Guest speakers from Street Soccer USA will be speaking at American River College in a college hour in Raef Hall Room 160 Thursday at 12:15 p.m.
Street Soccer USA is a non-profit organization aimed toward using soccer to break the cycle of homelessness, addiction and abuse since 2010.
Sarah Chambers, an American River College student, has been a member of Street Soccer USA since 2010.
Chambers is one of the guest speakers at the college hour.
“The first 29 years of my life, from 14-29 actually, I wasted and now I have custody of my kids again and I’m working two part time jobs and am a full time student at ARC,” said Chambers.
Tiffany Fraser, director of the Sacramento Lady Salamanders, says that the soccer helps to build self-esteem.
“We are not a program that places the importance on winning or being the best but we focus and encourage growth, change, improvement, attitude, leadership and working as a team to be our best for ourselves and for our community,” said Fraser.
SSUSA was founded by Lawrence Cann in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2004.
Sacramento started a SSUSA program with the men’s team, the Sacramento Mohawks, in 2009. The next year, a women’s team named the Lady Salamanders was formed.
“SSUSA is the official partner of the Homeless World cup founded by Mel Young,” said Fraser. “We are extremely successful in helping to empower women to change the pathway and trajectory of their lives and their children’s lives.”
The Homeless World Cup is international and has been held in recent years in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Paris among other locations.
The SSUSA sends eight men and eight women to each Homeless World Cup.
Since 2010 the SSUSA has had an 80 percent success rate of sustainable sobriety and over 80 percent of the women who participate or graduate our program and become ambassadors continue education, gain employment, gain back custody of kids and become strong role models,” said Fraser.
In 2010, Fraser was the first woman from Sacramento to participate in a Homeless World Cup.
“I had the opportunity to represent recovery and change for the USA women, and since then Sacramento has sent eight women to a Homeless World Cup to be an ambassador of positive change and hope for our country,” said Fraser.