The city of Los Angeles and the LA84 Foundation on Monday launched a new soccer-based pilot program aimed at fighting poverty and homelessness.
Street Soccer USA aims to provide "free-of-cost access to youth sports" and expects nearly one-third of its members be youth experiencing homelessness, according to a press release from the Brener Zwikel & Associates firm.
The program received a $75,000 grant from LA84, which arose after the 1984 Olympics and provides funding for youth sports organizations throughout Southern California.
"We're talking about kids that financially don't have the wherewithal," said LA City Council President Herb Wesson. "So this organization is really digging deep in the community to provide a very positive athletic experience for young people."
The program hopes to help approximately 400 kids in its first year.
"We and Herb Wesson's office recognize that poverty is a big issue in Los Angeles," said LA84 Partnerships and Development Director Oscar Delgado. "What we're doing is using sport as a vehicle to save lives."