Joan Neininger wanted to ensure Ken Selway would not have to rifle through discarded fish and chip wrappers looking for something to eat before sleeping in a derelict house.
But her plan almost came undone when binmen removed her first round of lovingly wrapped sarnies.
Now, more than 40 years after trying to help him, Joan is set to marry the former rough sleeper in a happy-ever-after ending.
Joan, 88, and Ken, 89, now live in the same care home in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, and will marry on her birthday, a few days after Valentine's Day.
Joan said: "When I saw him ferreting through the bins outside a fish and chip shop near my bookshop in Gloucester, I never thought for a minute it would end like this.
"Although he was living on the streets, I knew straight away that Ken was lovely man with a beautiful soul."
She spent years helping with Ken with his battle with schizophrenia before proposing during the 2016 leap year and getting her happy ending.
Care home manager Helen Lee said: "I am absolutely over the moon. When Ken first came here they struggled to live without each other so it's brilliant that she could come and join him.
Everybody here is like family so we are all so excited about the wedding."