Diana Kim spotted her father for the first time in decades what she did for him will move your eyes to tears.
He was living on the street, disheveled and unkempt, and didn’t have a clue who she was.
Kim — now 30 years old — didn’t quite know what to think or how to feel. Her father had abandoned her when she was about 5, and she had no relationship with the seemingly homeless man before her.
“He hadn’t been part of my life, he wasn’t there,” Kim explained. It was an emotional experience, “having to deal with my own personal feelings of being abandoned, and then at the same time recognizing that he’s a person, just like [every other homeless person] I have reached out to.”
“He wouldn’t talk to me, wouldn’t acknowledge me. Then it started to really become clear to me that something is wrong with him mentally. He’s mentally ill.”
As Kim later learned, her father was schizophrenic, and he’d stopped taking his medication.
“At some point, you have to face your own fears and your own insecurities and your own pain, and [for me] it was looking at my father and saying, ‘That’s my dad, and I’m going to help him, and I don’t know what I have to do — I don’t know what I’m supposed to do — to get through to him. But I’m going to stay with him and figure it out.”
In late summer 2014, Kim’s father’s health took a turn for the worse.
Her father’s time in the hospital helped give him a new starting point.
Since his hospitalization about a year ago, Kim’s dad has taken substantial steps forward in bettering his life. Now he’s living in an assisted living residence and taking his medication, and Kim’s relationship with him has evolved “day by day.”
Kim’s blossoming relationship with her dad further inspired her to build a career focused on helping those who need it.
Kim has also launched a Kickstarter to supply the homeless with a vital tool in keeping them safe: a bracelet.
The past couple of years have been an emotional yet fulfilling roller coaster for Kim.
But one lesson she’s learned is that love will always find its way into your heart if you let it.