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Beacon Communities, Soldier On Host Pre-Memorial Day Veterans Appreciation Ceremony

May 22, 2024

*For Immediate Release*

Contact: Helen Stevenson,


Beacon Communities, Soldier On Host Pre-Memorial Day Veterans Appreciation Ceremony

Local, State Elected Officials Gathered to Honor Service Members on Site of Future $22 Million, 62-Unit Affordable & Supportive Housing Project for Veterans at Risk of Homelessness


MENANDS, NY (May 22, 2024) – Leading up to the Memorial Day weekend, Beacon Communities, one of the nation’s leading affordable housing developers, today hosted a veterans appreciation event in partnership with Soldier On, a nonprofit committed to ending veteran homelessness.

The event took place at 35 Broadway, Menands, a development more than six years in the making that will provide affordable one-bedroom apartments and supportive services for homeless and low-income Albany County veterans and other households. Construction is expected to be completed by April 2025.

The 67 affordable units are currently under construction. Thirty-five will be supportive units reserved for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; and 32 others will be affordable and made available to low-income members of the community.

The project at 35 Broadway has received funding from the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and targets households earning up to 30 and 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

“Together, we have achieved one of Governor Kathy Hochul’s key commitments by providing more affordable homes for New Yorkers, particularly veterans who have bravely served our nation and may be struggling with homelessness,” said Darren Scott, Upstate East Director of Development, New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “Over the past five years, we have helped create nearly 550 affordable homes in Albany County, many of which include supportive services. Beyond Albany County, nearly 3,000 units have been created or preserved in the Capital Region as part of the governor’s commitment to tackle the affordability crisis.”

Beacon Communities is the developer of 35 Broadway. A range of supportive services – including mental health and addiction counseling, job training, and more – will be provided by Beacon’s nonprofit partner, Soldier On, a Western Massachusetts-based veterans service agency.

“There are 1,000 veterans across New York State currently experiencing homelessness, and 127,000 vets living with some sort of housing challenge, like overcrowding or affordability,” said Dara Kovel, CEO of Beacon Communities. “This is an issue we should all feel incredibly motivated to address, advocate for, and solve. There’s a difference between people being housed, stably housed, and successfully housed. The model we’re creating here is for successful, long-term housing. As the daughter of an officer in the military and the niece of an uncle who died in service, I am so appreciative to have this opportunity to create housing for people who deserve our resect and recognition. I look forward to welcoming our residents when they move in!”

“The more I do this, the more I realize that we all need to work together,” said Bruce Buckley, CEO of Soldier On. “Homelessness isn’t about drugs. It isn’t about alcohol. It isn’t about mental health or money. It’s about lacking a support system. When I look at this project, I don’t see a building; I see a community. That’s what we provide. We’re not about buildings, we’re about the veterans who live in our buildings. That’s what we’re all here for.”

The La Salle Institute Color Guard kicked off Wednesday’s event. Participants honored current and retired members of the Armed Services, as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country; and highlighted the need to provide high-quality, affordable housing and supportive services for veterans, who are at a higher risk of homelessness, mental health challenges, and substance abuse.

“This is more than just a building, it’s a community where veterans can find the support and camaraderie they deserve and live fulfilling lives enriched by the resources available to them,” said Menands Mayor Brian Marsh. “This project stands as a testament to our commitment to those who have sacrificed so much. May this community be a beacon of hope for our new neighbors and a model of what we can achieve when we work together.”

“The fact that this is happening in advance of Memorial Day makes it extra special, because too often the headlines overtake veterans’ issues and we may overlook the sacrifices they made on our behalf,” said state Sen. Jake Ashby. “This project is a real testament to public-private partnership and what can happen when we work together. New York is not an easy place to do business. But thanks to the dedication of these organizations and the dedication we have to our veterans, we were able to overcome obstacles and get this done.”

“When I first started working with the county executive as a policy analyst, this was one of the first projects I was assigned,” recalled Deputy Albany County Executive Mike McLaughlin. “This has been a very long process, and we’re thrilled to see it come to fruition. Providing a level of service above and beyond what we owe our veterans has always been a top priority for (County Executive Dan McCoy) and it feels good to know that this moment has finally arrived.”

“This is a huge day for Albany County because we need the services that Soldier On will provide at this project – we need them every single day,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, who has partnered with Soldier On to provide veterans’ specific services and combat recidivism at the Albany County Correctional Facility. “There needs to be more of these kinds of programs and more of an emphasis on taking care of humans to address the homelessness problem – not just in this county, but statewide and across the country.”


About Beacon Communities LLC

Beacon Communities LLC is a privately owned real estate firm that develops, acquires, invests in, and manages a wide range of multi-family housing. Their portfolio includes affordable housing, market rate housing and mixed income-housing. Their developments range from new construction to historic adaptive reuse, to the renovation of existing housing. They take on challenging developments and make them succeed. Their driving passion is to create well-designed homes that improve the quality of life of their residents and enhance the neighborhoods in which they are located. For more information about Beacon Communities LLC please visit


About Soldier On:

Soldier On is a private nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. Since 1994, the organization has been providing homeless veterans with transitional housing and supportive services. In 2010, Soldier On opened the first Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community, a permanent housing cooperative that provides formerly homeless veterans with safe, sustainable, affordable housing – transitioning them from homelessness to homeownership. This housing model will be replicated nationally as Soldier On continues to change the end of the story for homeless veterans throughout the country. Learn more:

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