Barefoot Homeless Man Not Homeless After All; Boots From NYPD Officer Already Missing

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The homeless man given a pair of boots by a kind NYPD officer last month apparently is not homeless after all. The boots are also missing already.

According to the N.Y. Daily News, Jeffrey Hillman, 54, has a Bronx apartment paid for via a combination of rent vouchers, Social Security, and VA benefits.

Cop Buys Homeless Man Shoes

It's a sad and somewhat puzzling follow-up to a story that captured millions of hearts.

Hillman and police officer Lawrence DePrimo became Internet sensations after a tourist snapped a photo of DePrimo giving the homeless man a pair of boots.

The photo went viral and warmed thousands of hearts, but yesterday, Hillman was spotted around New York, again barefoot. They are "hidden," he confessed.

"They are worth a lot of money. I could lose my life," he told the N.Y. Times.

The Daily News reports that various city organizations have attempted to help Hillman, to no avail, as "[Hillman] has a history of turning down services."

The man's brother, Kirk Hillman, told the Daily News that he hasn't heard from Jeffrey since January. Kirk, too, said Jeffrey has refused overtures of help.

"We love our brother very much," Kirk Hillman told the newspaper.

"Our door is always open, but this is a lifestyle he's chosen."

While he won't say where they are or why they could endanger him, Jeffrey Hillman told the Times that he is grateful for the boots from Officer DePrimo:

"I want to thank everyone that got onto this thing. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. It meant a lot to me. And to the officer, first and foremost."

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Jeffrey Hillman should be in his Bronx apt. or it should be used for someone else who so desparately needs it. Why would you want to live on the streets? It appears some mental illness is going on here. The young police officer did a wondeful thing with the boots. The homeless man is NOT homeless and very WRONG in this situation!

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the tramp figured out a new business: JUST TELL PEOPLE YOUR SHOES ARE MISSING SO FOLKS SEND YOU NEW PAIRS AND YOU CAN SELL THEM TO OTHER TRAMPS.
(it's as simpla as that)

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@ baja

Stupid baja: I'm sure the other 'tramps' have big bucks just to 'buy' those boots! There are probably some who might cut off his feet to get them though. Rather than throw stones, thank a Higher Power that it's not you 'out there' - for whatever reason he is.

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When reading the beginning of this, I was thinking, "This is why I'm cynical of the world." However, reading the rest, this gentleman is not a con-artist. He's mentally ill. That's a shame.

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@ Kats

Yes, there are a lot of mentally ill folks out there on our streets. I used to work in a Geriatric Treatment Facility. This was a long term treatment facility. Had they not been admitted, they would have been out on the streets. Many used to hold down good jobs. One woman used to be a pediatric nurse. Another had been a public defender. One man's former job was an accountant. Then, something started happening within their minds. Many were diagnosed with various forms of mental illness. They just "lost it." One never knows. I often would think, "it's only by the Grace of God that I'm not in their shoes,"

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