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Press Release: Cities Ending Homelessness campaign launched by Catalyst 2030 and the Homeless World Cup Foundation

12 July 2023 | Collaborations, Press Releases

Hope Solo and Mel Young launch Cities Ending Homelessness Campaign
Hope Solo and Mel Young launch Cities Ending Homelessness Campaign | © Anita Milas

The Cities Ending Homelessness campaign is launched today (Wednesday 12th July) at a special ‘Believing in Better’ symposium at California State University in Sacramento.

The symposium took place as part of the annual Homeless World Cup which is running from 8 – 15 July, with matches being played at the Hornet Stadium on campus.

Sport has the power to change people’s lives. The Homeless World Cup – and the work that has been done by the Foundation with their global partners since 2003 – is testament to that; but there is so much more to do if global homelessness is to end.

Critically there needs to be a fundamental shift in global systems.

This campaign will adopt a solutions-focused approach rather than the age-old emphasis on only looking at the problems. The voices of homeless people will be an integral part of the strategy.

The Cities Ending Homelessness campaign was cofounded by the Homeless World Cup and Catalyst 2030. Catalyst 2030 is a fast-growing global movement of people and organisations committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).

Joining forces with communities, governments, businesses and others, Catalyst 2030 members are changing systems at all levels through collective action and bold new strategies. Mel Young who co-founded the Homeless World Cup in 2001 is also a member of Catalyst 2030.

In practical terms, Cities Ending Homelessness will be a campaign which will highlight global homelessness and focus on positive global outcomes and solutions. It will be place where social innovators, people from the homeless community and cities can learn from, and co-create solutions to end homelessness.

The Homeless World Cup will bring its wealth of first-hand global experience to the table and marry that with the breadth of social innovation represented by Catalyst 2030. A launch report has been prepared by the Homeless World and Catalyst 2030 which forms part of the launch today. The report outlines the way forward and illustrates the Cities Ending Homelessness approach by giving several impactful and constructive examples.

Today, alongside this announcement, the cities of Edinburgh (which is also headquarters of the Homeless World Cup) and Sacramento (host of the 2023 Homeless World Cup) backed the Cities Ending Homeless campaign by agreeing to join the initiative which will be used as a mechanism for driving real change across the globe.

Cities which have hosted the Homeless World Cup in the past and future host cities will be asked to take the lead in joining the campaign to discuss genuine impact and legacy.

Hope Solo, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and a guest speaker at today’s Global Symposium
Hope Solo, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and a guest speaker at today’s Global Symposium | © Anita Milas

Hope Solo, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and a guest speaker at today’s Global Symposium and launch of Cities Ending Homelessness, said:

“My family has firsthand experience with homelessness, having witnessed the physical and mental health challenges homelessness posed for my father, who was a Vietnam vet. With better support structures and services provided through the suggestions in the Cities Ending Homelessness, my hope is that no other family experiences what we had to.

“I’m a huge supporter of the Homeless World Cup and Street Soccer USA, in fact all of the 70+ countries and organisations across the globe who are part of the Homeless World Cup family and what they do. They provide a goal for so many people who need direction and love in their lives. I’ve watched the Soccer on show here in Sacramento and it’s incredible, the atmosphere at Sac State and in the Hornet Stadium is providing these players with the platform to change their lives and inspire others to do the same.”

Mel Young, Co-Founder and President of the Homeless World Cup said,

“I’m delighted to launch this new initiative today alongside President Robert Nelsen here at California State University, who has played such an important role in making this year’s event possible. It is also a great pleasure to have the backing from the City of Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, which has been the headquarters of the Homeless World Cup for 20 years.

“The aim is to create a new global network of cities committed to ending homelessness. We will also work with universities and social entrepreneurs and innovators, giving us access to global thought leaders and leading academics in the field.”

Jeroo Billimoria, Catalyst 2030 Spokesperson, said:

“Having worked with homeless people on the streets of New York City, when I was interning with the Coalition for the Homeless, I always wondered why one of the richest cities in the world did not proactively try to end homelessness, why it was a “given” that this existed.

Members of Catalyst 2030 have some amazing solutions to tackle this multi-faceted problem. The launch of the Cites Ending Homelessness campaign is the convergence of people experiencing homelessness, social innovators and cities working together to make my student dream a reality.”

California State University, Sacramento President Robert Nelsen said:

“Homelessness is a global problem that cannot be solved by pursuing a not-in-my-backyard agenda. Cities and nations from across the globe must band together to find multiple, meaningful solutions. That is why Sacramento State and Sacramento are hosting the Homeless World Cup.”

The Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge said:

“Homelessness is a persistent and challenging issue not only here in the Scottish capital, but in cities and municipalities around the globe. I am very pleased that Edinburgh will be playing its part on the world stage once again. The headquarters of the Homeless World Cup has been a part of the city for the last two decades and the organisation has done excellent work in the field. We remain committed to doing everything within our power to end homelessness in Edinburgh and beyond.

“I am particularly proud that one of our Council colleagues Paddy Maloney, who works in Waste Services at our Seafield Recycling Centre, has been given the incredible honour of representing Scotland at the 2023 Homeless World Cup in Sacramento. I’d like to wish Paddy and the rest of the Scotland side the very best of luck at the tournament.”


Notes to editors

Homeless World Cup logo

Homeless World Cup

The Homeless World Cup is a global movement which uses the power of football to help homeless people change their own lives. It partners with grassroots organisations in more than 70 countries, and every year, it holds a football tournament in leading cities all around the world, to showcase the achievements of its national partners and change public attitudes to homelessness issues. Since it was founded in 2003, the Homeless World Cup has had an impact on the lives of 1.2 million people.

Catalyst 2030

Catalyst 2030

Catalyst 2030 is a fast-growing, global movement of leading social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all sectors who share the common goal of creating innovative, people centred, community-led approaches to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Joining forces with communities, governments, businesses, academics and others, Catalyst 2030 members are changing systems at all levels through collective action and bold, new strategies. Launched at the World Economic Forum in January 2020, Catalyst 2030 has more than 3000 individual members and member organisations from around the world and is active in 124 countries, directly reaching an estimated one billion people. Through its more than 40 country chapters and six regional chapters, Catalyst 2030 is creating collaborative innovation ecosystems across the globe.

The concept of The Cities Ending Homelessness came about following a discussion between Jeroo Billimoria and Mel Young who is also member of Catalyst 2030 earlier this year.

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