Kenny and Alicia met at a church day centre six years ago and have been inseparable ever since. The love and friendship between them shines like a beacon and they’ve looked after each other through difficult times.

Kenny, 58, became homeless after a relationship breakdown. His mother was in a care home with dementia and other family members weren’t able to help. With nowhere else to go and no support, he ended up on the streets.

Alicia had been a carer for the elderly as well as looking after her disabled mother. When her mother died, she was hit with the bedroom tax and fell into debts. She lost her home and was also forced onto the streets.

Kenny looked after Alicia on the streets.

Alicia says “we travelled on buses all day and would try and get into night shelters to sleep if possible. The street was a hard place. I was so frightened and could never sleep as I was worried someone would stab us. We lost our belongings twice! Without my Kenny I wouldn’t have survived.”

We met the couple in the middle of the pandemic. They’d been through traumatic hospital operations, been separated due to COVID-19 and fallen through the cracks when it came to accessing support. After Alicia was offered a place in an SHP shelter in Ilford, she was adamant that Kenny should join her. It was only a day later that Kenny was found by an SHP outreach worker and brought to the same shelter where he was reunited with Alicia.

Now, after 10 months with SHP, the couple are moving into a new place together.

Kenny says “Single Homeless Project helped us together, the first agency in five years that actually did something. They gave us a room to share, provided us with clothing, paid for our passports for ID and now helped us with a home. We can’t thank the staff enough. We’re so excited to finally be happy together in our new home.”

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