“THEY DON’T BUILD mansions like this in Beverly Hills,” a man named Charles says as he greets visitors to a tent city beneath a tangle of highway overpasses in Seattle’s Sodo District. It’s a cold, damp day, and Charles warms himself by a smoldering campfire in a cluttered cul-de-sac of tents, bags of clothes, and pots and pans — everything you need when you have no place else to live.
Matias and other workers sell the salal to Continental Floral, the largest floral foliage-producing company in the Pacific Northwest. Mother's Day is the company's busiest time selling salal, with Valentine's Day coming in second. "Not everyone has a girlfriend or...