of the Depression:
Local Reaction, 1929-33
THE local level treatment received by transients in New York varied across the state depending upon the size, financial wherewithal, and attitudes of each community. While private and public agencies struggled to extend their already hard-pressed resources to the newcomers, more often than not, they were only able to offer limited, life-sustaining, and very temporary assistance. Even this minimal aid was often available only in the larger cities of the state. Smaller cities and towns adjusted their assistance to their own resources. When pressed to their limits, communities usually reserved their tax dollars and charity for the resident needy, and transients, as in the days of the poor law past, were generally passed-on.
In the state's largest cities the municipal lodging houses* were heavily used in a valiant effort to meet the staggering increases in the number of homeless, needy individuals, resident and nonresident alike. In upstate New York, the annual reports of the Erie County Department of Charities and Corrections reflect the phenomenal pressure that was being put upon these facilities. The number of homeless men registered with the municipal lodging house in Buffalo rose from 65,493 in 1929 to 750,732 in 1933, a 1,046 percent increase. Correspondingly, the number of persons receiving lodging went from 24,633 to 461,646, and the number of meals provided from____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Homeless Transient in the Great Depression:New York State, 1929-1941. Contributors: Joan M. Crouse - Author. Publisher: State University of New York Press. Place of publication: Albany, NY. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 69.
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