Bootless Homeless Guy Not Really Homeless, Still Apparently Bootless

The homeless man given boots purchased by an NYPD patrol officer, who apparently stopped wearing the boots shortly after receiving them, isn’t actually homeless:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The homeless man seen getting boots from a New York City police officer — in a photo that went viral  - is not actually homeless.

On Tuesday, CBS News reported that Jeffrey Hillman, the man captured in the photo with DePrimo, has been living rent-free in an apartment since late last year.

Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond told CBS News that Hillman has been on the city agency’s radar for a while. “We’re sure because we’ve had such a sustained engagement with him for so many years,” Diamond said.

Hillman receives benefits because he is a veteran, Diamond said, and is enrolled in a veteran-focused part Section 8.

Hillman also receives benefits from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, Diamond said, adding the apartment comes with case management services, which Hillman doesn’t use.

Hillman is also a recipient of disability benefits through Social Security, a Homeless Services official told CBS News.

Other news reports have stated that his family is aware of his situation but seems unable to do anything (involuntary commitment is nearly impossible under New York law unless someone is violent or suicidal), with his brother saying that this is the way he chooses to live his life. One assumes that there’s some mental illness here as well. The fact that the guys a veteran just makes it all sadder.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. involuntary commitment is nearly impossible under New York law unless someone is violent or suicidal

    If you’re neither violent nor suicidal, involuntary commitment SHOULD be nearly impossible.

  2. @Stormy Dragon:

    I don’t necessarily disagree but there are a lot of people out there who aren’t getting the help they need.

  3. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I don’t necessarily disagree but there are a lot of people out there who aren’t getting the help they need.

    Don’t worry about Republicans, Obama’s re-education camps will help them!

  4. jd says:

    Living rent-free is not the same as having a home. Many homeless “couch-surf”, living with friends and relatives, but not staying long in any home. It’s unfortunate that the CBSNewYork article made such an ignorant statement. Shelter provided by a program doesn’t count as a “home” either. See paragraph (a)(3) of this definition of homeless:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/11302