Diana Kim is a photographer who grew up in Hawaii on the island of Maui, where her father was also a photographer. When her parents split up, Kim lived with friends and relatives and gradually lost touch with her father who became "absent."
In 2003, she started a long-term project to document homelessness on the streets of Honolulu. In 2012, she made a truly shocking discovery: her father was among the homeless she was documenting. "There were nights when I wouldn't find him," she says. "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. There were many instances when it appeared as if he was arguing with someone, but nobody was there."
Diana Kim began her project to document homelessness back in 2003.
Her interest in photography came from her father, but she'd lost touch with him when her parents divorced.
In 2012, Kim was shocked when she found her father among the homeless she was photographing.
"I had been searching for my father for weeks and finally found him sitting behind a dumpster, tucked under a bush for shade."
"He suffered from severe schizophrenia, and left untreated, he was not always responsive."
"There were many instances when it appeared as if he was arguing with someone, but nobody was there."
Kim urged her father to get treatment and visited with food and clothes regularly, but it wasn't until he was hospitalized after a heart attack in October 2014 that he finally agreed to seek help.
She gave him her old camera in hopes of reconnecting him to his old interests and get him in a better place. This is Kim's dad in December, already looking a hundred times better.
Over the next few months, he gradually got better and better. "It felt good to see him so healthy, and standing so tall again."
"My dad spends a lot time with friends and is actively looking for a job."
Today, Kim's father is continuing treatment and seeking work, and even has plans to go visit family in South Korea sometime soon.
Kim and her dad in July of 2015. Kim says the experience has taught her that "Life itself is a gift. I am so grateful to see him alive and doing better. I appreciate what we have right here, right now."
Check out the video below to see the father and daughter discussing their experiences: