Thanks to their local community, a homeless couple got the wedding of their dreams and an apartment to call their own (video below).
On March 26, more than 50 guests gathered together to celebrate the wedding of Evelyn Adams and Rocky Barlett. The couple, who have been together for 22 years, had been living in a wooded area in South Tampa, Florida, for the past three years.
"We survive together as one," Adams said, reports The Tampa Tribune. "That’s how we survived 22 years."
Although the couple have spent more than two decades together, they were never able to afford a marriage license. Bonnie McSharry, owner of Cross Creek Ranch in Dover, heard about their story and wanted to help.
Ultimately, she offered to host the couple’s wedding at the venue to give Dan McDonald, the homeless liaison with the Tampa Police Department, enough time to secure housing for Adams and Barlett.
"It has been so moving to see how excited they are and it has been as much a gift for our staff, myself, my husband and our staff as much as it is for them," McSharry told WFLA.
Other donations were readily given to the couple as well, such as a dress for Adams, a tuxedo for Barlett, and food and beverages for the 50 guests who attended the ceremony.
"This is a dream come true and everybody that has did all this it has just been a dream come true," Adams told WFLA.
"We look forward to a new life, to start over, that’s about all I can say, it is going to be a start over," Barlett said.
McDonald has been credited for organizing the celebration and helping the couple get a fresh start.
"We do have a lot of challenges working with the homeless, so it is nice to have a victory like this, it is nice to see them happy and starting a new chapter in their life," McDonald said.
Soon after the wedding, the couple received the keys to their new apartment, which is part of the Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care program.
"It is awesome that all these people come together for these two homeless old people," Adams stated.