Though they don’t have a roof over their heads, they have each other.
Meet Takira and Will, a homeless New York City couple who spend their nights on the streets of Manhattan’s Bowery neighborhood. The two were recently profiled in Good Magazine, along with several other homeless couples, for a Valentine’s-themed feature called “Love on the Streets.”
“The whole time I’ve been homeless, I’ve never had anybody who makes it as easy and as manageable as Will does,” Takira told the magazine. “He’s my backbone, and he’s my voice of reason.” The two have been dating for about a year.
For Will, the relationship provides much more than security: Through Takira, he found himself.
“Before, I used to pretend… ‘Oh, I want to be a tough guy, I want to be this type of guy,'” he said. “But when I met her she made me feel comfortable [to be] me.”
A 2014 census counted more than 3,300 homeless individuals sleeping on streets, in parks and in subways throughout New York City. That’s a 24 percent decrease from 2005, when the city conducted its first Homeless Outreach Population Estimate.
For more of Takira and Will’s story, and to see the profiles of several other homeless NYC couples, click over to Good Magazine.