By now most of us have seen the photo of NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo giving a shoeless homeless man a pair of winter boots in the middle of Times Square. The photo, which was supposedly snapped by a tourist, then went ‘viral.’
After seeing that the homeless guy was barefoot, the cop spoke to him briefly to find out his shoe size, then went into a nearby Skechers and purchased the $100 pair of size 12 winter boots.
Now it is being reported that the homeless man in question, Jeffery Hillman, is shoeless once again. When asked what happened to his now famous boots, Mr. Hillman claims that he hid them because “they are worth a lot of money.” I obviously don’t know for sure, but it’s far more likely that the boots were sold for booze/drug money.
See story here.
The outcome of this story is one of the reasons that I never give anything to panhandlers unless they are very old or obviously sick and/or disabled. If you need to quell your guilt give these people some food, but cash or anything else that can be sold will very likely be used for drugs and/or alcohol.
There is a panhandler in my neighborhood that sits on a milk crate in front of a Chinese take-out restaurant and begs passing pedestrians for money. His standard line is ‘you have fifty cents to get something to eat.’ I’ve never given him a penny and I never will.
Judging by his clothing (North Face coat), generally clean appearance, and his ample weight, this particular panhandler isn’t homeless – as many of them are not. I would guess that he’s on some sort of public assistance, but needs the extra cash to purchase booze. Too bad you can’t buy alcohol with food stamps, maybe BHO can straighten that out for them. I once witnessed this guy pull out a pack of Newport cigarettes from a pocket of his North Face coat and light up. A pack of Newports in NYC probably costs about $12. So he evidently has money for cigarettes, but needs 50 cents to get something to eat.
But that’s not all with this guy because he’s not only a dishonest panhandler, but he’s an inept one, at that. You see, when he gets together enough money for the rotgut booze he enjoys, he merely goes right around the corner from where he begs and parties with a few other local miscreants. At least don’t drink where you panhandle for food, or don’t panhandle for food right near your drinking spot. This clown obviously doesn’t care that the people he hits up for food money one minute, then see him chugging from a bottle with other bums the next.
In today’s world it seems that even panhandlers don’t give a shit about their craft.