Elliott has struggled with substance abuse and homelessness for most of his adult life. He started playing soccer while staying at the Good Shepherd Centre and, in 2006, earned a spot as Canada’s goalie for the Homeless World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa. There, he stopped an incredible 17 penalty shots in a row, a feat that won him the Best Goaltending trophy of the tournament.
For those who are homeless
“I’m addicted to soccer. I play ﬁve to eight times a week. And I’m just always doing that, so I don’t have time to go off anymore. The camaraderie at Street Soccer takes care of my social life. I’m on four different teams, so I now know four different sets of 11 guys.” — Elliott
Street Soccer Canada began as an initiative by housing advocate Paul Gregory to put together one team for the Homeless World Cup in 2004. It’s now a thriving network of over 20 soccer programs in a dozen cities across the country.
Over those last 10 years, hundreds of marginalized individuals living in shelters or on the street have been given a chance to be part of a team. Sometimes, all it takes is one small step to get the ball rolling—through the positive inﬂ uences of physical exercise and new friendships, Street Soccer Canada is helping people move past life’s more dire circumstances and make a play for their goals.
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