The saga of Jeffrey Hillman continues. The Plainfield, NJ, native first appeared in the news last week after a photo of NYPD officer Lawrence DePrimo giving a pair of boots to the barefoot Hillman was posted on the NYPD's Facebook page.
Hillman appeared in the news again after the New York Times caught up with him to learn that he was still walking around barefoot, claiming that the boots were in a safe place because they could cost him his life. Some people smugly remarked that the seemingly homeless Hillman left the boots "at home." As it turns out, they might have been right.
NBC New York spoke to the city's homeless services commissioner, Seth Diamond, who says that Hillman has "stable housing." Diamond added that the agency has worked with Hillman "for years." An army veteran, Hillman was homeless for a period up until 2011, when he secured an apartment in the Bronx through Veteran Affairs.
His rent is paid for by "a lifetime voucher for homeless veterans and his Social Security income." Diamond says he understands the frustration of New Yorkers, who assume that no one is helping people like Hillman, but insists that outreach teams are continuing to work with him despite his history of refusing help.
At the end of the day, none of this information should undermine DePrimo's act of kindness.