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Homeless in Hawaii: Poverty Rises in Paradise State

The number of homeless people has grown in recent years to the nation's highest rate per capita.

. 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.

Above: A homeless man drinks water while sitting on the beach at Ala Moana Beach Park located near Waikiki in Honolulu on Aug. 27, 2015.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. Two homeless people rest with their tents pitched on a sidewalk as a group of anglers arrive to fish at Kewalo Basin Harbor in Honolulu on Aug. 24.

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.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. Kifency Kinny applies lotion to her arm and her 1-year-old son, J. Jee Suzuki, while Kinny's niece drinks water in their makeshift tent at a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu on Aug. 25.

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.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. Kionina Kaneso, left, pushes carts of laundry followed by her granddaughter, Keioleen Helly, center, and daughter, Kifency Kinny, past the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine near a tent in a homeless encampment in Honolulu on Oct. 7.

Cathy Bussewitz / AP

. A man washes an old rug at a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu on Aug. 24.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. A boy who goes by "M.J.," is soaked in rain as a woman pulls nails from a pallet to use them to build a makeshift tent at a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu on Aug. 26. The camp, one of the nation's largest homeless encampment and once home to hundreds of people, was recently cleared by Hawaii officials.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. Lohe Akau, a 55-year-old homeless construction worker, carries his bodyboard through a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu on Aug. 24.

There are estimated 7,620 homeless people living on the streets in Hawaii.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. John Tuilata, Tiare Talo and Roy Kalama, wash themselves using public showers in Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu on Aug. 25. The three live in a homeless encampment in Honolulu.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. Dexter Lii, a retired surf instructor, and his dog sit in a minivan in Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu on Aug. 24.

Jae C. Hong / AP

. A man walks toward his makeshift tent at a homeless encampment near the ocean in Waianae, Hawaii on Aug. 25.

Jae C. Hong / AP