Mike Maloney smokes a cigarette in the yellow lamplight of his 10-by-10-foot room at the Kasota Apartments in downtown Seattle. He rented the place two years ago, he says, and is working on a new writing project that he hopes will someday pay his way back to San Francisco.
For $400, Maloney gets a bed, a two-burner stove and mini-refrigerator and shares toilets and showers down the hall. He has a TV and, on a table by the door, his laptop is open to the pages of the foreclosure tips booklet that he's putting together and hopes to sell on magazine stands.
Maloney says his situation is cush compared to a neighbor of his. He walks down the hall and knocks on the door of Peter Skadden to invite him down for a tuna sandwich.
Skadden opens the door a crack, his feet shuffling back and forth and his eyes focused on some distant point. He gets his pack of smokes