Jennifer Foster/AP

New York City police Officer Lawrence DePrimo sees a homeless man sitting barefoot in Times Square on a cold night. He goes to the closest Skechers store and buys the disabled vet a pair of boots. He helps him put them on. A tourist snaps a photo. She shares it on Facebook. America is touched by the image of compassion and human kindness.

That touching holiday-season story was stripped of some of its seemingly perfect packaging when Jeffrey Hillman โ€” the recipient of the boots โ€” was spotted without them a few days later.

The Daily News reported that the "barefoot homeless man" wasn't quite homeless. He's reportedly had an apartment in the Bronx, N.Y. โ€” paid for through a combination of federal Section 8 rent vouchers and Social Security disability and veterans benefits โ€” for the past year.

Is all that reason to feel cynical instead of sentimental? Not necessarily. The story was about DePrimo's gesture of compassion. Hhe reached out to help a man who, whatever else was going on in his life, was, in fact, outside without shoes on a cold day. Hillman's "It's complicated" relationship with homelessness and need doesn't change the significance of that act of kindness at all, if you ask us. ย 

Read more at the Daily News.