The Homeless Transient in the Great Depression: New York State, 1929-1941

By Joan M. Crouse | Go to book overview

9
Liquidation

TO ALL STATE RELIEF ADMINISTRATORS:

AFTER MIDNIGHT SEPTEMBER TWENTIETH NO MORE PERSONS SHALL BE ACCEPTED FOR SERVICE AND RELIEF FROM SPECIAL TRANSIENT FUNDS stop SUGGEST YOU POST NOTICE TO THIS EFFECT AT ONCE AT ALL TRANSIENT CENTERS AND RELIEF OFFICES WHERE NONRESIDENTS MAKE APPLICATION stop INSTRUCTIONS MODIFYING PREVIOUS RULING LIMITING CERTIFICATION TO THOSE WHO WERE REGISTERED BEFORE JULY FIFTEENTH WILL BE SENT IN ORDER TO FACILITATE PLACEMENT OF ALL EMPLOYABLES NOW REGISTERED WITH TRANSIENT SERVICE stop THIS ORDER IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ANTICIPATE LIQUIDATION OF TRANSIENT RELIEF PROGRAM BY NOVEMBER FIRST.

SO read the September 6, 1935, telegram from Aubrey Williams at WPA that marked the beginning of the end of the Federal Transient Program. "After Friday midnight,' The New York Times reported, "the doors of 595 lodges and camps, where a quarter of a million persons have been receiving food and shelter, will be closed to future guests." Henceforth, employable transients already registered in the federal program were to be assigned to WPA rolls while the estimated 7 percent unemployables were to be either returned to their places of settlement or else turned over to the local community wherein they presently resided. Newcomers were to be directed to the bounty of state and local governments and/or charitable agencies. "To the

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