Homeless man in viral photo has family in Northampton County

Published: Dec 03 2012 07:00:00 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 04 2012 02:40:23 PM EST
Barefoot homeless man given shoes

A homeless man who was pictured being given a pair of boots by a New York City police officer has ties to the Lehigh Valley.

Kirk Hillman, of Plainfield Twp., Northampton Co., said his brother, Jeffrey Hillman, has been on the streets for many years. Jeffrey, 54, served several years in the military and is the father of two grown children, he said.

"I would pray that my brother can hopefully one day be moved in his heart to want to change his life," said Kirk Hillman. "That's my desire for him, but you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."

A photo of the officer giving Jeffrey the shoes went viral on the Internet, but Jeffrey told the New York Times on Sunday that he's shoeless once again. He said his shoes were hidden because they were worth a lot of money, and he was worried he could lose his life.