Sometimes the most stylish garment is... a football jersey.
The Homeless World Cup, an annual, international football tournament, unites people from over 50 nations who are homeless and excluded. The organization has started grassroots football clubs world-wide since being formed in 2001 by poverty activist Mel Young.
What does playing do? Look at these stats from the Homeless World Cup site: "Research 6 months after the international tournament demonstrates a consistent, significant impact.
For example, after the Cape Town 2006 Homeless World Cup, players report:
92% have a new motivation for life (342 players)
72% play football on regular basis (268 players)
89% have improved social relations (331 players)
73% have changed their lives for the better (272 players)
35% have secured regular employment (130 players)
44% have improved their housing situation (164 players)
39% chose to pursue education (145 players)
93 players addressed a drug or alcohol dependency
In addition, the site says, Homeless World Cup raises awareness of homeless issues and improves the image of homeless people to the public.
Want to meet someone who's been there? David Duke, in this 5-minute clip, "From the Bottle to the Cup" tells about the effect the organization's had on his life.
Toronto musician and sportswriter Dave Bidini's book, "Home and Away: Adventures at the Homeless World Cup of Soccer" about his travel to Melbourne with the Canadian team will be released shortly.