NEW CITY, N.Y. -- Joey Resto, 23, a Brooklyn man who recently made nationwide headlines after a video of him literally giving the shirt off his back to a homeless man, was invited to the Rockland County Legislature to receive the Distinction of Honor award on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Aron Wieder (D-Monsey) invited Resto to receive the award after he met him at New York State of the State address, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo honored Resto on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
“While you don’t live in Rockland, you sure did inspire many Rocklanders," Wieder said on the chamber floor. "Rockland County has no shelter for single men or single women who are unfortunately homeless, and that is simply wrong." Wieder continued, “It takes a person with a giant heart to do what Joey Resto did for this man in his time of need.”
Wieder estimated about 150-200 people in Rockland County are sleeping out in the cold during these cold and windy January nights.
Chairman Alden Wolfe (D-Suffern) said the “video literally brought tears to my eyes.”
A stranger captured the viral video, which shows Resto slowly approaching the indignant man with his own shirt in hand, while left only with his undershirt on his back. When the man appears to be unable take the shirt, Resto aids him in placing the t-shirt over his shivering body.
Wolfe said he was glad Resto travelled from Brooklyn to receive the award. He said there are only a few faith-based charities that provide services to the homeless.
Charties such as Helping Hands and Catholic Charities were said by Wolfe to provide clothing, food and shelter to the needy population with very little assistance on a largely volunteer basis.
“We realize there is a real problem for services for people who are homeless in what many consider to be an affluent community," said Wolfe. "Hopefully we can shine a light on this issue and find a way to resolve it.”
Resto, who is currently unemployed himself, didn’t think twice about giving what little he had to someone he could help.
“I never thought it would get all this attention," said Resto. "I didn’t even know I was being filmed." When asked how it felt to be honored for his act of kindness, Resto stated, “Simply amazing.”
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