You'll find Mike and Renee Fahey, co-founders of Selkirk-based Street Soldiers, every Friday night in Academy Park in Albany handing out free food, underwear, socks and other necessities to the area's homeless. A full house of business owners, managers and other community supporters heard the Fahey's speak about their charity and its work at RCS CBA's January Business Breakfast held at Finke Equipment in Selkirk.
Mike, Renee and volunteer Nancy Bacon educated the audience about the homeless, and the charity's weekly activities, which are totally driven by volunteers who often learn about the group, show up at the park and jump in. In addition to handing out food and clothing, volunteers and supporters have helped to furnish apartments, sat for hours in the hospital looking after one of their homeless friends and performed countless other acts of kindness.
Renee spoke about one of their success stories. One of the first men Street Soldiers worked with had been on the street for 30 years. Now he has his own apartment, runs his own errands ad even has a goldfish to look after.
"Anyone can do what we do," said Mike. "If you can help someone else do what you can."
Street Soldiers has won multiple awards for its work, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community, which was awarded to Renee last summer.
In addition to Academy Park in Albany on Friday nights, Street Soldiers also does handouts in Troy every Thursday night and Schenectady every Sunday afternoon. Inspired by the Fahey's work others are creating similar programs in Norwich and Hudson. You can learn more about Albany Street Soldiers and how to support them on Facebook at @Fahey2017.