Today is World Homeless Day. The day aims to raise awareness of homelessness locally, while taking advantage of the exposure an international day provides.

Never before has the problem of global homelessness been more prominent. Getting accurate data on homelessness around the world is extremely challenging, due to differing definitions from country to country, and logistical issues with census recording.

To help better understand this global problem, we have sought to compile the latest available statistics, which you can find here.

Homelessness can affect anyone

Besides our work using football as a tool for change, we also aim to amplify the fact that people who suffer from homelessness are people. They are human beings.

Homelessness can affect anybody at any time. At our events we meet people from all walks of life; families who have been forced out due to high rents, victims of crime, those escaping a bad home life, those escaping a life of crime, people shunned by their communities (e.g. people with HIV, people with albinism), refugees, asylum seekers, people suffering with addiction.

A recent report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists found one victim of homelessness to be a former astrophysicist who had died on the street.

How we aim to help

A person experiencing homelessness can suffer isolation, which affects their ability to share, communicate, and work with others. This feeling of exclusion can seriously damage a person’s faith in society, which can cause their situation to further deteriorate.

Our tournament gives players who were previously at a low point in their lives, isolated from society, a chance to represent their country on a global stage, and along with it, regain a sense of optimism and motivation.

Our tool is football. Playing in a team builds relationships, encourages interaction with others, conversations, being social. Teamwork builds trust, and along with regular exercise through our National Partners’ programmes, empowers people by boosting self-esteem.

The Homeless World Cup, Glasgow 2016.

There are many ways people can help in the fight against homelessness. According to people can:

  • educate people about homeless issues
  • celebrate and support local good works
  • highlight local issues
  • donate to local service providers
  • volunteer and provide hands on help
  • invite a guest speaker
  • host a fundraiser
  • get social #worldhomelessday @homelessday

If you wish to find out how to help in your area, a simple online search of homeless services in your town/city will show you organisations you can get involved with.

No contribution is too small.