It is somewhat ironic and very sobering that Lisa Bradley, who owned two homes, struggled with homelessness. But after being abandoned by her husband, no job and no one to turn to Bradley and her daughter were homeless and placed in a motel by the state.

Lisa Bradley and Lily
"I never believed I would be in the situation I was in," said Bradley. "I once owned my own business, owned two homes. That motel wasn't who I was."

Thanks to Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership's stimulus-funded Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing grant, Bradley was able to leave the motel and start to get her life back.

For Bradley, that not only means a place to call home but also a job. She has been working since she was 16 starting at a pizza store and eventually becoming an office worker in a high tech company. Along the way she got married and had two girls. She also trained to become a florist and eventually owned and managed her own flower shop.

Recovery Act Impact: Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership

  • $4.5 million

  • Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing: $4.1 million

  • Diversion and Prevention: $450K

  • Support Services: $150K

  • Housed 307 families

  • Diverted 35 families from homelessness

  • Provided prevention resources to 92 families

Bradley was doing well but then, when her girls were 12 and three, her husband left. "I couldn't believe it," she said. "He just up and left everything."

She hung on another year but couldn't keep up with the mounting bills. She lost the flower shop, then her house. Bradley moved to Florida to live with her mother who had relocated there and got work in a florist shop. But a disastrous marriage there coupled with the loss of her job as the economy soured, resulted in a second foreclosed home. With no options - her mother had passed away -- Bradley returned to her family in Massachusetts.

Bradley and her younger daughter moved in to her brother's one bedroom apartment. "We shared a bed and a chair," she said. "I went from being on top of the world to sleeping in a chair." Bradley immediately began looking for work but the recession had taken firm hold on the economy. "I had a few interviews but there always seemed to be somebody more qualified," she said. I knew I had to take the next step for me and my daughter. We couldn't stay in that apartment."

Lisa Bradley and Lily

The Department of Transitional Assistance placed Bradley and her daughter in a motel in Woburn, a move she called fortunate because it was her hometown. Still, she said she'll never forget the day they moved in. "I hated being in that motel," she said.

Bradley was also fortunate that the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership had received $4.5 million in stimulus grants which included $4.1 million for Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing. The Partnership's staff was in the motel recruiting those who are homeless to participate in the grant and Bradley was signed up.

Bradley found an affordable apartment which she calls "tiny but very cute." After it was inspected by the Partnership, Bradley received the rent subsidies through the grant that enabled her and her daughter to live on their own. Bradley's case manager from the Partnership continued to meet with her on a regular basis, providing her with resources for her job search and alerting her to workshops and classes on job development. A few months after moving out of the motel, Bradley found a job.

"I want to be on my own two feet," said Bradley. "But I feel I wouldn't have been able to do that without this kick start."