Press Release from PPCS:
ST. LOUIS (March 2016) - Peter & Paul Community Services (PPCS) was recently awarded a grant of $15,000 from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the preeminent funding entity for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. The grant will enable PPCS to launch a new program, World At Our Feet, under the banner of its Sport for Social Change initiative. Beginning this spring, coaches with PPCS and partner New Dimensions will train immigrant and underserved youth from the neighborhoods surrounding the Garfield Commons housing complex in "the beautiful game.” Through World At Our Feet, youth will have the opportunity to interact with PPCS alumni and residents, including members of the Roadies street soccer team. PPCS was one of only 24 organizations nationwide to receive this grant.
Co-founders of the non-profit New Dimensions, Tom Michler and Tim Tettambel, are partnering with Roadies coaches to assemble a team of volunteers who will organize leagues for youth in the neighborhood. “A grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation is an exciting opportunity for both organizations. It will allow us to reach a new audience of youth who normally don't have the resources or opportunities to enjoy soccer and learn life lessons from the game.”
Program participants will utilize PPCS’ street soccer pitch at Garfield Commons in Benton Park West, home of the St. Louis Roadies. “The Roadies' street soccer pitch is state of the art and was made possible by a very special donor,” said Joe Campanella, head coach. “We've been looking for ways to share the pitch as a resource to the community. A partnership with New Dimensions seemed like the perfect fit and now the U.S. Soccer Foundation has given us the momentum we need to do more through soccer.”
Both PPCS and New Dimensions are part of a worldwide grassroots movement known as Sport for Social Change. Begun nine years ago, PPCS’ street soccer team is comprised of players who are homeless or formerly homeless. Practices are held weekly, and the team competes locally, nationally, and internationally. For the players, soccer is the access point to ongoing services that include leadership training, healthcare, afterschool programs, continued education, legal services, reunification with family, counseling, jobs, and social enrichment. Approximately 65% of those who participate in the program leave homelessness behind for good.
“The U.S. Soccer Foundation is thrilled for the grant recipients,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We believe these organizations will ultimately create sustainable change in communities across the nation.” Support for the program is provided by the Foundation’s corporate partners, including Hellas Construction, Kwik Goal, Hunter Industries, Musco Sports Lighting, Soccer.com, and Sport Court.
About Peter & Paul Community Services
Peter & Paul Community Services (PPCS) provides housing and supportive services to individuals who are homeless, especially those experiencing mental illness or living with HIV. A permanent supportive housing residence, two transitional housing programs, emergency shelter, meals program, art collaborative, and sport for social change program serve over 1,500 unduplicated clients annually. PPCS offers shelter, food, psychiatric care, job skills training, help for chemical addictions, and a welcoming community for those who feel isolated. Over 1,300 volunteers donate 8,000 hours of service each year. Learn more on the web at www.ppcsinc.org.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its inception in 1994, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants to non-profit organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Through its community outreach, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.
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