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Bridgeport family beset by tragedies faces homelessness

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BRIDGEPORT -

A Bridgeport family that lost its patriarch, escaped a kidnapper and was displaced after a house fire is struggling with homelessness a year after the blaze. 

The Lopez family is staying in a motel on Post Road in Fairfield. Monica Lopez and her three kids live in a room with their remaining belongings packed into a few bags.

Lopez says it's a constant struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

"You go to work, and people don't treat you the same if they even know that you're living in a hotel room," Lopez says. "People think of the word homeless, and they think of someone dirty. They think of somebody that is not living right, and they don't understand the circumstances. If you were to even tell them the stories, they wouldn't even believe it."

News 12 Connecticut was on the scene when a fire destroyed the multifamily home on Clinton Avenue. Officials blamed an electrical problem for the blaze.

Lopez works full-time as a housekeeper. She also has a part-time job in a clothing store, but she says it's taken every penny of her paychecks to keep her family housed in motels.

Lopez says she's unable to get enough money together at once to rent an apartment.

And the fire is just the latest tragedy to befall her family.

In 2012, police say her husband was fatally shot during an armed robbery. Six months ago, she and the children were taken hostage in Stratford, when police say a man with emotional problems turned violent.

Lopez and her kids survived all those experiences and now are contending with homelessness.

The family has set up a fund to help them raise $3,000 to get into an apartment and get back on their feet.

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