Fake News Alert: Story About Homeless Vets Getting Kicked Out of a NY Hotel to Make Room for Migrants Did Not Happen

A story that went viral about homeless vets in New York getting kicked out of a New York hotel was a hoax; it did not happen but that didn’t stop the usual purveyors of Fake News from promoting it.  

The New York Post first reported that 20 homeless veterans were forced out of the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh to make room for migrants the federal government was sending to New York on May 12. The saga gained even more attention when New York Assemblyman Brian Maher introduced legislation to prevent vets from being displaced from temporary housing. Maher stepped in to denounce the hotel’s actions and grabbed headlines along with an appearance on a conservative tv network to raise money for the YIT Foundation, which claims had housed the homeless veterans at the hotel.

The foundation and its director, Sharon Toney-Finch, appear to have fabricated the entire story, causing Maher to admit yesterday that he had been duped by Finch and her lies.

“When Sharon and several veterans explained to me their situation, I believed them at their word,” Maher said Friday. “I had absolutely no knowledge of any wrongdoing and believed that their stories were real until a phone conversation with Sharon yesterday afternoon when she explained to me that this did not happen the way she purported it to.”

After an investigation by Mid-Hudson News, their story started unraveling. The news organization discovered a series of lies that found the veterans who claimed they were displaced didn’t even exist.

On Thursday night he met with a group of seven men at a homeless shelter.  The men said that on Wednesday, two people came into the shelter saying they had work and needed 15 men between the ages of 40 and 60, to take a trip to meet with an elected official for a discussion on homelessness.  They were each promised $200 along with food and alcohol.  They were familiar with one of the recruiters, Diana, claiming she had previously stayed at the shelter.

“We ate like kings,” said one of the men who asked to remain nameless.  “Sharon introduced herself and told us we could have whatever we wanted and she would pick up the tab.”  After eating and drinking, Finch gathered the men in the parking lot to explain the actual “work” they were about to perform.
She told us to act like we were the veterans that had been displaced.  And she told us that if asked, we were supposed to say we had been kicked out and Sharon found us rooms in Fishkill.” 

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