The poem begins with the plural "We," indicating that the speaker is talking on behalf of a group of people. This is not going to be a poem about individual failure, or an individual struggle, but rather a collective experience.
Given that the title of the poem is "kitchenette building" and that the rest of the poem is rooted in a domestic context (with its references to cooking, bathrooms, etc.), the reader can assume that the "we" refers to people who would have been residents of such buildings. And because the poem takes place in Chicago some time around the 1930s, readers can assume that these residents are mostly impoverished Black families.
The poem's first line then highlights the dismal monotony of life in the kitchenette building. The speaker tells readers that the residents' lives are dominated by the demands of "dry hours," which suggests a certain dullness to their quality of life, and "the involuntary plan," which suggests that the residents have little choice in how they spend their time.
The conditions of life in the kitchenette buildings have affected the residents themselves, making them as "Grayed in" and "gray" as the world in which they live. This repetition links the residents to their circumstances, emphasizing that they can't escape the oppressive world represented the kitchenette building.
Also note that, though the phrase "involuntary plan" is not quite an oxymoron, it nearly contradicts itself: the residents are both restricted to a regiment (a "plan") yet cannot decide on that plan for themselves. This near-contradiction helps to establish the tension between the residents' desires and the circumstances that prevent them from attaining those desires.
This tension is also present in the way in which the speakers refer to themselves as "things," which further suggests that they are beholden to and/or dehumanized by their environment. In calling the residents "things," the speaker also evokes the way that society has neglected and oppressed them.