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‘Street Soldiers’ keep Albany’s homeless fed and warm

December 18, 2017 12:43 AM

ALBANY - A Friday night out in Albany's Washington Park is less about fun for Renee Fahey and all about giving back. 
Every Friday, even on freezing nights, people who are homeless or in need gather near the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument.

“Word of mouth is on the street, Fahey said. “They tell them about us and they come.”

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It’s where Fahey, her husband Mike and volunteers give people warm meals and other basic needs donated by the community. 

They call themselves Street soldiers. 

“It feels good to do this,” Fahey said. “We know that they had a nice hardy homemade meal."
 
Jerry Barnwell has been homeless for about three years and has come to rely on the volunteers. 

“Food, clothing and whatever else I need,” he said. 

“They're the best friends I've made in the last two years probably,” Rob Smith said. 

“It’s what we do every single week,” Fahey said. 

Every week since last September. 

And every Friday, all the donations and food are packed up at Renee and Mike's Selkirk home.

“Usually the things they need its donated,” Mike Fahey said. “There's not a whole lot that these guys need that we don't have in the garage.”

Adrienne Seymour is a long-time volunteer.

She said the people they help have many struggles, including addiction. 
 
“My family is very aware of addiction,” Seymour said. “I have a friend that is a recovering heroin addict and I thought that based on the fifth so this is a project that is near and dear to my heart.” 

Sometimes before heading over to Washington Park, Fahey makes a few stops to hand out meals to homeless people she sees along the way. 

People who come to Washington Park do so knowing they'll be welcomed and not judged. 

Four score and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal and that's what these people is showing us right now,” said Her Jhunr First. 

“I wish I could just take them all home and tuck them into bed but what we do is enough,” Fahey said. 

Members of Street Soldiers say they're always accepting donations. 

To find out how you can help visit wnyt.com and click on links.
 

Credits

Nia Hamm

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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