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  • Thursday, September 29, 2022

    Legion Awards Grant to Housing Coalition for Homeless Vets

    Check presentation

    Department of New York Commander David R. Riley Sr. presents a check for $24,000 to Joseph Sluszka, executive director of the Albany Housing Coalition. Flanking them are Sons of the American Legion Detachment Commander Timothy S. Van Patten II and Department Auxiliary President Nancy Babis. Photo by Frank Carletta.

    The American Legion in New York State has awarded a $24,000 grant to the Albany Housing Coalition to furnish six newly rehabilitated apartments for homeless veterans, Department of New York Commander David R. Riley Sr. announced.

    This is the third grant that the New York State American Legion has awarded since unveiling a $1.5 million fund in July to address veteran suicide and homelessness.

    In presenting a check to Albany Housing Coalition Executive Director Joseph Sluszka on Wednesday, Sept. 28, during the commander’s visit to John J. Wyszomirski Post 701 in Amsterdam, Riley noted that the Clinton Avenue Veterans Apartments will offer six units of freshly renovated, affordable, supportive permanent housing in a side-by-side pair of Victorian brick townhomes adjacent to the coalition’s offices and team of case managers.

    “New furnishings in newly renovated apartments will help provide veterans a permanent secure home and a sense of pride in their environment and in themselves, eliminating the feelings of want and uncertainty in their surroundings that feeds a homeless mentality,” Riley said.

    The commander praised the housing coalition for serving more than 400 at-risk and homeless veterans a year in the Capital District. The coalition works in partnership with a number of entities; among them, various VA services, New York State Division of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    The Albany Housing Coalition also served as a site for two clinical trials for the RTM ProtocolTM developed by Dr. Frank Bourke to combat PTSD. The Research and Recognition Project, a Corning-based non-profit founded by Dr. Bourke, received one of the first two Legion grants to fund a pilot project to expand and measure the RTM ProtocolTM treatment. Riley noted that in clinical trials, the treatment has eliminated post-traumatic stress symptoms over 90 percent of the time in less than five hours, using no drugs. Similar to the Albany coalition’s funding, the second grant went to the Veterans & Community Housing Coalition in Saratoga County to outfit a home for homeless women veterans with children.