Kendal Haight was a part of HAC's housing for over 18 years. Our organization is small and we consider ourselves to be a family. We are all so deeply saddened by his loss and are trying to find a way to cope without him. The hearts of staff, tenants, Board, and supporters are all broken over this tremendous loss. Kendal was not just a tenant at HAC. He did so much for the staff, the tenants, and the organization as a whole. Right now, HAC is focused on grieving this terrible loss and providing our community with the support it needs.
It was known by all tenants that HAC does not allow alcohol to be brought into the building for safety reasons. If a tenant attempted to enter with alcohol, the tenant was always given the option to give the bottle to staff to discard so they could enter. If they decided not to surrender the alcohol, they were asked to leave the premises (including the area immediately surrounding the building) for a period of 1 hour. The night before his death, Kendal attempted to enter with a bottle. Our staff pleaded with him to turn the alcohol over and come inside, and reminded him that if he didn't, it would be a 1 hour consequence away fom the premises. Kendal refused to turn the bottle over and walked out of the building. After remaining at the front of the building for a time, he ultimately left the premises and he did not return for the rest of the night. Our staff called local hospitals trying to locate Kendal and even checked the preimeter of the building with no success. HAC followed a protocol that has been in place since we opened over 18 years ago, that Kendal had followed for years.
Out of any tragedy, comes reflection and a chance to review day to day operations. Because of this tragedy, HAC has stopped outside consequences and are re-evaluating all policies and operations.
The Homeless Action Committee continues to provide compassionate and caring services. We will continue our work to provide support and stability to all of the homeless who are still out there on the street and we will continue to provide outreach to let them all know that someone cares for them. We will also continue housing people who were formerly homeless. In the face of this tragedy we are resolved even more to continue our important work.
We would like to thank everyone who has reached out to us to share their support and their concerns with us. It has been a great source of solace and we are grateful.
________________________________________________________________________________________________ November 10th, 2017
News Coverage on the HAC VAN
Channel 13 covered a story that focused on the HAC Outreach Van and the amazing work they do all year round but espcially during cold winter nights. Please help us
raise funds for this critical program! Thank you Channel 13 and Abigail Bleck!
HAC’s 2017 Sleep-a-thon had approximately 75 participants, even on the coldest night thus far, which was 7°. It was an extremely windy night and below zero with the wind chill. Thus far, we have raised approximately $15,200 from this event, which is short of our goal of $20,000. We are hopeful that more will continue to trickle in and we are extremely grateful for this support! We are also appreciative that so many people attended and held signs and solicited money from the public and several people brought in a significant amount in pledges. For the 6th year in a row, the group, Service is Key from SUNY was there, and for the 1st year, members of the SUNY group Project Excel. The students had high energy and determination!
In addition to the $15,200 thus far from this event, there are also outstanding pledges of $360. We are hoping all of our supporters can help us meet our goal this year so that we can meet our budget gap for 2017. HAC's 2017 budget calls for raising $120,000 in donations, an overwhelming burden for a non-profit. Once again, this year is expected to be an extremely difficult year for us financially as our revenues have been down for the past few years due to cuts and the economy. Thus, it is critical that we reach our goal.
Participants at the Sleep-a-thon included the following individuals/groups:
·U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko
·NYS Assemblymembers John McDonald & Patricia Fahy
·Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan; Albany Common Council members Kelly Kimbrough, Mike O’Brien, Judy Doesschate, and Cathy Fahey
·SUNY Service is Key & SUNY Project Excel
·SHNNYS; NAMI; United Tenants; Clean is the New Dirty
·St. Paul’s Church
Thank you to all volunteers who helpedthat night! Special thanks to our Overall Cordinator that night: Kim Kelley. In addition, thank you to our registration volunteers: Alysha Kennedy, Cody Arana, Stephanie Deyo, and Will Stevenson; our HAC literature table volunteers: Jen Nalli & John Arana. Thank you to everyone who collected the money from the public in the cans- $480 total! And finally, a special thanks to our staff (Alysha, Cody & Dan) who made calls in advance this year to churches, elected officials, students, and human service agencies.
HAC’s 24th Annual Sleep-a-thon was a success! HAC appreciates everyone’s support and looks forward to your continued involvement with HAC next year!