Once homeless himself, Steve knows firsthand the positive impact of social enterprise.

When Steve’s marriage ended several years ago, he spiraled into a depression that lost him his job, his relationship with his kids, and ultimately his home. At the Wilkinson Road shelter, he discovered the work of Street Soccer Canada. The nonprofit organizes friendly games for those who are homeless, but it also does much more—providing peer mentorship and opportunities to gain work experience through a social enterprise laundry business modelled after Gateway Linens.

Once Steve was back on his feet and had regained a place to live, he joined Street Soccer Canada staff as a mentor and logistics personnel. Just as he has done for the laundry business, Steve encourages those in shelters to spend a few hours working to fulfill orders for Community chairs. In fact, every Community chair that ends up in institutions or companies will have been assembled, packed, and shipped by individuals who can most use that opportunity. “When you’re in a shelter, you figure no one will ever hire you,” Steve says. “Even a little bit of work can be both a stepping stone and a great encouragement.”

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About Street Soccer

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.

Visit StreetSoccerCanada.org >

Supporting Opportunity

Jake Aikenhead

By bringing the pilot Community build into the Gateway drop-in, Jake shows how institutions and companies can play their part.

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