Debate over stimulus money continues in Mass.

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February 18, 2010, 8:03 pm

(NECN: Alison King, Boston, Mass.) - Governor Deval Patrick was at a Boston Community Health Center Thursday getting feedback from those on the receiving end of federal stimulus money.


One story in particular struck an emotional chord with governor, from a 36-year-old father of five who just got a full time job having had spotty employment for years.


Derek Lilly/Boston: “It's good to take my kids out, buy them sneakers - do the things I need to do as a father.  And also to be a good role model for my sons. Let them know there are better ways to make money than being out on the streets.”


Toward the end, as the governor was summing up, his face flushed and his eyes welled with tears as he recounted Lilly’s story.


Deval Patrick: “When I heard one of the gentleman talk about what it's like for him to be able to be an example for his son - because he now has a job made possible through the referrals of the stimulus bill -- you know, that's what this is about.”


The organization receiving that stimulus money was ABCD: Action for Boston Community Development. 


ABCD promotes self-help for low income people. The organization received stimulus money which allowed it to beef up its training capabilities -- including hiring more "job developers" - that is people who help others to find a job.


One of those job developers trained Derek Lilly, he helped him find job openings,  write a resume and got him a voucher to get some interview clothes.


Derek Lilly: “Went down to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop got some dress pants, dress shirt, some shoes.”


Lilly ended up at Roxbury technology - a Boston company that recycles printer cartridges.


It's a feel good story, but republicans say it could have happened without the stimulus bill.


Rep. Brad Hill: I would argue that a lot of grants are already available to these cities and towns and they just have to apply for them.   We didn't need a $700-billion dollar bill to do that


Patrick: When I hear, from time to time, folks criticize the stimulus spending and the stimulus bill - I say, come and talk to these folks. See what a difference it's making in their lives.

Tags: unemployment , Deval Patrick, stimulus funds, Brad Hill
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