Angelo Whittis

by Addy from Riley (Jim Bates) (Jim Bates)

Fifty-seven percent of homeless kids spend at least one day every month without food. Angelo Whittis is among over 1.5 million youth nationally who are homeless. Angelo grew up in Detroit and never had a stable home. Angelo played football but it was never a priority in his life. He wanted to go find the groups he ran with on the streets. He was making bad decisions because he was just trying to fit in. After Sophomore season of football he decided to switch high schools and went to River Rouge. Angelo was a strong boy and overcame a lot in his life and had many hardships.

Angelo Whittis grew up with a tough life. He ended up on the streets homeless. Angelo said, "I was switching from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood and there were times where I didn't know where I was going to eat and I didn't know where I was going to sleep" (Hogg). Angelo never had a stable home and he ended up living on the streets. He never knew his father and his mother was in and out of prison. He would go to stay with his grandmother and his uncle but they had a drinking problem and at times abused him. He would try and sleep with various relatives and often ended up staying in friends' cars ("Angelo Whittis"). He never got to settle down in a single home. He never knew what it was like to have a family and always come home knowing there would be something for you to eat. He has really faced the worst and has tried to take care of himself and stay out of trouble.

Angelo talking to his coach who is now his dad. ( (Unknown ))
Angelo talking to his coach who is now his dad. ( (Unknown ))

One day his life was changed forever when his football coach adopted him. His football coach Parker at River Rouge would take him home after practices but started noticing that he was dropping him off at different places each day. His coach one day found himself at the emergency room with Angelo after a suicide attempt. His life changed when one day his coach and his wife decided to adopt Angelo. Angelo never wanted to come out of his room when he first lived there he was shy and didn't feel in place. Then eventually he warmed up and realized what it felt like to have a family. He now has a baby brother and loves him. Angelo is now the starting quarterback for his high school football team (Hogg). His coach/dad helped him to become the starting quarterback and an honor-roll student. "Angelo is the first to admit that he's made some bad decisions in his life, but he's been fighting an uphill battle since the day he was born"(Hogg).

There are so many homeless people in this world; you see more older people homeless than younger people. More than 25% of former foster children become homeless within two to four years of leaving the system. Almost 40% of the homeless in the United States are under the age of 18. About 80% of homeless youth aged 12-21 use drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate to deal with the traumatic experiences and abuse they face. HIV rates for homeless people are three to nine times higher than reported rates for comparative samples in the United States. Seventy-five percent of homeless or runaway youth have dropped out or will drop out of school. A lot of people are homeless and it is very sad to see the people on the streets with no home. Walking by those people and seeing how sad they are and to see them beg people for stuff makes me sad.

Angelo is strong today because of all the things he had to face in his early life. He kept waking up and kept trying and giving it his all when he didn't want to. A lot of people know that they can go home and both their parents will be there and they will have something to eat. Angelo never knew where he was going to stay or what he was going to eat. A lot of us are fortunate to have the family we have and we sometimes take advantage of it. Angelo was a good guy and was strong and never gave up and now has a loving family and a place to live. He never gave up and one day his coach did something great that changed Angelo's life. Never give up. No matter what you are going through, something good will always end up happening to you.

Page created on 4/1/2017 10:49:01 AM

Last edited 7/24/2017 5:27:38 PM

Related Links

River Rouge High School Angelo Whittis 2011 Junior Highlights - Highlights of Angelo playing football
Angelo Whittis homeless Detroit Teen - Angelo Whittis's background
Football As A Tool In The Hands Of A Master Craftsman - nprEd ow Learning Happens