Tim Cummings, pictured at right, is scheduled to participate next week in the Homeless World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, joining an eight-member
Teams from 48 nations are to play in the tournament, which runs from Nov. 24 to Dec. 8.
The U.S. team is organized by Street Soccer USA, which founder Lawrence Cann (CL's 2006 Sexiest Man in Charlotte) started four years ago at Charlotte's Urban Ministry Center. The idea, which CL wrote about here, has since spread to 13 cities.
All participants had been homeless at least four months during the last year when chosen, but now seven of the eight national team players are now living independently since joining the soccer program, according to an e-mail from Cann, and each say soccer helped them get off the streets. They aren't the exception: Internationally, 77% of participants in Street Soccer programs make a significant life changes such as moving off the street, or pursuing further education.
More about the U.S. team and its progress at the tournament coming soon.