By Alden Woods | The Republic
The kitchen light was already on as Kevin Scarbrough rose for another day of empty promises. He poured a mug of strong coffee and slipped a cellphone into the pocket of his jeans, turning up the volume in case a call came from the hospital or the housing authority.
“Where are you going?” his 4-year-old son Anthony asked. A catheter dangled from his leg, running to a kidney that failed before he was born and set in motion his family’s spiral into the shelter.
“I’m going to smoke,” replied Kevin, 41, and he stepped into the mid-morning sun. He stood in the gravel as he did each day and lit a cigarette, staring out into the concrete emptiness of UMOM New Day Center in east Phoenix. It had been the same view for almost a year, after the Scarbroughs were swallowed by an affordable-housing crisis the federal government was calling a national problem.