To give on street? It’s a daily cal­cu­la­tion

Po­lice of­fi­cer’s act of kind­ness strikes chord with many.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - Byjo­ce­lyn noveck Com­piled from wire re­ports

Dur­ing her two decades liv­ing in Hous­ton, Caro­line Oliver fre­quently en­coun­tered peo­ple in the streets ask­ing for money. She strug­gled with how to re­spond. She wanted to help, but in a use­ful way.

And so when Oliver, who re­cently moved to Austin, read about the New York po­lice of­fi­cer who was pho­tographed giv­ing a new pair of all­weather boots to a bare­foot man on a cold street, she was moved.

“He saw a need, and he pro­vided for that need,” she said. “He couldn’t just walk away.”

And when the story turned out to be more com­pli­cated, Oliver on the streets. But two prom­i­nent ad­vo­cates for the home­less felt that giv­ing on the street is a highly per­sonal and some­times deeply re­ward­ing act.

“I prob­a­bly am as con­flicted as any­one about giv­ing peo­ple money on the streets, and I’ve been do­ing this for 32 years,” said Neil Dono­van, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Coali­tion for the Home­less. “I give as of­ten as I don’t give, and it’s not con­nected to my fi­nan­cial state at the time.”

Dono­van ap­plauded the NYPD of­fi­cer for what he calls “an act of love” — re­gard­less of the com­pli­ca­tions. “What mo­ti­vates a per­son is im­por­tant,” he said. “What we find out later is less im­por­tant.”

Dono­van said he thinks so many have seized on the of­fi­cer’s story be­cause he did what they hope they would do in the same cir­cum­stances.

Bri­tish po­lice and army agents planted in­side North­ern Ire­land’s ma­jor Protes­tant gang played a piv­otal role in as­sas­si­nat­ing a Belfast at­tor­ney, a former United Na­tions war crimes in­ves­ti­ga­tor con­cluded in a damn­ing report pub­lished Wed­nes­day into one of the most di­vi­sive slay­ings of the en­tire four-decade con­flict. The report con­cluded that the 1989 killing of Pat Fin­u­cane prob­a­bly would never have hap­pened with­out key in­put from state agents within the Ul­ster De­fence As­so­ci­a­tion.

New York City po­lice of­fi­cer Larry DeP­rimo presents a bare­foot home­less man in New York’s Time Square with boots on Nov. 14.

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