HONOLULU — Hawaii has long been known as a tropical paradise, but in recent years another image has intruded into the state’s carefully crafted one of idyllic beaches and relaxing resorts: homelessness.
The number of homeless people has grown in recent years, leaving the state with 487 homeless per 100,000 people, the nation’s highest rate per capita, above New York and Nevada, according to federal statistics.
Many of the homeless, however, defy the stereotype of the mentally ill or drug addicted. They are families, with men and women who work full-time jobs. They are struggling to get a foothold in a place with a high cost of living and low wages.