Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28, 2010: A resident of Jovenes shelter plays around with a soccer ball before a practice in Alhambra. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LONG BEACH, CA - MAY 1, 2010: Marlon Alexander Lux Bal goes for the ball against an opponent during a practice soccer tournament in Long Beach. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25, 2010: Jarlin Leonel Hernandez goes after the ball as he plays defense against team member Wilber Escobedo Garcia, left, during a team soccer practice in Boyle Heights. At right is Jesus Alvarez, at center is coach Johny Figueroa, and second from left is Melvin Alexander Lopez. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25, 2010: Coach Johny Figueroa speaks to members of the team after their second to last practice before they depart for Washington, D.C., to participate in the Street Soccer USA Cup. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

CARSON, CA - APRIL 18, 2010: Marlon Alexander Lux Bal kicks the soccer ball around before a practice at a park in Carson. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 1, 2010: Marlon Alexander Lux Bal spends a quiet moment in the van with his team as they drive back to the shelter after playing in a practice tournament in Long Beach. Alex, as he is known, grew up on his own in Guatemala City and earned money by recycling cans he found in the trash. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25, 2010: Melvin Alexander Lopez, left, Jarlin Leonel Hernandez, center, and Marlon Alexander Lux Bal, right, share dinner together in the common room of the shelter following a Sunday afternoon practice. The guys now call themselves brothers and often share dinners and help one another with homework. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20, 2010: Jarlin Leonel Hernandez works on homework after school in one of the common rooms of the shelter. Jarlin, Melvin, and Alex all attend Roosevelt Senior High School in Boyle Heights. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES - JULY 4, 2010: Jarlin Leonel Hernandez, left, and Melvin Alexander Lopez, right, share a laugh as they hang out in the room they share together at the shelter. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 27, 2010: Jarlin Leonel Hernandez, left, and Melvin Alexander Lopez make their way through Boyle Heights to Roosevelt Senior High School where they are taking an ESL summer school class. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25, 2010: Jarlin Leonel Hernandez, second from left, Marlon Alexander Lux Bal, second from right, and Melvin Alexander Lopez, right, dance to a band performing at a concert in Mariachi Plaza. At far left is Collins Peters, one of the teachers of the song-writing workshop at Jovenes in which the three guys wrote a song they performed on stage at this concert. (Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

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Homeless immigrants form street soccer team

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They were strangers to each other when they moved into the homeless shelter: Three teenaged boys who had each immigrated from Central America on long and lonely journeys. They now lived in Los Angeles, with no family, scant English and an uncertain future.

They came together on the soccer field. Marlon Alexander Lux Bal, Melvin Alexander Lopez, and Jarlin Leonel Hernandez, trained all spring and summer on the Jovenes, Inc. soccer team in preparation for an annual national tournament of teams formed from residents of homeless shelters across the country.

Today, they call each other “brother. See the photos in the gallery above by Katie Falkenberg and read Kate Linthicum’s story “Teamwork is a goal for homeless soccer player.”

2 Comments

  1. February 25, 2011, 9:59 am

    soccer is the best <3

    By: giancarlo
  2. September 27, 2013, 2:30 am

    .Sports are very important in our lives because they keep us healthier. They are a more enjoyable form of working out compared to exercise routines at the gym yet just as effective. ..

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