Homeless Jackie Robinson West player’s family gets rent paid for

Jaheim Benton (left) and his Jackie Robinson West team won the Little League World Series U.S. title.

Gene J. Puskar/AP

In a city like Chicago where news is often about violence and cruelty, it is a bit comforting to see there are still people willing to lend a helping hand.

After the Little League World Series, most sports fans were familiar Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team, which won the US championship game. However, most fans had no idea that 12-year-old Jaheim Benton did not have a home to return to when the team returned from South Williamsport, Pa.

According to the Huffington Post, a Chicago business owner is taking strides to help out, offering to pay a year’s rent for Benton’s family. Spencer Leak Jr., vice president of Chicago’s Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, explained why he decided to help the young boy’s family.

Spencer Leak Jr. told The Huffington Post he heard of Benton’s situation on the radio Friday morning while holding to phone in for an unrelated story. When it was his turn to talk, the 44-year-old vice president of Chicago’s Leak & Sons Funeral Homes said on the air that his family’s business would be willing to cover an entire year’s rent for the Benton family.

“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 told HuffPost. “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.”

Leak later met privately with Jaheim’s mother and talked about some items for the future.

Leak stated that what they are doing is not out of the ordinary, but he hopes his family’s kindness will inspire others to help neighbors in need.