BOSTON — When Letora Good Life found its way to Boston last year, it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for an upstart Boston company to find its footing.
But it wasn’t exactly the kind of thing that anyone expected to see come to fruition.
Good Life had a $2 million investment from Boston-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management, and it was an opportunity that would allow it to grow rapidly, but one that would also require it to navigate some of the toughest challenges Boston faces.
It would also, ironically, be the first investment in Good Life’s history.
Good Health, which was founded in 2013 by a team of students and postdocs at Boston University, was founded on the idea that there were so many people out there who needed to get their life back on track.
And they didn’t want to be left behind.
And with the launch of the company’s first trial in Boston last month, Good Health is now looking ahead to what it can do for Boston’s chronically ill.
In April, Good Life launched the Boston Positivity Trial, a pilot program designed to help chronically ill people get their lives back on the right track.
It was a huge step forward for the company and an opportunity to get a foothold in a city that has been known for its problems with mental health.
And it was also a huge boost for Good Life, which had been struggling to find a way to recruit employees in the city.
“When we launched it, we weren’t thinking of the money,” said Good Life co-founder and CEO Laura L. Kavanagh, whose company is one of the first on the West Coast to offer an alternative to the prescription pill.
“We were thinking, ‘Let’s give back.'”
In an effort to get employees to start contributing more, Good Heart set up an office in South Boston and invited local residents to work there.
It set up a social media presence, and in March it started to take the first steps in recruiting employees.
In March, the company partnered with a local charity that was using the office to host monthly meetings for chronically ill Bostonians to get more involved in their communities.
“We wanted to make sure that it was inclusive, that it had a strong presence of people who are at risk,” Kavanaugh said.
“So, we created a partnership with a community organization, and then, we brought in local entrepreneurs and community leaders to take that concept and transform it into a program.”
So far, Good Hearts employees are volunteering at the office, helping out with the organization’s social media strategy, and taking part in a series of events at the hospital.
Kavannagh said the program has also raised more than $1 million so far.
And Good Heart is now working to bring more of the people who were previously employed to its new office in the East Boston community.
Kavellagh said Good Heart hopes to have a staff of 25 employees by mid-2019, with about 30 expected by year’s end.
She also said that Good Life will have to start focusing on finding new ways to recruit people in the community to help them with their health care needs.
For Good Health’s first few months, Good Luck was a little unsure how the city’s rapidly growing population of chronically ill would react to Good Health.
But things have turned around, Kavanah said.
And the city is showing more and more support for Good Health by welcoming Good Health to its community every week.
And when Good Health launched its Boston Pritsionship trial, the Boston Public Health Commission also announced it would be joining the effort to help the company recruit people to work at the site.
“It’s a little bit of a double-edged sword,” Kavavanagh said.
“Boston is definitely a city of a million people,” said co-owner/CEO Kavanagh.
“But, we know that the city of Boston is also the city that is a city with a very different set of challenges than what we are facing in Boston.”
And Good Health has had to deal with some of those challenges in its first few years.
The company has faced an influx of people coming to the site from other cities and states, and as more and other companies like Good Life begin to look at the company as an opportunity, Kavavagh said that Boston’s population has grown exponentially over the last few years, and that the company is looking to grow exponentially in the coming years.
“The city has grown so fast, it’s a challenge for Good Heart,” Kavaanagh said, “but it’s not a challenge we want to have in the future.”
And now Good Health wants to help Boston continue to grow as a city and as a company.
“If we can find ways to work together to make it better, we think that Boston will be a