Kalaupapa is unlike any other place in Hawai`i. Its history and its living community are unique. Today there is no longer any need to isolate people with Hansen's disease—in Hawai`i or anywhere else. Former Hansen's disease patients at Kalaupapa who still require medical attention due to the effects of the disease are no longer required to live here. Those who do live here have chosen to live here. Public access to this community is very limited because of regulations safeguarding privacy.
For people in Kalaupapa, life is a little quieter than other places. There are no restaurants, no movie theaters, no shopping malls, and only a few miles of road to drive. But in many respects it offers more fellowship and opportunities for people to come together as a community than in many American towns.
Today, residents (former Hansen's disease patients, Hawai`i Department of Health and National Park Service employees) are often asked what life is like in Kalaupapa.