Monday, December 03, 2012

Homeless man Given Shoes By Police Is Shoeless Again

Apparently the homeless man who was given a pair of boots by a NYDP police officer and made the internet say awww has hidden his shoes because they will get him killed so he is shoeless again. The NY Times spotted the shoeless man and asked him where the shoes were and he said that he would prefer to go without shoes than get killed and that the shoes are too nice. The man served in the military for five years and has two grown daughters and a family who says he is welcome at their homes anytime, but that the man chooses to live on the street. And apparently without shoes. So, basically he has to choose between going through a New York winter without shoes or getting killed because his shoes are too nice.

30 comments:

Christopher Cruz said...

This story makes me so sad.

fancyscreenname said...

Some peopl are out on the streets because they want to be, poor guy probably has a mental illness.

PuggleWug said...

Very sad.

Nutty_Flavor said...

He does not sound entirely mentally healthy.

I doubt he would be killed for a $75 pair of Foot Locker boots. Robbed, perhaps, but not killed.

It is also possible that he exchanged the boots for something he wanted more.

auntliddy said...

Oh thats crap. He goes without shoess to get more sympathy and more money panhandling. This man has problems that go beyond shioes. I feel for him, butvlets be real. Oh yeah. Former new yorker here if ya cldnt tell, lol

goes in circles said...

People have been killed for less, but my first thought is he traded them for something else. Hopefully food, but that's doubtful.
I feel sad for him tho....he probably is mentally ill. If he served in the military he can probably get VA benefits or disability.

ButterKwup said...

I think I agree with auntliddy if I deciphered what she said ;) This guy is mentally ill or really just trying to get more money. He likes the sympathy and guilt he can lay on people. If his family says he's welcome, he has no excuse for any of this.

Layna Day said...

His family may be saying that to save face.

As for getting killed for shoes, it has happened. Not as often as the media made it out to be, but a few kids did get shot over sneakers years ago.

It would be nice to see him at least be evaluated for mental illness and get some VA benefits. I'm sure he qualifies for some.

katsm0711 said...

U guys should google the original story. He actually complained that people made him famous by posting his pic around the world and on YouTube, and "he wants a piece of the pie". Another woman said she bought him a pair of shoes 1 year ago and he didn't wear them either. This is a man choosing to be homeless and feeling sorry for himself. He doesn't deserve any more help. The only "piece of the pie" he deserves for doing nothing is a new pair of free boots. I'm so disgusted and I feel horrible for the cop.

Syko said...

I read in the news article that he also is just a little upset that his picture was published without his consent, and he wants a piece of that pie too.

katsm0711 said...

He also said "those boots are worth a lot of money". What a jerk for selling a nice gift out of the blue from a stranger to the highest bidder?

LottaColada said...

I read elsewhere that people are constantly buying this guy shoes, but they always disappear. Guess that is just his thing. It still doesn't undo the fact the the cop helped him out of the goodness of his heart.

figgy said...

Right @LottaColada, the beauty of the cop's gesture still stands.

And this man is clearly mentally ill. There are a lot of them out there.

Maximus said...

I know that guy. He lives in the area that I work in. He is very lost, it seems, and always makes me sad. As the officer and witness said, you can tell his feet have been exposed to this for a long time. I don't think I've ever seen him with shoes despite what is going on outside - rain, snow, heat, cold - going back at least 3 years.

It's a sad story, but it's also very true that you can lose your life over shoes if you live on the streets. A sad situation and in no way does this diminish the kindness of the officer.

Maximus said...

And to auntlibby and butterkwup: This guy is DEFINITELY mentally ill. I can say 100% definitively without a shadow of a doubt that this is NOT a mentally healthy man and does NOT seem to "just be an addict".

I would be sadder to see these assumptions made but would be lying to say that I'm not guilty of making them myself in situations where I'm not personally familiar with the person involved. A lesson in humility for me.

Caitlin Costanzo said...

