Homeless man dies after being turned away from shelter

ALBANY, New York — An investigation is underway after a homeless man died when he was turned away from a shelter.

NEWS10 reports Kendal Haight stayed at the Homeless Action Committee in Albany for nearly 18 years.

Shelter workers say that on Dec. 7, he tried to enter the building but had a bottle of alcohol. Protocol at the shelter does not allow clients to bring in alcohol or drugs. Workers say Haight was given the option to get rid of the bottle or stay outside for another hour to finish it.

They said he decided to go back outside.

“We would have let him in if he returned, but he didn’t,” said Executive Director Donna DeMaria. “That was the last time that we saw him.”

His body was found the next day after he froze to death overnight.

The state has opened an investigation into his death and if the shelter should have turned him away.

“Kendal was an incredible human being. He helped staff out; he cooked all of the meals when he was sober. Staff called on him to help with everything. Our staff, myself included, are grieving,” DeMaria said. “This is one of the biggest losses that we’ve had.”

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