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Dec 04 2012

Jeffrey Hillman: Shoeless but Not Homeless

The bad news is that Jeffrey Hillman, the shoeless homeless guy who gave everyone a tug on the heartstrings when patrolman Lawrence DePrimo bought him a fancy new pair of boots, is shoeless once again:

“Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money,” Jeffrey Hillman tells the New York Times, after reporters caught up with him in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “I could lose my life.” He revealed mixed feelings about the moment that warmed hearts around the world. “I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get?” he asked. “This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie.”

What is wrong with this country when some people are allowed to work hard enough to collect whole closets full of shoes, even while others don’t have any shoes at all? Where is Jeffrey Hillman’s piece of the pie?

But now for the good news — Hillman isn’t really homeless:

For the past year, Jeffrey Hillman has had an apartment in the Bronx paid for through a combination of federal Section 8 rent vouchers and Social Security disability and veterans benefits, officials said Monday.

But nevertheless, the now-famous nomad has continued to panhandle and cling to the cold streets of Gotham.

It was a moment of sidewalk squalor — the 54-year-old veteran squatting barefoot in Times Square on a frigid night — and Officer Lawrence DePrimo’s singular expression of compassion — buying him expensive winter boots — that inspired a tourist’s cell phone picture and mesmerized the nation. Yet before DePrimo, an assortment of city agencies extended the troubled man a helping hand. …

Then the Daily News discovered Hillman had a loving, supportive family in Nazareth, Pa.

When watching tearjerker spectacles in the mainstream media, there’s no need to wonder what to believe. Play it safe and don’t believe any of it.

You can put away the tissues now.

On tips from Winston Smith and Varla.

27 Responses to “Jeffrey Hillman: Shoeless but Not Homeless”

  1. Mickey Shea says:

    LOL !! Bleeding heart liberals bitchslapped by crackhead.
    That’s his scam, sitting in front of a shoe store without shoes…then resell the new shoes for pennies on the dollar! Pure coonery…

  2. IslandLifer says:

    Those bums choose that lifestyle and I have no sympathy for them. Give them a dollar and you’ve bought them a malt liquor dinner. Give them new shoes and they’ll be looking to sue you. You CAN’T help those who won’t help themselves.

  3. Comrade J says:

    The sad truth is, in some situations, poverty is a choice, that no amount of redistributing will help. For those who are not mentally ill, which Jeffrey may or may not be, the best medicine is creation of incentives to work, [and conditions that allow support while a person is getting on his feet] instead of letting the bloated schizophrenically Marxist government financially rape its citizens in the name of “war on poverty”.

  4. Tim says:

    I remember in Middle School a kid was able to raise about $20 in nickels and dimes in about 10 minutes by just asking our fellow students for 5 cents needed to buy a Coke. Knowing that I can imagine how lucrative panhandling in Time Square can be especially when your also supported by the government

  5. Mr Evilwrench says:

    So the cop that played the hero, and made so many peoples’ holiday, was played for a chump by a professional scammer. Really reinforces your faith in humanity, eh?

  6. Jeff says:

    As Paul Harvey would say…”And now you know the rest of the story”.

  7. Winston Smith says:

    I never give to panhandlers. Its better to donate to responsible private and religious charities that have independent boards and auditors who make sure most of the money is spent actually helping people getting them into drug treatment and programs to teach them how to be responsible citizens. The government demands no accountability, it just hands out checks and this case is the result.

    Simply handing panhandlers money just means they can spend it on smokes, booze or drugs – often times all 3.
    Most ask for cash and if you offer to buy them actual food, which is what most of them say its for, they usually say no and they prefer cash.

  8. Jodie says:

    For three days last week, practically all I heard on the news or read about on-line was the upcoming huge Powerball Jackpot, showing lines of people buying tickets, and this story, about the cop who bought the boots for the homeless man. I had a feeling that this nice, selfless deed on the part of the officer would backfire and I kept getting annoyed that the woman who took the photo made this public. I now feel justified in being annoyed.

    I have found that charity works best when it’s done in secret. That’s Biblical too. Those who bring attention to their giving – such as celebrities – have gotten their reward already. Those who keep silent about it, will get their rewards in Heaven.

  9. Alborn says:

    There is no one living on the streets in this country that does not chose the life style for whatever reason. Now do not get me wrong there are people who are without a house or apartment of their own. But we have enough agencies and charitable groups that help people that one does not have to live on the street. Panhandling is a business for these types. Mental illness is a problem for many of them. Some people do not want to go to shelter, etc. and follow the rules and on and on and on. But I am glad the Officer in this has a good heart. I was a Social Worker for 25 years and some people will always be scam artist. The government is the problem not the answer.

  10. Ummah Gummah says:


    Boy, the cops get stupider by the minute.. as planned..