He reminds me of the brother from "The Big C"
Refuses to live in a home, he'd rather be homesless lol

ljsmed said...

This is messed up, I want to feel sorry for him, and I do to a point because he clearly has some mental issues. But, that cop paid for those boots out of his pocket when he did not have to, it just rubs me the wrong way.

Tuxedo Cat said...

@Maximus

Thanks for the personal angle. It's such a sad world where getting one's basic needs met is so complicated...

Maddie said...

I used to volunteer at a soup kitchen. It's not uncommon for homeless folks to have families who want to help. But many of those who go with their families end up back on the street. I'm not going to say that they are happier homeless, but they're more comfortable (i guess is the best word). there. Less pressure.

I'd venture to say that it's almost harder on the families than on the homeless.

It's sad and usually a combo of mental illness and addiction.

ingrid said...

The poor fellow is mentally ill and I'm sure the kind officer would understand and doesn't regret his gift. It's a shame there aren't enough resources in NYC to give quality long-term care to our homeless.

cece said...

Sadly, when funding got cut for mental hospitals, the patients had nowhere to go but the streets. The appropriate solution is not even an option.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

He sounds schizophrenic to me, living in a separate reality. So sad.

Bon M said...

We went from abusing people in mental institutes to throwing them out on the street.

There can't be a happy medium, it would seem. The bad thing is that if someone is mentally ill and refuses treatment, the family is screwed. They have RIGHTS you know, including the right to put themselves in danger.

The guy probably sold the boots, either for booze or dope. Not surprising but a sad ending to a happy little story.

jax said...

I know the Polyanna types won't like this but some people CHOOSE to live on the street. Most have loving families. Mental illness is part of it.

Desiree said...

F the government for not taking care of these guys. They serve and do so loyally and they get shit on in the end.

There is a large number of homeless veterans. there is also a large number of veterans who commit suicide. There should be better treatment for those who serve their country. PERIOD.

Binguu said...

I also work in the area where this man is generally seen and everyone I know either knows someone who has given him socks or shoes or has done it themselves. He always ends up barefoot shortly after. It's sad that the media picks up on these types of stories and goes crazy with them right around the holidays. Regardless, the police officer was lovely for buying the shoes.

FalseProfit said...

You can thank Ronald Regan for closing all the mental asylums and flooding the streets with lunatics.

Republicans hate society.

FalseProfit said...

a few kids did get shot over sneakers years ago.

----

Try last week in the Bay Area. It actually happens all the time, but it's not likely to get reported unless a white girl is involved.

FS said...

Sorry, but I don't think he sold them at all. I read the article in the NYT, he said he hid them, they were too valuable to wear. He definitely sounds mentally ill to me, its so sad but perhaps this story will get someone from the VA to track him down and see if they can at least check him in for one night for some medical exams, a warm bed, and some meals.

Speaking from experience, I believe his family did try to help him and he refused. This is happening in my life right now, someone my age, within our circle of friends is homeless, and an alcoholic. His family drove over 300 miles to find him and take him back to their home. He spent a week in the hospital to get his system right, then his family spent money they didn't have to put him in rehab. He snuck out to get a beer in less than 21 days and was thrown out, but he blamed the rehab place for being nothing but "stupid, racist redneck high school dropouts". He went out on the street right after that because he didn't want the 'rules and pressure' of living in a house with his family. He was back in the hospital about a week later, and now he is sort of back in the family home, spending days wandering around the streets but going back home as late as possible when it gets too cold to be out. He keeps talking about going back to his old city as soon as he can, getting out of his "unbearable" situation of having a roof to live under. His family is heartbroken and incredibly stressed out about the whole situation. He is clearly dealing with some issues that probably come from long term alcohol related brain damage, he has memories of things that have never happened, but how can you have a reasonable conversation with someone who lives in an altered reality? Yes, its true, some people decide to be homeless even if the mechanism that makes that decision is not functionally normally.

Mame Dennis said...

When you're mentally ill, you don't choose anything because you can't make informed decisions.