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In Love, Married — and Homeless

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Bryon Hawkins and Davinia Miles-Hawkins are still without a home.
Jonathan Wilson/WAMU
Bryon Hawkins and Davinia Miles-Hawkins are still without a home.

Bryon Hawkins and Davinia Miles-Hawkins met on the streets of Washington D.C. - they've both been homeless since about 2009, and first met that very year.

After four years of getting to know each other, they pooled their very limited resources and got married on Valentine's Day of last year.

But their first year as a married couple has been even tougher than they imagined...it included spending months apart from each other after Bryon violated his parole.

They met WAMU's Jonathan Wilson at Miriam's Kitchen, where they often go for a free breakfast, to talk about how their romance began, and how they've found an antidote to the isolation of homelessness in each other.

Some excerpts from the conversation:

On how their romance started:

Davinia: "[There was] something about his smile - we hung out, we talked.  Then I took him to my daughter's house and let him stay over there with me for a while and get to meet my grandkids and my daughter - she loved him - we've just been together ever since."
Bryon: "We was always together, doing everything.  Going out to the movies, going out to eat, going to different places - showing her museums - things that people don't do anymore."

On getting married:

Davinia: "We decided we gonna go do it on Valentine's Day. Since everybody's birthday is in February - his birthday is the 17th, mine's the 20th, why not just have everything big happen in one month."

On persevering on the streets:

Bryon: "We've been through - I don't like to say it - but we've been through hell. But we made it. We're still here - we're surviving. People always keep saying, 'How could two homeless people be on the street and be that much in love.' Well I love my wife, dearly, most definitely. I would never cheat on her, never do anything wrong.  I will always show my wife the love and respect that she's supposed to have. Because the one thing we've never had in this lifetime living on the street is respect."
Davinia: "We don't look to be on no pedestal.  We're not the greatest couple in the world. We have our problems - we argue, we bicker - but the most important thing that we do best of all is we know how to show each other love."

Davinia and Bryon are still without a permanent roof over their heads. Right now, home is a tent they set up each night on the corner of 15th and M streets in Northwest, but they're both looking for work, and hope that will soon change.

"Love's Theme" by Barry White From the Ultimate Collection / "My Only Swerving" by El Ten Eleven from El Ten Eleven

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