WNYT.com

Saratoga County veterans shelters hope clicks lead to big bucks

Posted at: 05/13/2013 5:26 PM
Updated at: 05/13/2013 8:36 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

BALLSTON - The big old home on Route 50 doesn't house a family in the typical sense.

But like a family home, it's been the safety net for people who have no where else to turn.

People like Kathy Dunlap.

"This opened up and it was a godsend," she said.

Kathy has lived here at The Guardian House, a place for homeless women veterans, since just after it opened in October 2011. The former naval electronics technician will soon move into her own apartment.

She credits Guardian House with turning her life around.

"I literally was physically walking around in circles in my apartment because I didn't know where to go next," said Dunlap.

But the house, which has 11 veterans at a time and has others waiting to get in, needs work.

The garage and storage area is falling down.

And right now, it can't accommodate disabled veterans.

But with a little help from Home Depot, Saratoga County's veterans shelters could soon be more saving, more doing and more comfortable.

Through an on-line contest, they already won 25-thousand dollars in Home Depot gift cards. Now they're in the running for an even bigger payday. The top vote getter brings in a quarter-million dollars. Second gets 150-thousand and third receives 100-grand.

Saratoga County RPC, which runs the the two local shelters, is currently fourth. Running behind agencies in cities such as Seattle and Louisville. But city size doesn't matter. Saratoga County has a reputation for backing up its veterans.

"So it's really a matter of just people getting behind it in cluster groups and voting every single day," said Budd Mazurek of Saratoga County Rural Preservation Co., the agency that oversees the shelter here and in Ballston Spa.

To vote, click here.