Jackie Robinson player, family have no permanent home - FOX 35 News Orlando

Jackie Robinson player, family have no permanent home

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

One of the players from the Jackie Robinson West Little League team is living with friends and family because he has no permanent home, but help is on the way.

Spencer Leak, Jr., of Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, called into Good Day Chicago show on WFLD-TV and offered to lend the family a hand after the story surfaced.

"I just felt that we needed to do something to help this family," Leak said. "Jaheim has been such an inspiration, he along with JRW, have been such an inspiration to the Chicago-area, the country and the world. And to wake up and hear that they are having problems finding a home and paying for a home, that just did not sit well with my family and we wanted to reach out and do something."

Leak said his father called him Friday morning and the family decided to pay one year's rent for the family once they find a home.

Frank Jackson is the proud father of 12-year-old Jaheim Benton, a member of the JRW All-Star team.

You would never know until now, though, that his son soared his way to victory without a home base. Jackson said the family lost their home in June and they now live separately with relatives.

“He really didn't know what was going on but then again he might have, he was focused on the game,” said Jackson.

Jackson works part-time manufacturing heavy duty radiators. His fiancé, Devona Benton, iss a home healthcare aide, also working part-time. Both said their hours were cut at the height of JRW's success.

“My boss is trying to help me any way that he can. I have a beautiful boss,” said Jackson in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

The father's positive attitude amid the adversity struck a chord with the owners of Leak and Sons Funeral Homes.

Leak Jr. first heard about the family's hard times on WVON radio.

“My heart told me to let's pay rent for a year,” said Leak Jr.

Leak said he'll pay up to a $1000 a month for the family to rent or own a home. He said the helping hand is in the spirit of celebration, not sympathy.

“We want the focus to remain on JRW and the entire team. This is just a little set back and my father always said the set back is the set up for the comeback. So this is just a little setback for them, but the setup has now taken place and the comeback will begin soon,” said Leak Jr. in an interview with FOX 32 News.

“I'm glad somebody did step up to help us and it's a beautiful thing, yes,” said Jackson.

The mother of Jaheim said her hours as a home care provider with Catholic Charities were cut several weeks ago. She and her fiance are currently living with friends and family until they can work out their finances.

All of this comes just days after the team won the National Little League World Series title.

Jaheim will begin the seventh grade at Langford Community Academy in West Englewood starting next week.

The family said it will keep their heads up and make sure Jaheim is able to focus on his school work.

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