About the Program
In 2008, non-profit Jovenes, Inc. partnered with Street Soccer USA to create Street Soccer Los Angeles. Jovenes, Inc. (Youth, Inc.)has been providing shelter for homeless youth and encouraging them to adopt healthier lifestyles for over 20 years, and knows that ending homelessness is a team effort.With the help of Jovenes, Inc. the Street Soccer LA program promotes discipline, goal setting, and team building through sports, and offers an innovative method to help youth gain control of their lives; we are able to replace the feelings of isolation and lonlieness that homeless youth experience with a sense of belonging, purpose, and friendship. The youth that participate in our Street Soccer program are thus connected to a goal that is larger than themselves and are motivated to win together.
The success that our players have on the field carries over to positive results off the field. Players are instilled with the confidence and feelings of self-worth that empower them to improve their situation in life. Having a constructive and supportive atmosphere makes all the difference for homeless youth, and Jovenes, Inc. combines Street Soccer Skills with life-changing housing, employment, and educational opportunities that increase our player's life-skills and ability to become self-sufficient.
Under the direction of their coach, Johnny Figueroa (a product of Street Soccer USA himself), the core8-player team currently trains on Saturdays at Pecan Park and has friendly games on Sundays. Street Soccer LA also regularly competes in friendly matches against labor centers and shelters around the city to encourage connections between Street Soccer USA players and individuals from other organizations.With a collection of women regularly joining the team in practices, the Los Angeles program carries the possibility of a women’s team in the future. Through weekly practices, games, and monthly tournaments, Street Soccer LA strives to connect with more at-risk youth in our community.
Jovenes is committed to supporting Street Soccer USA in Los Angeles. The growth of Street Soccer USA in Los Angeles and across the Street Soccer USA network has raised the nation’s awareness of homelessness and brought attention to a proven strategy for addressing the needs of at-risk youth.
In The Media
Click on the picture to read about how Enligsh Prem how English Premier League stars Emmerson Boyce, David N'gog, Ibrahima Sonko and Aaron Brown played a friendly match with members of the Jovenes, Inc. street soccer team on a recent stop in Boyle Heights.