By Nicole Pettetiere, ABC News
A police officer cleaning the feet of a blind homeless man has been captured in a heartwarming photo.
“We cleaned him up and gave him new clothes,” said Sgt. Steve Wick, who is the officer seen in the photo cutting the man’s toenails. “we tried to get his feet in shape so he could put shoes on. His vision deteriorated to a point where he couldn’t function as well anymore.”
A few weeks back, officers of the Houston Police Department spotted the man, named Quintus, on the street. Wick and his colleague, senior police officer Colin Mansfield, took Quintus to the Sobering Center, where he showered for the first time in years, Wick said.
“Quintus, he was happy to get cleaned up,” Wick recalled. “His whole life he’s been minimally employed, selling the Sunday paper. He’s got glaucoma, so he’s about 95 percent blind. When we found him, he was having difficulty…walking to a thrift shop to pick up new clothes.”
Wick, a 23-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, has worked in the Homeless Outreach Team of the department since 2011.
“We wanted to find another way to help people that wanted to get off the street,” he said.
In the case of 75-year-old Quintus, Wick said the goal is to find him housing.
“Ultimately, that’s what we want for everybody,” Wick said. “Police have gotten an black eye in recent years, or months. It makes people feel like police officers are out there to help, rather than to hurt, and we are.”
The photo of Wick and Quintus was taken by Mansfield. The Homeless Outreach Team brought Quintus to an emergency shelter following the incident and is hoping to set him up with eye doctor visits and other social services.