Friday, April 23, 2010

Does This Mean That The War On Poverty Is Now Over?

. . . And did we win or lose?

This is the person who will cancel out your vote if you live in Florida. Think she'll vote for the candidate who said people need to be more responsible for their lives or for the Democrat candidate who will increase welfare payments with no worries about drug screenings?

Via Robert Stacy.

Twelve children ranging in age from 6 months to 11 years old spent the past week there, scrambling across the floor, bouncing on beds. Their eyes filled with resignation Wednesday morning; they were hungry and dirty - wearing the same clothes as the day before and the day before that.

Angel Adams, the mom, was asking for help as the children rambled about the room. She was homeless and hopeless, she said. A relative paid for the motel room for a week, and after that, who knows. Her fiance is in prison.

With measured indignation, Adams said somebody owes her.
[. . .]
The lifelong Tampa resident said she wants justice from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office child protection team that took her kids away from her two years ago and from Hillsborough Kids Inc., which got her kids back six months ago.

"What do I do?" she said earlier in the day. "I have no answers. My family has been railroaded. Someone needs to pay.

"Nobody's helping me."

She doesn't trust the system, she said. It was a system that despite all the good intentions landed her in the motel, in this fix, in the first place, she said.

Wednesday morning, in the dingy motel room, Adams handed out a list of her children's names and ages. Across the top: "Three fathers. One Mother. Fifteen Children."

One of them, a 1-year-old, is named John the Baptist Brown.

Ten of the children, she said, were fathered by Garry Brown, currently serving a five-year prison term for dealing cocaine. A sampling of his kids' names: Garry Nesha, Garry Brown Jr., Garry Lethia, Garryiell and Garry Rick.
[. . .]
The smell of dirty diapers filled the room. Jerome, 11, gave Andrew, 6 months, a bottle. "This is not comfortable," Jerome said.

The baby coughed and spit up on Jerome's hand. He didn't flinch and patted the baby on the back.

"The girls sleep on one bed," Adams said. "The boys sleep on the other. I just crash on the floor."

The 12 kids are the youngest of 15, she said. Three have "aged out," meaning they have turned 18 and are on their own, no longer a part of the child welfare system.

"I can have as many as I want to," she said. All her kids, she added, "are gifts from God."

The 37-year-old mother doesn't work. "This is my work," she said, gesturing toward the bunch. "I do this all by myself. I don't know what I'm going to do. This is a revolving door going nowhere."

She said her problems began two years ago when Brown was arrested and the money dried up. Right after that her children were taken away and put in foster care over allegations of neglect, she said.

Hillsborough Kids stepped in and took the case, eventually returning the children to her and Brown. Before Christmas, the couple took a two-bedroom apartment off North Boulevard near Columbus Drive.

Hillsborough Kids agreed to pay the $800 a month rent after caseworkers inspected the apartment and, although finding it a bit cramped, said it was OK.

The landlord, who evicted Adams in March, thought differently.

Sandy Chiellini said Adams showed up to sign the lease with Brown and one child. She didn't learn until later that there were 11 other children. There were problems with plumbing; downstairs tenants were flooded. There was noise. Occasional visits from police. Other tenants were complaining. Some left.

She said Adams' apartment was trashed. Clothes and food were scattered everywhere. Screens were broken out. Chiellini began eviction proceedings. Adams failed to show up for two eviction hearings.

Chiellini said Adams and her children left on April 15, taking only the clothes on their backs.
[. . .]
Lodging at A Kid's Place is temporary, and department caseworkers will have to figure out how to place the Adams family in a permanent home. That's down the road, he said. For now, at least they are out of the hotel room.

"My children fear DCF," Adams told Cox outside the motel room Wednesday afternoon. "I do, too."

"I want to make sure right now you and your kids are not living in a hotel room," he responded.

Still, Adams was hesitant. She wanted to know about the long term.

"I need money," she said. "I need transportation. My children need a place to live."

What the Great Society had wrought.

No comments:

Post a Comment