Four duets living in homeless camps in Seattle and Portland talk about the challenges and reinforces of is available on a relationship with no permanent home

Brian and Melissa, Hazelnut Grove homeless camp, Portland


Brian, 39

When we assembled I’d been living on wall street for almost five years. I was suffered by sadnes and seem lonely and burnt out. I was cold towards other parties because I didn’t want to be touched. I’d walked away from my life years ago; my partner croaked of leukaemia when two daughters was three. I grew two daughters on my own but then she was killed in a car accident at 17.


I certainly wasn’t interested in gratifying anyone and at first, I didn’t understand why Melissa was even interested in talking to me. But as I listened to how she talked to other parties, I realised how manner she is but too interpreted her real relentless spirit.

She’s helped fill a opening in my life and our relations grew the first real joining I’d had with anyone in years. She’s the only person who understands where I’m coming from or how hard I find it to interact with parties sometimes. Seeming after her is nerve-wracking for me. It can be very dangerous on wall street. She was violently assaulted by a mob once while I had left her to go and get us something to eat- I totally freaked out over it.

Melissa’s the only person I can grow old with. I’m improving a minuscule home for us in a small community we’ve helped set up on some city-owned territory. We’ve had the grove donated and we are seeking to get solar panels and a reclaimed irrigate lavatory. Our dream is to have our own co-op farm and learn young people to develop eco-villages. I have an engineering brain and she has an organising one. Together, we’re pretty good at this stuff.

Melissa Sayson, 46

We met at a feed for houseless beings in a public ballpark. We’d both been single for 10 times and at first he was a bit like,” Why are you talking to me ?”. But we started to go to social justice and city council gratifies together. For our first proper appointment he took me to a nutrient cart with the money he was paying from scavenging a woman’s house.

I was staying in shelters but had to line up in the freeze cold every day to get a bunk. I have disabilities and I’d wait for a disabled bunk but sometimes the people who extended the shelter would knock me out of it and say they needed the bottom for someone more disabled. It was a very stressful statu. Brian intimated I stay out a nighttime on wall street with him and verify what it was like. That was my first night outdoors. We slept in front of a business, covered with a tarp and it was raining. A guy came past and knocked us. Despite that, being on wall street turned out to be better for me than being in a shelter. I went more protection from being in a couple.

The two of us are really into helping others. We’re street ministers and improved a houseless, drug-free parish under one of the bridges here. We became a mob of Christian folk who just wanted to be defenders for each other.

We got married last year by our clergyman. One sidekick took paintings and realized us a wed album, and the other got us a local inn chamber for our honeymoon. The shower and the air conditioner were amazing. He likewise gave us a cable report password and we watched an X-Men movie, Exodus- the one about the Moses story, and the Antiques Roadshow. Nothing’s really changed since we got married; but I feel better not living in sin.

Brian and Melissa are still living at Hazelnut Grove homeless camp but have moved from a tent into a tiny dwelling they built.

Christopher and Jackie, Camp Second Chance, Seattle


Christopher Shbron, 29

I have two jobs; one as a kitchen porter at Starbucks headquarters and one as a dishwasher in a French restaurant. Some dates I’ll leave at 6.40 am and get home at midnight. Jackie stays behind at the clique and appears after other things, like going to get the laundry done.

We congregated online 18 few months ago. I was looking for a special person to be with and when we met in person, we clicked and liked one another straight away. I was living with my brother and his wife, and after a while Jackie moved in with me. We were them a lot in hire and they were pretty manipulate over my life. I chose we needed to leave. It was the right decision but we had nowhere to go.

We’ve only been homeless for three months. We stayed in inns for a few nights but we couldn’t afford to retains doing that. Our friends who have a car and help us out shown we look for somewhere to camp. We drove around and spotted a group of beings doing it together and appearing out for each other.

Being here is as good as being in a shelter. Beings care about us and there’s a feeling of harmony. A sous chef I work with is also facilitating me save money and Jackie’s dad is helping us too. It’s not so bad. I used to go camping when I was younger so I’m used to the outdoors. But this is only temporary.

Jackie Baker, 24

People say guys exactly sweet talk you at the beginning. But it’s been different with Chris. Everything he said at the start, he’s stayed genuine to. We have our stressful moments now that we’re homeless and I know I get on his nerves- that’s the kind of person I am- but he’s stuck by me.

Before I moved in with Chris, I was living with my foster parents. I grew up in a faith residence and they’re pastors. I enjoy them dearly but I had to move out because I was the oldest of numerous minors and it was crowded.

When we left his brother’s place, we struggled to find somewhere to rent. We’ve saved fund from what he gives and from my social security systems but places croak so quickly. Before we’ve even filled out an application, they’re gone. It’s like there aren’t enough homes.

