Katie and Paul

I always get mixed feelings when I return to a city and run into a homeless person I know. I am glad to see a familiar face; often I build amazing relationships with people in a very short time. But knowing that in the months – or even years that I have been gone – we could not get this person off the streets messes me up. Such are my feelings reconnecting with Katie and Paul.

Back in July when I first visited London, I stopped and talked to Katie and Paul nearly every day during my stay. I gave them socks and bought them cheeseburgers, as I did with a small group of rough sleepers I befriended on the Strand. Being the weather is drastically colder now, I wasn’t sure if anyone I knew would still be sleeping rough.

Within a few hours of being back in London I ran into Katie and Paul. I gave them hand warmers, which was a first for them. They love the hand warmers telling me they are “brilliant” and “lovely”. I’ve kept them stocked up on hard warmers and socks, which is nice, but we need to get this couple off the streets into a warm flat!

Paul told me everyone else I met this summer has moved on or is staying in a hostel (shelter), but because they are a couple, and hostels split up couples unless they are married (often, because a shelter does not have the facility for couples, even married couples have to live apart) they decided to sleep rough even during the bad weather.

Katie and Paul both have been on the streets for three years. What I didn’t know until this interview is they met on the streets and fell in love. Being candid, normally homeless romance rarely works out – yet there is something very different about these two. While on the streets, Paul has helped Katie get off the booze, and they both work hard at supporting each other throughout the day. The stress of homelessness is often too hard for relationships to bare. But I think these two are going to make it!

Katie and Paul are two amazing people who want to be together and do not want to be separated at any cost. Oh, and wait until you hear their third wish! A true love story right from the streets of London.

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  • cyinger

    They are just so adorable! I believe they can make it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tod.miller.9 Tod Miller

    Proof there is love, truly selfless love in the world.

  • ivjhjdjh

    I dont believe that two people together cannot earn enaugh for rent…
    they are just lazy… I had been on my own with 2 kids and NO public founds…

  • http://www.facebook.com/veeva Vivian Stroman

    i think you’re just mean. maybe you have a more stable life, but that doesn’t make you better than anyone.

  • Becky Blanton

    It’s not just rent. It’s first and last month’s rent, and a security deposit. For a flat that’s $500 a month that’s $1,500 minimum. At the same time you’re saving for that, you’ve got food, expenses and other things to pay for. In the USA you have to have “good credit,” next to impossible without a job, a house and good health. So it’s a vicious cycle. Lazy? Maybe. Maybe not. I wasn’t lazy. I worked full-time and still couldn’t find affordable housing so I lived in my van (which I paid $750 for). I hear what you’re saying and had I not run into a wall looking for an apartment I’d have agreed with you. But I was working, had marginal credit, no drug or drinking issues and still could not find housing. I did briefly, but then the landlord took my money, said I hadn’t paid rent…but I did. I still have the receipts for my entire time…but you can’t fight crooks without money for attorneys. Businesses take advantage of the poor and homeless. Just glad there’s a God who WILL judge them in their time.

  • @LatestSaMi

    It’s true that two people together can probably earn enough to rent. However to rent you need a job, to get paid you need a bank account (unless you are paid directly in cash, still most landlords don’t accept cash rent payments), to have a bank account you need identification possible a social security number (national insurance number) oh and a place of residence.
    If you have lived on the streets since you were young or just for a long time, you may not have ID or seem like the best worker for the job.
    Kudos to you for raising two kids all on your own, that can’t have been easy, but if you fall off the ride and things stop moving, and you have no support system, it can be impossible to get back on.

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