(Albany) Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D – Ulster, Dutchess) and Senator William Larkin (R, C - Cornwall-on-Hudson) have passed a bill in a bi-partisan effort to provide a transitional home for veterans in the City of Kingston. The bill cleared the Assembly yesterday and is now awaiting approval by the Governor.
“Many veterans struggle to acclimate to civilian life after they are discharged from the service, and too many end up homeless,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “By making housing and support services available for our brave service men and women, we are enabling them to get back on their feet in a dignified way.”
“I am very happy this legislation has passed the Assembly and will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “Our veterans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, particularly when they are experiencing profound difficulties in their lives. We must do all we can to provide these veterans with the assistance they need to get back on their feet and lead productive lives. The establishment of this transitional housing will be an integral part of their recovery and I
look forward to this bill being signed into law.”
“Our Kingston veterans will now have a safe place to reside, and I am pleased that the County has promised to hold the City harmless of safety net costs,” said Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo.
“It is nice to see Veterans are not forgotten. Kingston, as many other cities in the United States, does have homeless Veterans. Although they might not be loitering in our streets and begging, they are here,” said William Forte, member of the Kingston Veterans Association.
In the past 11 years, our nation has fought in two wars, resulting in multiple deployments. There has been a significant rise in the number of veterans struggling with issues related to substance abuse, mental health, unemployment and homelessness. It is important to be able to offer emergency housing in Kingston to accommodate those who need assistance.
The property, located at 67 Wurts Street in Kingston, was previously used as a group home for people with developmental disabilities. The building has the required space and amenities to support the veterans’ needs and is in proximity to public transportation and other government services. In addition to living amongst peers, veterans will have access to employment training, career counseling and a host of other programs.
“Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices on our behalf,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “It is only right that we support them in their time of need.”