This is the first time I’ve been homeless. One of the most difficult things is when it’s freezing at night and he gets residence sometime. But we’re making it be taken together. Our pals drive us to the community gym to use the rains. At this camp we take it in turns to furnish our own security 24 hours per day on the entrance. We likewise all each money $20 a few months for events like the generator.

Christopher and Jackie are now married and living in an apartment.

Lakenya and William, Camp Second Chance, Seattle


Lakenya Lomax, 45

William and I converged when we were working as caregivers in a retirement home about 20 years ago. I was living with my sister and he started calling and asking for me. I was always out because I’d moved to a job at Burger King and was singing in a choir, but the working day out of the blue he expected my sister if I was single. Our first time was the plaza and a movie. Afterwards I assembled his two sons from his previous marriage.

It became my first serious rapport. A few months later my brother-in-law asked me to leave and I moved in with William. It was fun. We were in our own target and had his sons with us. I would watch him play his video games, sometimes I’d play too. He was adoring and cared about me. After two years we got married. We couldn’t afford a wedding dress so I wore plain clothes.

While we were living together, William didn’t like the design he did, so he discontinue. I was still at Burger King. When a brand-new handling company took over our build, they invoked the payment to method more than we could render and we got evicted.

We became homeless on Valentine’s Day 2014. It’s the first time I’ve been homeless. I could probably go into a shelter but most don’t take duos without children and I don’t want us to get split up. We’re in a clique on the edge of Seattle. I haven’t really looked for run as I don’t have the bus fare to go into the city.

William Lomax, 53

When I firstly fulfilled Lili, I realised she can pretty much get on with anybody. She’s definitely not shy. It took us a while to get married because neither of us could render the licence. But we eventually oversaw it.

As a child, my mother and I moved metropolitans a lot and at times were homeless, but this is the longest I’ve been homeless for. The rental costs in Seattle are ridiculous.

Like every duet, Lili and I have our ups and downs. Whenever we get into an argument, I walk away until I cool down. Sometimes I go a pretty long time. But the most important thing is we ever apologise to each other.

She wants to get out of this camp and into an apartment and I’ve pretty much been working on it. I go online to insure what rentals are available and while I’m there I look for work. But she tells me I shouldn’t work because I’m not young anymore and I have a bad soul. She tells me to try to get on social security systems but I’m tenacious and I’ve never let beings mitt me things on a silver dish. I’ve been a school janitor, a commissary on an u. s. air force basi, I did some prep prepare.

I never should be considered giving up. If there’s a house out there for us, rely me, I’ll find it. If there’s a errand, I know I’ll get that as well.

Lakenya and William are still living at Camp Second Chance.

Aleesa and Hunnie, Camp Second Chance, Seattle


Aleesa Christopher, 35

The first night we were homeless and without shelter was frightening. We’d been remaining on acquaintances’ sofas but had run out of options. We approached women’s shelters but they wouldn’t take us. Hunnie is trans and they are cared about what her driving licence says.

When Hunnie and I assembled online, she was one of the few people to approach me like a person and not just for a speedy hookup. I was living in Portland and appearing lonely after spending a year teaching English in Japan, following my art magnitude in San Francisco. I was doing retail piece and had neglected all my artistry. But Hunnie realized my potential and suggested we acquire video games together. She grew my first romantic partner.

A few months into the relationship, we were living together and I quit my job. We got a contract to develop video games educating English to kids in Thailand. It seemed like a great opportunity for us. But the contract grew problematic when our main contact went to jail for white-collar violation. Hunnie also went serious pneumonia and I didn’t have a fallback plan for paying fund. We had no safety net and not sufficient coin for rent.

Being homeless has taught us how to be a lot more vulnerable with each other, and that’s allowed us to work through some of our communication problems. We’ve gone through so much better together now that we know we’ll always be there for one another in the future.

One of the most difficult things about being homeless and in a relationship is not having privacy. Our tent is next to other people’s and we don’t want them to hear us so we’ve sometimes evaded topics until they explode.

Hunnie Tanner, 35

Aleesa and I converged on OkCupid. We bonded over nerdy fascinates, like video and board games. She was- and still is- the most inventive, crafty person I know. When we fulfilled, she was working at an electronics accumulation and was on the midnight secrete of a Batman: Arkham game. I heard that she had stirred her own Harley Quinn outfit to cosplay in and that is actually tickled me. But it was her artwork for video games that absolutely blew me away. She moved in with me after a few months.

About a year into our relationship I came out as trans. Aleesa is very open-hearted and pragmatic. She said ” OK” and had some questions but only accepted it.


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