BROCKTON – The grand opening of LA Cleaning Services in Brockton on Monday will mark the culmination of a lifelong journey for 26-year-old Lindsey Anthony.
When she was just 8 years old, Anthony began drawing up plans for launching her dream business: she was going to be the first in her family to go to college, the first to own her own business, the first to be an independent success story.
But then life got in the way.
Taken away from her mother and separated from her siblings after a violent domestic incident, Anthony spent her school years in and out of 17 foster homes and group placements. At age 16, she dropped out of high school to work, in an effort to supplement her single-mother’s income. Anthony desperately wanted to keep her three younger siblings -- two brothers and a sister -- from following the same path of temporary homes and constant uncertainty.
But even with Anthony’s income and her mother working three jobs, they could not afford their apartment. So, just two years ago, the family began living in a van and eating discarded bread from the dumpsters of Dunkin Donuts’ around the city.
“My mom and I would take turns staying awake at night while the younger ones slept,” said Anthony. “We didn’t want to get in trouble, but we didn’t know where to go for help.”
The climate for new businesses in Brockton has been hard to predict in the past 10 years. It has not always been clear which businesses have been welcome and which ones are not. The case in point is the power plant which is being greenlighted for Oak Hill Way. Both the pro and anti power plant camps claim that they have the majority of the people’s hearts. Years ago, there was a hope by a North Shore entrepreneur to open a video game entertainment venue called “Good Time Emporium.” This venture had public hearings, and there were people who frankly hated it. This man was going to put an empty warehouse with enormous square footage to use, but there were too many delays and he was unable to secure financing. The warehouse is used, but not to its full potential. Now we have talk of a Casino at the Brockton Fairgrounds. The public seems to like it for the most part, but time will tell. George Carney, who owns the property, favors putting it to a public vote. This is good, because if anything the city doesn’t really like to have things thrown down their throat.