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.
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"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."