Los Angeles was one of five West Coast cities with teams at the first West Coast street soccer tournament for homeless and formerly homeless this weekend.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that about 80 players from the city and Seattle, Portland, Sacramento and Los Angeles were competing at San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza in the event sponsored by Street Soccer USA.
Along with camaraderie and fitness, players who work with the group receive 12 weeks of job and life skills training.
Jaydee Perez Lockwood, who is 25, says kicking a soccer ball gave her a place to focus the anger she accumulated from a childhood spent in five different foster homes.
The tournament also drew teams made up of employees from The Gap and other local companies that pledged to raise money for the group.