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Community gathers to support local homeless couple who tied the knot


CHILI, NY (WROC) — For better, or for worse. Couples take this vow before they marry their partner to promise that their love will persist through any situation. That their love can withstand all trials and tribulations. Newlyweds Sandy and Joann Matyas have already pushed through the most trying obstacles, and their love holds strong.

Sandy and Joann met on the streets, and fell in love about eight months ago. They are living outside in Peace Village by choice.

As of Friday, they are husband and wife. The homeless couple was united in marriage at the Grace Covenant Church in Chili — the wedding was sponsored by the Open Door Mission.

The newly married couple has an entire community rooting for them.

“Our church poured love into them, and the community as well. A lot of people here don’t even know the couple, they just believe in their story, and they just want to help them. They’ve endured a lot already and stayed by each other and they’re taking the right steps to have a healthy life,” Pastor Matthew Smeltzer said.

The couple say they are so thankful for all the help and support they have received.

“I’m overjoyed, I am very overjoyed and very grateful to the City of Rochester’s help,” said Joann.

They say they’re also thankful that God brought them together.

“The reach out from society to help us. God’s hand and His thumbprint is all over our wedding,” said Sandy.

Joann’s son Keith, who stood by the couple’s side, was overjoyed.

“I’ve been waiting for this day my whole entire life,” said Keith.

The couple is expected to spend the next couple of days with family.

Pastor Smeltzer says the Matyas’ plan to stay a part of the Open Door Mission as this next chapter of their life begins.

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