The actions of NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo, who bought boots and socks for a homeless man near Times Square, were commendable ["Man gifted shoes back on streets -- without them," News, Dec. 4].

However, the main question not being asked is, why in this day do we have human beings living on our streets? The sight of this man barefoot was heartbreaking. No person, regardless of circumstances, should be in this situation.

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"What does a person deserve by being alive?" is a question asked by Eli Siegel, founder of the philosophy called Aesthetic Realism. This question must be asked by all of us, including our elected officials.

Every person deserves a decent place to live, clothes to keep warm, food and the opportunity to earn a living through useful work. Until these things are a reality for every person, we are not truly civilized.

Matthew D'Amico, Lynbrook