Saratoga Springs now offering free coats for homeless, others in need

February 05, 2019 06:25 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - It's a sidewalk sale with a twist. The coats being hung on the rack Tuesday afternoon on Broadway in Saratoga Springs aren't for sale at all. They're completely free.

Karen Gregory, the new leader of Shelters of Saratoga, saw on social media that another community elsewhere in the country was offering a free coat program. Gregory thought a similar program would be perfect for Saratoga Springs, which is still in need of a permanent Code Blue shelter.


"It doesn't necessarily have to be a homeless person, but it can be someone who just doesn't have a coat and can't keep warm in the wintertime," Gregory said.

So Gregory and Shelters of Saratoga partnered up with Fingerpaint to use the space near the front door of their Broadway marketing firm as the place to get a coat.

"Even if it's just a temporary Band-Aid for a larger problem, it helps show that we care and we know that the community cares, so it helps build a bridge that way," said Bo Goliber, head of philanthropy for Fingerpaint.

A Fingerpaint designer also created the campaign's sign, which occupies a prominent spot on the sidewalk.

As the program launched Tuesday, Tina Cacckello was the first to donate, bringing a couple dozen coats from her consignment shop in Lake George.

Cacckello knew and helped Nancy Pitts before the homeless woman passed away on the freezing cold streets a few years back.

"That's why I feel passionate about this cause," said Cacckello."It's sad when I think about her, because she was a person. You'd see her every day walking around."

Organizers say if they can keep one person warm, the effort will be worth it.

The goal is to have the rack stocked with coats and out and available, 24 hours a day.

"We'll keep it here as long as they need them," said Goliber.

Those who'd like to donate coats are encouraged to hang them from the rack. Gregory says if there's no room for more, the coats can be dropped off at Shelters of Saratoga on Walworth Street.


Mark Mulholland

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