When the excitement of this year’s Little League World Series was over all of the players except for one, went home. 12 year old, Jaheim Brown, member of Jackie Robinson West (the U.S. Champions that lost to Korea in the final game), has reportedly been homeless since June; according to the Chicago Sun-Times and various other media reports. Jaheim’s family has been struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads; because his mother, a home care provider, lost a few of her clients and his father works only part time.
Unlike the team’s rags to riches story, a group of kids from a tough, dangerous part of Chicago who had a dream to become United States Champions; this story almost went unnoticed. Until, Spencer Leak, Jr., a Chicago business man became so moved by Jaheim’s story that he got involved. Leak Jr. is willing to pay the Brown family’s rent for one year. In regards to his generous gift to the Browns, Leak reportedly told the Chicago Sun-Times “I would hope that this rent turns into a mortgage that turns into home ownership for them. We want our little superstar to have a roof over his head; because that’s what he is… he’s a superstar.”
In a time when this blog space has been populated with the difficult issue of race, class and justice; it is refreshing to report a moment when those things did not matter. For this young black man, who also has the last name Brown, the outcome was far different.