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Hawaii

Woman discovers the homeless man she is photographing is her father

Diana Kim’s father became distant after being diagnosed with serious mental health problems.

Homeless Paradise / YouTube

A WOMAN HAS discovered her father living rough while conducting a photo project looking at homeless communities.

Diana Kim, 30, is a photographer who has been working on photography projects about homelessness since she was a student in 2003.

Nine years later, in 2012, she discovered her father living on the streets of Honolulu while she was working on a project about the island’s homeless community.

Speaking to NBC news, she described the moment that she first encountered her father as “devastating”, seeing that he had lost so much weight and the condition that his cloths were in.

Kim had grown up with her father on the Hawaiian island of Maui. It had been her father who owned a photography studio and introduced her to the art form.

homeless article - 2 Diana Kim Diana Kim

As she grew older, her father grew “absent”, living in a a variety of temporary situations, including in his car, on friends’ sofas and in parks.

A number of years later her grandmother told her that father had taken a turn for the worse, with him refusing to eat, wash or take the medication he was supposed to.

Upon re-encountering him in 2012, he did not recognise her at first.

“There were nights when I wouldn’t find him,” she said, “and other days when I least expected it, and he would be standing on the corner of a street. He suffered from severe schizophrenia, and left untreated, he was not always responsive.”

Now they are back in contact and Kim is assisting him in searching for a job and keeping his life on track.

On his recent progress, Kim has said, “He is still doing well and following his treatment plan, but I can tell he wants to gain more of his independence again. He wants to work, earn a living, and stand on his own two feet without any government assistance.”

You can follow Kim’s blog Homeless Paradise here.

Read: McDonald’s apologises for ‘don’t feed the homeless’ note

Also: The two charts that show how worried we should be about homelessness right now

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