TROY, N.Y. -- Mayor Lou Rosamilia was joined by Congressman Paul Tonko and several others to announce the city has completed the nationwide challenge issued by The White House to end veteran homelessness.

Arguably, no city in the Capital Region has a more celebrated sense of patriotism than Troy. So, it's fitting that the Collar City takes care of its veterans, including the ones who don't have so much as a warm place to sleep at night.

"The words 'homeless' and 'veteran' should never be put together," said Tonko.

Thanks to a national challenge issued by the White House, those two words no longer can be found together in this city.

"Every veteran that we've identified over the course of a year, there are 33 veterans who are homeless, we have gotten each of them off the streets and into either crisis housing, like emergency shelters or transitional housing, or treatment-related housing or permanent housing," said Kevin O'Connor, executive director of Joseph's House and Shelter.

"I'm proud to be an American," said Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia. "I'm proud of our veterans, I'm proud of what they've done."

Nearly a dozen organizations in the Capital Region helped make that possible, and in the spirit of the pope's visit this weekend, we're reminded of a message too often overlooked.

"We have a purpose here in this world," said Rosamilia, "And that is to work with one another, to help one another."

More work needs to be done if this world is to become better, but a great place to start is the compassion exemplified by the Collar City. 

"This is a victory for our veterans, who time and time again produce victory for us, the people of this great country," said Tonko.