A game of musical chairs

The Homeless World Cup event this year in Glasgow and will soon be taking place from 10 July to 17 July.

I thought this would be a good time to catch up on a couple of the stories from last years event.

I met Michael Stout, 39 years old, from St.Louis is part of the USA Streetsoccer team who was participating in Amsterdam. 

Michael was a very friendly man who always wore a smile and sat on the bench and chatted about his experience and his time in Amsterdam at the Homeless World Cup. 

“I think I would describe my time with the word euphoric, it has been truly amazing” he stated. 

He clarified “it’s the camaraderie between players and coaches and people in general in this environment it is quite unique.”


Michael explained that for the last 15 years he was an addict he had only had a HOME twice, and had been 2 years ago since he made a decision to do something with his life rather than just drifting.

Account on the street soccer program was in his hostel and encouraged him to come along to practice. 

So why does football work for you Michael ?

“it’s about the team and having a shared goal when we are on the pitch for 14 minutes we don’t think about anything else yes that shared mutual goal.”

“that’s the toolbox I now use of the pitch in the rest of my life setting goals and sharing them with others to make myself better”

I’ve had this expressed in many different ways over the last seven years and attending the Homeless World Cup. It’s so simple really but each person takes out of being involved in their individual programs something a little different one thing that they need.

So if you were president for a day ?

‘he laughs’

“It’s about moving our society from a monetary system towards a more resource based economy removing the need for more money, build hospitals all over the world or homes for everyone regardless if there is a profit to be made or not, after all we existed without money for thousands of years.”

Wow. 

“the system exists at the moment is like a big game of musical chairs and there aren’t enough chairs there is always more people than chairs, when the music stops there isn’t enough money or resources to go round, until we create more chairs there will always be somebody will be without a chair.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better answer to why homelessness exists in all my years. 

So what next for Michael? After all it’s a life changing experience. 

“i know now I’m not alone in this experience having been here. ”

“I felt like i was alone in this and its interesting to see that the people are the same not any different to me. When i go back i will be more empathetic  for those around me to see what i can do to help them rather than judge them. ”

This event impacts so many people in so many ways. I for one will never forget Michael and his “game of musical chairs”. 

Now to build more chairs. 

Jon Regler (CEO) 

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