When he hears his phone ring, Seon Jin Kim’s whole body flinches and his ears perk up.
A 62-year-old diabetic with diminishing eyesight, he bounds up the stairs and dives for the phone. This could be the minimum-wage job at a Koreatown pool hall he interviewed for a couple of days ago, the call that would get him back on his feet.
But it’s a wrong number. The phone rings again a few minutes later and he flies up the steps once more — another wrong number.
He couldn’t tell you where things went wrong, but after more than a decade of paint jobs, construction work and cleaning toilets, he had landed in this unofficial shelter for Koreans, run by an Episcopal...