September 19, 2011
Beverly Paracuelles wakes up each morning to a view of palm trees, golden sands, and azure tropical seas. She spends her days wandering along the world-famous beaches of Oahu’s northern shore. But don’t go telling her that life must be a dream.
Home for the 54-year-old former nursing assistant is neither one of the ocean-view mansions, nor the $600-a-night hotel rooms which dot Hawaii’s most populated island. Instead, it’s a battered Toyota van. Inside, in an area that measures six by eight feet, she must eat, sleep, and store all of her worldly goods.
“I’ve lived here for three years now, since I lost my job, and the depressing thing is that I can’t see how things are going to get much better,” she says, patting one of her three chihuahua dogs. “I wouldn’t say that it’s much of a life. I guess, like the old saying goes, I’d call it more of an existence.”