From the April 1 edition of Street Roots. (The April Fools edition was one of the most popular Street Roots ever published. We sold out of the newspaper in a week and ordered more. It’s on the streets for two more days – get your copy while it’s hot!)
Homeless residents across Portland chanted and sang for 40 minutes Thursday after news spread that a homeless soccer team was being courted for the new Major League Soccer stadium. Police issued 86 citations.
The Homeless World Cup is traditionally a street soccer event, played in pitches, but as the popularity of soccer grows, along with homelessness, the expectation is that homeless teams could become a regular feature at the new stadium. Homeless people are not allowed to play soccer on Portland’s streets.
The new team’s presence is expected to draw worldwide attention among the homeless community. Past Homeless World Cup events in Edinburgh, Scotland; Copenhagen, Denmark; and most recently in Melbourne, Australia, attracted tens of thousands of players and spectators — most of them living in extreme poverty and on the streets — to the host cities.
“We are elated with the news,” said Ismella Ratones, an avid soccer fan experiencing homelessness. “I know it hasn’t been formally announced yet, but we know the city needs more resources for the homeless, and a new sports venue seems like the answer we’ve been waiting for.” Continue reading