Volunteers fix up home for disabled veterans

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – When local veterans fall on hard times, there’s a place they can turn to for help.  On Friday, the Vet House in Albany got some fixing up by a troop of volunteers.

Dozens of volunteers doing a lot of good work, giving veterans in transitional housing a nice place to stay while they get back on their feet.

The Vet House in Albany is getting spruced up by about 40 volunteers from the Home Depot. It’s a safe place for vets who have fallen on hard times.

“Just the pride and the thank yous that you get from the veterans living in these facilities is a huge impact. You know you’re helping to change people’s lives,” Jason Gregory, Manager at Central Avenue Home Depot, said.

People like Michael Richardson enlisted at a very young age.

“I had a rough transition going in and an even I’ll say rougher transition coming back home,” Michael Richardson, staying at Vet House, said.

That’s where the Vet House comes in by doing a lot more than just giving vets a place to stay.

“We do employment counseling and we put homeless veterans into permanent housing usually with a job,” Lee Vartigan, Director of Vet Services, said.

That’s Richardson’s goal. He wants to go back to school and become a social worker to help other vets. Following in the footsteps of Tyrone Alexander, who has done just that.

“That’s the best feeling in the world is knowing that when a veteran calls you up and says he has a job, he’s reconnected with his family,” Alexander, a Veterans case manager, said.

Until Richardson can get to that point, he’s staying here, where he’s offered every comfort of home.

“They keep like granola bars, protein bars down here so that they have something healthy to eat,” Richardson said.

It’s the outdoors where vets feel most at peace and there’s even a garden.

“We got collard greens, tomatoes, peppers.”

Volunteers focused on gardening and replacing an old shed. It’s small improvements that go a long way in making veterans feel at home.

“I can’t thank them enough. It’s a blessing to have a place like this to come to especially when times get bad. I can’t thank them enough.”

This is the fourth year Home Depot volunteers have helped fix up the Vet House. It’s a project they’ll stay committed to until there are no more repairs left to make.

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