Little League national champs Jackie Robinson West received a warm welcome as they returned to Chicago earlier this week, yet one player came back to the reality that he and his family are homeless. Fortunately, a local funeral home is hoping to change that.
As reported by the Sun-Times, 12-year-old Jaheim Benton and his family have been down on their luck since his mother Devona Benton had her work hours cut as a home care provider. Jaheim’s father Frank Johnson works as a part-time radiator technician, but Devona says they can’t support the family on the salaries from their part-time jobs.
Prior to the Little League World Series, Jaheim was sleeping in the homes of friends and family members as to avoid shelters or, worse, the streets. He and his father are currently staying with a family friend and former coach while Devona cares for her three grandchildren and Jaheim’s older brother and sister.
Upon hearing about the family’s struggles, Spencer Leak Jr. of Chicago’s Leak & Sons Funeral Homes said the business is offering to cover an entire year’s rent for the Benton family. Leak told the Huffington Post he met with Devona and the two “talked privately, and hugged and talked about some items for the future.”
“I just felt for them. I look at my son and my daughter and by the grace of God, they’re able to come home to their own beds every night. But that could all end tomorrow,” Leak said. “God has blessed us, so we have to give back. Whether it be help for a funeral or housing or giving food, we have to step up to do that.”
Photo courtesy of Kevin Tanaka/For Sun-Times Media