Homeless Jackie Robinson West Little Leaguer gets rent paid for thanks to donation

Jaheim Benton Chicago

A sad story about one of the Jackie Robinson West Little Leaguers took a happy turn thanks to the generous act of one business owner.

Jackie Robinson West Little League, which represented the Great Lakes region at the Little League World Series, won the US championship before losing to eventual world champion South Korea. One of the team’s players, Jaheim Benton, returned to a difficult situation when the team got back to Chicago: his family is split up because they are between homes.

The Chicago Sun-Times published a story Friday about Benton’s situation that made it onto the cover of the sports section. The paper talked to Benton’s mother, who described the family’s financial situation.

Benton’s mother, Devona, works as a home care provider and lost three clients, leading her to go from 40 hours of work per week to around 18. Jaheim’s father, Frank Jackson, works as a part-time radiator technician. Their combined earnings as part-time employees were not enough to pay for a 3-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s South Side, leading them to lose their home in June.

While the family tried to regain its financial stability, Jaheim was staying with his father at a family friend’s home. Despite the hardships, Benton’s parents were able to escape reality and drive out to Williamsport to support him and the team.

After being moved by Benton’s story, Spencer Leak Jr., from Leak and Sons Funeral Home in Chatham, decided to pay the family’s rent for a year.

“They have united the city,” Leak said of the Little League team. “They have united the country. And now, they are known all over the world.

“I would hope that this rent turns into a mortgage that turns into home ownership for them,” said Leak Jr to ABC Chicago. “We want our little superstar to have a roof over his head because that’s what he is. He’s a superstar.”

Benton went 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts and 5 runs scored in Williamsport. He’s entering 7th grade this year and has plans to play high school ball. His dream is to play for the Chicago White Sox. And, for now, he has a much more stable financial situation.

Photo: TWitter/Kimmeyb212

Around The Web

  • Commish Paul

    Lets hope we dont hear about this story again in 12 months. Hopefully the parents will take the little income that they have AND SAVE IT FOR NEXT YEARS RENT!!!!

  • Digler

    Why are you so angry Paul? I’m pretty sure the parents of this young man didn’t want to lose their full-time hours. What a nice gesture by the businessman to help this family.

  • Billy__Goat

    I bet the business man was white. We live in such a racist nation.

  • Jeff Davis

    Maybe they shouldn’t have gone to wiliamsport,and saved their money, Oh that’s right,we’ll just beg on the internet,pathetic

  • David Hodges

    jeff your a piece of trash. Going to the little league worlds series is a once in a lifetime event and the parents wanted to support their child. In life everyone has their ups and downs. And its refreshing to see people who are willing to put their pride aside and ask for help. Thank God for people like the businessman who helped this family. This proves that there are still good people in this world

  • Jeff Davis

    I got your piece of trash swinging ,I’m glad south Korea won,fuck those little Chicago coons fag boy

  • Clay Jones

    Yeah, come on, Jeff. I’d sell the house and hitch hike if I needed to to go see my kid play in the LLWS. Screw everything else! Let them live their lives.