    What a SUCKER! The guy clearly has his shoes somewhere on his person or stashed nearby and was putting his bare feet out to tug at the heart strings of the gullible.

    A classic scam and this time he hit the jackpot.


  11. Ummah Gummah says:

    Mr Evilwrench says:
    December 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm
    So the cop that played the hero, and made so many peoples’ holiday, was played for a chump by a professional scammer. Really reinforces your faith in humanity, eh?

    Wouldn’t happen in a Red State. I have no faith in Blue Humanity anyway.


  12. Ummah Gummah says:


    This episode is a perfect illustration of how gullible Americans have become. A real tear jerker.. Oprah’s made a few cool billions playing on phony emotionalism and this is the result. So is Boehner and that suits liberals just fine.

    Facts are the enemy of liberalism.
    Emotions are liberalism’s very best friend.


  13. Goldenfoxx says:

    I bet that cop just swallowed some bitter truth. He took $100 from his families mouth and gave it to a scam artist. I suppose it’s his money to spend however he chooses, and it’s the homeless guys right to take the gift and do what he pleases with it. Moral of the story here is, don’t give money away that you can use on yourself.

  14. […] Jeffrey Hillman: Shoeless but Not Homeless ( […]

  15. Rob Banks says:

    Same as they say – no good deed goes unpunished.

  16. Alan says:

    Yahoo was bombarded with comments from people who tried to help people who can’t/won’t be helped. Good news: Even the HUFFPOST community has had enough. Top comments:

    “Wow–even those who have nothing have greed. I just wonder how many pints of booze those boots were worth? But kudos to the officer. His good deed is still valid in my book.”

    “The man who recieved [sic] the boots probably has some mental problems but his actions show that he understands greed! He actions take nothing away from what the cop did.”

    “Amazing! No good deed goes unpunished. I would have understood if he said he was afraid someone was going to try to steal his boots from him. But instead of being grateful and wearing the boots to protect his feet, this guy wants a piece of some non-existent pie. This is exactly why people are becoming more and more apathetic every day – any time you try to help someone out, they demand more. Just sad…”

    “You can’t help people who don’t want help; this man wants a handout, not a hand up.

    “He sold them. You never give homeless people brand new stuff. I’ve worked with the homeless for a quarter of a century. He probably got $20-30 for them and headed to the liquor store. That $70 the officer spent could have bought a dozen pair at the thrift shop and they would have been worn. I hand out clothes and shoes all the time. They give the ‘poor people’ window air-conditioners every summer (in my town) and every winter, you can buy them at the pawn shops at half price. Next summer, they give them another new one.”


    Yes, liberals can be taught. Give it time.

  17. Steve says:

    We were all over this on Common Cents, including the Press Conference…

  18. Ghost of FA Hayek says:

    This sort of thing goes on in perpetuity through government so called “charity”
    Only in multiples of trillions

  19. WhiteFalcon1 says:

    “…and I want a piece of the pie.”-

    And there it is! In the Black Run America, NO good deed goes unpunished…even when you think your doing a good, be prepared to have it blow up in your face!

  20. grayjohn says:

    Piece of the pie? He deserves a peice of the night stick.

  21. SmiteTheStupid says:

    When you life in a country were helping the poor is worth a news story, you’re fucked.

  22. Annette Rf says:

    Ayn Rand would have seen through that, and kept on walking…and she would have been RIGHT.

  23. Annette Rf says:

    I’d have thought a NYC cop would be smarter than that. Oh well.

  24. Rickyd says:

    Useless scum savages belong back in the trees.

  25. Dadof3 says:

    There are many organizations here in Dallas to help the poor there is no excuse for pan handling.

    I’ve offered a ride to them a couple of times and both said they won’t go because they would have to be sober to go to those places.

    Once I was approached while eating lunch at a local lake and he was pretty clean and talked well. He made it clear he chose his situation instead of being made to conform for a boss or a shelter. Waxed a bit about his “freedom” and how he enjoyed it over having to go to work and “put up with a boss”.

    He said he won’t go to the shelters for the same reasons the others stated (drinking etc.) and was quite proud when he told me he can eat a meal for only $0.25.

    When I had to go he asked for money so I grabbed a dollar out of my ashtray (don’t smoke) and gave it to him. He looked at me and said: “Is that it?” I said: ‘I just gave you four meals. If you need more try the places that were explicitly built for you.’

    If you choose this life, please don’t complain about it. I’m here to help real victims of circumstance – not the purposfully indigent.

  26. ed357 says:

    I thought the NYC police were….

    tough and had seen it all.

    Either this policeman was a “rookie” or an “affirmative action hire.”

  27. bobdog says:

    What? And give up shoe business?

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