SOUTH PLAINFIELD – You’ve probably seen his photo on Facebook.
A tourist snapped the picture of a New York City police officer giving a pair of boots to a shoeless, homeless man in Time Square last month, and that image has been shared among hundreds of thousands of people through the internet.
The homeless man in the photo has been identified as Jeffrey Hillman, 54, a former South Plainfield resident who joined the Army after he graduated from high school. After leaving the Army, he reportedly worked in kitchens in New Jersey before he became homeless.
According to the New York Daily News, Hillman has had an apartment in the Bronx paid for with a combination of federal Section 8 rent vouchers, Social Security disability and veterans benefits.
Hillman has been seen on the streets barefoot again, and he told a New York Times reporter that his shoes were “hidden” because “they are worth a lot of money.”
According to published reports, Hillman has two adult children, but has had little contact with them.
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