‘Someone Needs to Pay’
Meet Angel Adams, 37-year-old single mother of 15:
The lifelong Tampa resident said she wants justice from the Hillsborough County sheriff’s 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.” . . .
This morning, inside 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.”
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 12 kids [currently living with Adams in a Tampa motel room] are the youngest of 15 altogether, 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 into 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, though a bit cramped, said it was OK.
But 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. . . .
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. . . .
“I need money,” she said. “I need transportation. My children need a place to live.”
Hillsborough Kids spokesman Elaine Olszewski said her agency has been working with Adams for months and there is a system of support at work behind the scenes.
Case managers have been in constant contact with Adams, Olszewski said.
Yeah. “Someone needs to pay.” Because she’s a victim.
Robert Stacy McCain