Recognizing the innovative way she is keeping seniors out of nursing homes, Bloomberg Businessweek has named Purpose Prize winner Conchy Bretos one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2011.

A former Florida secretary of aging and adult services, Bretos in 1994 established the nation’s first public housing project to bring assisted living services to older adults in Miami’s Helen Sawyer Plaza. Bretos’ for-profit social enterprise, Mia Senior Living Solutions, has been involved in creating or managing 40 such communities and currently runs two in central Florida, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s profile of Bretos.

The residents may use Social Security payments and other subsidies to live in the communities, which typically provide meals, transportation, laundry services, house cleaning, assistance with medication and social activities.

Bretos, who won The Purpose Prize in 2006, is helping develop such communities in more than 20 states. She told the magazine: “Our mission is to produce as many affordable assisted-living beds as we can.”

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