Last Friday, People from South Tampa gathered to celebrate the holy union of Rocky Bartlett and Evelyn Adams. The homeless couple has been together for 22 years and last week, they finally got married.
After going through heavy financial problems, the couple was left homeless. They had been depending on Government programs for 3 years, But in spite all of this, their commitment to each other never faltered. The story turned upside down when the owners of Cross Creek Ranch in Dover, in Florida, heard about Rocky and Evelyn.
The couple lived in the woods for 3 years
They run a company which provides wedding services and with the help from the community, they put the pieces together to give this lovely couple a dream wedding. The company offered its services for free; the decoration, the place and a full staff. On the other hand, people from near neighborhoods did they part donating the couple proper clothes for the event, food and drinks for all guests.
It was a big wedding with a lot of people and the environment could not be better. Everyone was very moved to see the reaction of the homeless couple. All in all, the event’s cost was estimated at $20,000, but for the people attending the act, it was priceless to see people working together for the best of goals.
Daniel McDonald, the Tampa Police homeless liaison officer, played a major role. He coordinated all the donations and the permits for the place. The wedding quickly became a media event.
“They go into what’s called permanent support housing … And that’s a new strategy from HUD nationwide,” he said.
But there is more, the system worked on Rocky and Evelyn’s favor and the day prior to the wedding, the state gave the couple an apartment through the Continuum of Care Program which unified three major projects (the Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care Program, and Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation SRO Program) that helped to provide homeless people with a permanent place.
The stage for a new beginning is set and now everything depends on the newlywed couple who are homeless no more.