Six projects in Belfast and one in Derry/Londonderry

Homelessness Statistics

5.7%
Of adults have experienced homelessness
19 400
Households were reported to be homeless in 2012/13 (Crisis.org, 2014)

The Northern Ireland Assembly is currently discussing proposals to separate the housing management and other functions of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and to transfer them to new bodies. This has raised many concerns about the delivery of services for homeless people.

As pressures on social housing grow due to the economic crisis and rising unemployment, concerns exist that bureaucratic changes may fail to provide successful protection of homeless people (Crisis.org, 2014).