Yesterday we learned that the homeless man seen in a widely-circulated photo accepting new boots from a charitable NYPD officer was still walking around barefoot. Now it's emerged that the man, Jeffrey Hillman, isn't actually homeless. “He does have stable housing," Seth Diamond, New York City's homeless services commissioner, tells NBC New York. “We’ve worked with Mr. Hillman for years.” What's next, Jeffrey's actually a fabulously wealthy heiress named Jenny? The man in the police uniform isn't actually a cop, but an actor doing viral marketing for Skechers?
According to NBC New York, Hillman, an Army veteran, was homeless for an undetermined period of time leading up to 2011, when he obtained a Bronx apartment secured by Veterans Affairs. His rent is paid "using a lifetime voucher for homeless veterans and his Social Security income." Diamond also tells the news station, "I understand why it could be frustrating for New Yorkers. They see a person in this situation and they think no one has been helping. Outreach teams continue to try to work with him, but he has a history of turning down services."
On Sunday night, a barefoot Hillman told the Times, “Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money."