Barefoot homeless man given boots is not homeless

Jeffrey Hillman seen here receiving a pair of shoes from Lawrence DePrimo has an apartment in New York. Photo: Supplied

The homeless man who was given a pair of boots by a kindhearted New York City police officer is not homeless after all.

Jeffrey Hillman, 54, has an apartment in New York courtesy of a Department of Veterans Affairs program that helps homeless veterans, the New York Daily News reports.

Hillman lived in transitional housing from 2009 until 2011 before securing his current apartment.

New York City police officer Lawrence DePrimo and Hillman captured the hearts of thousands after a photo of DePrimo giving Hillman a pair of boots from a nearby store was posted online.

The photo was posted by Jennifer Foster, a tourist visiting from Arizona in the US.

Hillman has since been spotted around New York City barefoot.

"Those shoes are hidden," Hillman told the New York Times.

"They are worth a lot of money—I could lose my life."

Hillman said he was grateful for the boots.

"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. And to the officer, first and foremost."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs told the Daily News it continues to try and help Hillman, but he “has a history of turning down services.”

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