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“I lived in Hawaii for 18 years. I have two sisters and a brother who still live there. But for me it was too expensive.

“Now that I live on the mainland, when I think of Hawaii I think, ‘I don’t ever wanna stress about money and rent like people in Hawaii do every month.’ People in Hawaii bust their oʻkole all the time and they’re still struggling. The amount of hours my sisters work in Hawaii to live with just a roof over their head, it would be the equivalent to living comfortably here on the mainland and then some.

“I can’t be home when I’m proud of where I come from, and it’s a different world from the mainland being raised there. Everybody had heart. Now I have to box that away because I can’t live where my heart belongs.”

Eliaza Holokahi
El Paso, Texas
Former resident of Waianae