To give on street? It’s a daily calculation
Police officer’s act of kindness strikes chord with many.
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.