- Associated Press - Saturday, August 30, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Offers of help have been pouring in since a Chicago newspaper published a story revealing that the family of one of the players on the Little League championship team has struggled with homelessness.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that Jackie Robinson West star Jaheim Benton and his family have been sleeping at the homes of friends and family since July, when the boy’s mother had her hours cut as a health care provider for older people. His father is a part-time radiator technician, and the family could no longer make their rent.

“We just didn’t have enough. We live from paycheck to paycheck,” mother Devona Benton told the newspaper.

The 12-year-old Benton - who scored five runs during the championships in Williamsport, Pennsylvania - and the Jackie Robinson West All Stars won the Little League World Series national championship last weekend, but lost the world title to a team from South Korea. Nonetheless, the team captivated their hometown and returned to a hero’s welcome that included a parade and an outpouring of adulation from fans, athletes and politicians.

The Sun-Times reported Saturday (https://bit.ly/1oufapV ) that since its initial story, Benton’s family has received offers of help ranging from a free home and free rent for a year to new job opportunities and clothing.

“I can finally breathe,” Devona Benton said.

For the moment, Jaheim is staying with his father at the home of a coach and family friend.


Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, https://www.suntimes.com/index



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