Barefoot Again, Homeless Man Wants 'Piece of the Pie'

Jeffrey Hillman hid shoes: 'They're worth a lot of money'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2012 7:14 AM CST
Updated Dec 3, 2012 7:30 AM CST
Officer DePrimo gives Jeffrey Hillman boots.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – The homeless man who recently acquired a pair of $100 boots from a police officer is already barefoot 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."

Still, "I appreciate what the officer did, don’t get me wrong," he noted. "I wish there were more people like him in the world." And: "I want to thank everyone that got onto this thing. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. It meant a lot to me." Hillman offered pieces of his life story: He was in the Army for five years, starting in 1978—he had ID to prove it—after which he worked in New Jersey kitchens. He has been living in New York City for about a decade, mostly on the streets. He has two children he rarely sees. How did he become homeless? "I don’t know," he told the Times. Click through for his family's take on the situation. (Read more homeless stories.)

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