Edit ModuleShow Tags

Photo Essay: What Do You Do When the Homeless Man on the Street is Your Father?

I documented the difficult experience of reconnecting with my homeless father.


Published:

Photo: Courtesy of Diana Kim

 

This photo essay is part of a photographic project I began nearly five years ago, documenting the homeless of Honolulu. During that time, I learned that my own father was living on the streets, and I began to chronicle our encounters, to try to put the experience into perspective.

 

Initially, the fact that I couldn’t “fix” my dad tore me apart. And because our time together on the streets was more than I had ever spent with him as a child, I struggled to reconcile my feelings toward my father’s absence in my life, while continuing to care deeply for him and other homeless individuals. Over time, I learned to navigate through my feelings of desperation and became more vocal in my community about my father’s condition and what it’s like to watch a loved one battle mental illness.

 

Sharing this family story is scary. I am afraid it’s a story that won’t have a happy ending. I am afraid because I know I can’t change him. I am afraid that people will judge me, and my father, and frame their views based on their own experiences. But I also know that this could reach people who are having similar experiences. We have to try. I have to keep trying.

 

 

What’s next for Diana Kim? Visit her blog homelessparadise.com to see more photos documenting homelessness in Hawai‘i. Also, learn more about a project Kim is working on with the CARE Medical History Bracelets team, to digitize important identification and medical documents for homeless individuals, in the form of a bracelet.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine April 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

Colin Nishida, Beloved Chef and Restaurateur, Leaves a Culinary Legacy

Colin Nishida

An entire community remembers the owner of Side Street Inn.

 

Closing of Popular Lanikai Pillbox Hike Delayed Until Further Notice

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

The state asks for public input as it works to repair the old concrete observation stations on the trail, commonly known as “pillboxes.”

 

First Look: Panda Dimsum in Kalihi

Panda Dim Sum

Frogs, hedgehogs and bees, oh my! This spot dishes up cute, Instagrammable dumplings.

 

Kaimukī Gets da Shop, a New Kind of Bookstore and Event Space

Da Shop

It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.

 


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags