Posted at: 01/26/2013 6:35 PM
Updated at: 01/27/2013 4:48 PM
By: Lily Jamali
ALBANY - A group of veterans planned to spend Saturday night on the lawn of the V.F.W. post on Delaware Avenue.
They're trying to bring visibility to the struggles homeless veterans face.
The group has been collecting cold weather clothing, blankets and gear which they plan to distribute to homeless vets in our area.
Among those braving the cold is Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, who is himself a vet.
He says he's steeling himself to the cold for this important commitment.
"At the time, I was at my warm desk and I had my suit on and was like 'hey, sounds like a great idea' and I got here and it is awful cold," McCoy said.
But the problem is severe.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, almost 63,000 veterans are homeless every night - with twice that number experiencing homelessness at some point in a given year.
"They are our brothers and sisters and it's important to us that they know that we think about them. They - on occasion - may feel they're forgotten but we want them to know they're not, at least not by us," said Jim Ader, the commander of the Sheehy Palmer V.F.W. Post #6776.
The group is taking collections at their post at 525 Delaware Avenue.
Sunday, they'll be hosting a pancake breakfast which is open to the public.