A Couple’s Restoration

“I saw him walk across the parking lot…and I said, ‘that’s my husband’.” 

Yvonne had just entered Water Street’s program when Burlin crossed her path. She was sitting with a group of other women, all shaking their heads in disbelief. As it would turn out, Yvonne knew something they didn’t. 

Yvonne began her journey here over a decade ago, escaping a series of unhealthy and abusive relationships. “I felt like I was on an endless bumpy road that was never going to get me where I wanted to be…I tried to kill myself,” she says. “I came here helpless.” Arriving at Water Street not only kept her safe from homelessness, but it also began to help her address this pattern of abuse she’d fallen into for so long. And it was the place she met Burlin. 

Burlin had his own journey to our doors. He’d spent decades battling an addiction to crack cocaine that had begun during his years living in Philadelphia. It led him to a chaotic life, struggling to meet basic needs, and stay out of trouble. “Jail was my second home,” he says. “Sometimes when I went to jail, I was happy to be there, it was like a refuge for me…from the street.” When he came to Water Street, Burlin decided to invest fully in what God had brought him to, jumping into the Life Recovery Program and dedicating himself to self-improvement. 

“Me and Yvonne came on these mission grounds without a dime in our pocket. I was incapable of running my life, and I came here, and I was obedient to what God wanted me to do, and he seen fit to bless us with our own home.” 
– Burlin, Former Water Street Guest 

They met at this difficult point in their lives and struck up a friendship through sharing letters. He would always sign out “From Superman,” while she’d call herself “Lois Lane.” They decided it was more important to work on their own individual journeys, before seeing if they could make it as a couple. 

During their time at Water Street, they each accepted God into their lives in a new way and found a deeper strength and independence through relying on Him. “Hope came back when I lived here, and after I accepted God,” explains Yvonne. After leaving the program, they became a couple, getting married not long after. 

Much has changed in Yvonne and Burlin’s lives since then. They own their own home, one they think of as their dream house. They live their life surrounded by a strong community of believers through their church and volunteering regularly at Water Street. It’s been well over a decade since their time of homelessness, and yet they say it completely turned their lives around, filling them with “blessings after blessings.” 

Thank you for supporting Water Street Mission and being a part of this story filled with so much love and hope! Through God using people like you, Yvonne and Burlin are “Living life to the fullest,” as Burlin says, adding “I just thank God that He delivered me.”