SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It was a moment that caused a groundswell of support from our community, along with a greater understanding of homelessness.
A viral video from last October of a now former Dunkin’ Donuts worker pouring water on a homeless man’s head while he was sleeping in the North Salina Street shop.
John Tumino, founder of In My Father’s Kitchen, told NewsChannel 9 Jeremy Dufresne, the victim in that video, hasn’t accepted help from his organization in months.
Tumino says he hasn’t seen him in weeks. Initially, after nearly $20,000 was raised through a Go Fund Me page for Jeremy, he was accepting help, but has not in months.
“He did reach out to me. We went and bought him some clothing and supplies that he needed and he spent some of that money that was raised through that Go Fund Me page that we now manage in a trust fund for him that is just sitting there,” Tumino said. “So he has money that is sitting there safe, it is not going to get squandered. He can only spend it on certain types of things, so when he is ready, we will be there for him.”
Tumino knows where Dufresne hangs out, but hasn’t been able to reconnect. He is hopeful to do so soon.
“Mental health is a big issue out on the streets of Central New York and folks that are going through some things in that realm of life just have a hard time accepting help from other people,” Tumino said. “They are in that state of mind where they rationalize some things and they feel like they are in control of their life and they don’t want anyone invading that space.”