NEW YORK -- The New York City homeless man - whose gift of boots from an NYPD police officer became an online sensation - is back on the streets with no shoes. The New York Times found him Sunday night wandering barefoot in Manhattan. The paper identified him as Jeffrey Hillman, formerly of South Plainfield, N.J. Asked about the $100 all-weather boots Officer Larry DePrimo gave him on Nov. 14, Hillman says he´s hidden them because "they are worth a lot of money." He says he´s grateful for the gift, but he wants "a piece of the pie"
Comments: Surprised? I knew it would turn out like this, after all the drooly gooey sentimental stories of the cop helping the bum. Well, he´s still a bum, he sees his profit opportunities and some people can´t be helped.
I don´t think he has the law on his side regarding rights to the pic - the event was conducted in public.
This calls to mind my early newspaper days in San Francisco, when I told my editor we ought to run photos of the drunken bums of 16th Street. He said we couldn´t do it quite that way. "If there was one thing that´s worse than a drunk it´s a drunk´s lawyer," he said.
If he is homeless how the heck does he know the video went viral? Likely has a giveaway IPhone with free minutes. Even our homeless are well connected. No good deed goes unpunished. The Pollyanna in me hopes that some day there will be just ONE heartwarming story that doesn´t go south and leave me depressed at the reality that apparently everyone is looking for an angle.
The cop gave this man an opportunity to take care of himself. He´s probably had these opportunities many times courtesy of many people, including his family. He chose to throw them away to feed his addictions.
This doesn´t minimize what the officer did for him at all. Neither does it mean the other people in his life are suckers for helping him.
Up until the 1970s, people who were unable to take care of themselves were institutionalized. Then along came the courts, Nelson Rockefeller, and Geraldo Rivera, and our society decided that it was unfair, and expensive, to institutionalize those people. So in a it of liberalism, society allowed those kinds of people to live and die in the streets.
Most homeless are schizophrenic, it´s why they are on the street in the first place. They typically refuse assistance from family and friends who offer to take them in. They also tend to shun shelters as well, and all for the same reason. Their mental disorder makes them fiercely independent and they fear being trapped or controlled by those who offer them food and a safe clean place to sleep. They cannot be helped because they don´t want it. They should either be institutionalized or ignored.
This is so sad. I can´t believe the way some of you react to this unfortunate soul. The poor man is obviously not capable of caring for himself yet some of you judge him by standards you use to judge yourselves. That is not right and is anything but Christian.
In the more enlightened era of time gone by, we had both Federal and State Institutions to care for people like this. What happened is another example of liberal good intentions gone wrong. In 1963, at JFK´s urging and as part of his New Frontier, the Community Mental Health Act was passed by Congress and it closed down all Federal and State asylums. They were supposed to be replaced by local "community" centers to care for those unable to care for themselves.
JFK was killed and it never happened and multitudes were left to die on the streets and for 50 years that has happened. I´m ashamed of myself and my fellow citizens for letting it happen.
In my area, there is a homeless man who you see on the street frequently. He is often carrying a large number of personal items that gets to be larger and larger as time goes by and then one day you see him with nothing but a small suitcase again.
He comes from a well to do family who wants to get him treated, but they cannot force him into medical care...and so he continues the way he has for many many years.
I am a true believer in the preservation of liberty, however, this man is not using his liberty to his benefit and his family should be allowed to handle his affairs.
Sorry #30, but I reserve my sympathy for people that cannot help themselves, and this guy was given something to help his situation and he CHOSE to pawn it or trade it for (most likely) drugs or alcohol. I will never give to homeless beggars.
Thank you, #35, I doubt anyone would get killed for a $5 pair of boots from Goodwill...
2 examples of why I don´t think twice about passing by these people -- in Denver a few years ago, a local story about a woman who had a ´daycare´ in her home and was caught, by one of the parents, on a street corner, with their child, and a ´I´m homeless´ sign. A couple years ago, here in northern Washington, I saw a 2 guys I recognized from their familiar street corner, in the laundromat, they were discussing what corner to move to that afternoon, when one pulls out a cell phone and says ´let me call home and see if the wife´s back yet´. Then I watched them leave in a decent late model truck. Yeah, right, homeless...
As the nun once told my wife in school, "don´t give them money. Give them a ham sandwich." The police officer knew the risks here and in my mind that probably makes him even more praiseworthy, even if the risks probably came to pass and the guy no longer has the boots because he traded them for something worth $15 at most.
But it is sad that the guy did what I suspected he would do.
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