Homeless tent couple turning life around

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- "It's like heaven."

We caught up with Davinia and Bryon back on 15th Street, NW, but unlike our first meeting on a bitterly cold winter night in January, they were not staying in a tent.

"Are you breathing a little easier now that you're in a house?," I ask.

"Am I am I?," Bryon replied, "I get to wash my clothes, I get to get up and cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I get to go to the ice box when I feel like it!"

The couple was invited to move in with a friend in his Southeast apartment. They thought they were happy in their tent, but now after getting a taste of what life is like off the streets, they're working with the non-profit advocacy group Pathways to Housing to find a permanent home of their own.

But for now, their temporary living situation feels real - it feels normal.

"The kids come over and the grandbabies," explained Bryon, "we cook, we eat, we sit back and laugh, we play cards."

This new living situation has also helped them reunite with family. In April, 43 year old Davinia reconnected with two children she lost to foster care 20 years ago.

"She (her daughter) seen me and just burst out crying mommy, mommy," said Davinia.

But she is yet to meet two more children, a 15-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son who were adopted years ago.

"It was never that I didn't love you," Davinia explained, "maybe I didn't have the means to take care of you and I thought I was doing what was best for you."

And the couple believes their adversity was best for them: Bryon's years in jail, Davinia's mental and physical challenges, their struggle on the streets.

"I can't lose my faith because the Man upstairs has never let me down," said Bryon.

It was faith that sustained them on those cold nights in the tent; and faith that helps them believe things will get better. After all, despite being homeless they found each other - and celebrated one year of marriage on Valentine's Day.

"This is truly a blessing to me, oh my gosh, I can tell you that time and time again," said Bryon as he grasped Davinia's hand, "Yes, I love my wife to death."

And now Byron's goal of providing for his bride is slowly becoming a reality. The 49-year-old just secured temporary work as a census taker. It's a part time job for only six months but it's a great start.


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