The Great Depression, Homelessness Today, and Criminal Justice Reform … by Alice ..

Dear Ones,

A video about the homeless encampments of the Great Depression, the situation in America today, and the solutions implemented by President Theodore Roosevelt long ago. What answers to this problem might be usefully considered today?

Also, American work furlough programs as the wave of the future for prisoners convicted of less notably violent crimes.

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HOW SAN FRANCISCO IS DEALING WITH ITS 6,000 HOMELESS

I recently perused an article that mentioned there are now 6,000 homeless in San Francisco:  “San Francisco Wants Homeless to Leave Tent Camp, But Some Vow to Fight,” by Thomas Fuller, 26 February 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/27/us/san-francisco-wants-homeless-to-leave-tent-camp-but-some-vow-to-fight.html?_r=0

San Francisco’s response to this problem was to evacuate a tent city on Division Street, citing health problems. Of course, the larger problem is, what to do about the homeless all across America.

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THE SHANTYTOWNS OR ‘HOOVERVILLES’ OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION

This Wikipedia article describes the homeless encampments of the Great Depression: “Hooverville,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooverville In the early 1930s, millions were homeless. Those living on the streets numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

In bitter derision of then-President Herbert Hoover, homeless shantytowns were termed ‘Hoovervilles’.  Homeless families were camped out in New York’s Central Park. There were eight Hoovervilles in Seattle. There was a very large Hooverville in St. Louis as well, with 4 districts and its own mayor.

“The Bonus Army” was a group of World War I veterans who established a Hooverville in the District of Columbia. At its peak, this shantytown numbered 15,000 veterans seeking their benefits. Apparently, there was much violence surrounding this encampment. Here’s a photo of veterans fighting with law enforcement:

Bonus_marchers_05510_2004_001_a
“Photograph of Bonus Marchers,” Signal Corps Photographer, 1932 (1)

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The Bonus Army shantytown was finally burned down:

Evictbonusarmy“Shacks, put up by the Bonus Army on the Anacostia flats, Washington, D.C., burning after the battle with the military. The Capitol in the background,” Signal Corps Photographer (2)

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lossy-page1-732px-Unemployed_men_queued_outside_a_depression_soup_kitchen_opened_in_Chicago_by_Al_Capone,_02-1931_-_NARA_-_541927.tif“Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone, 02/1931,” U.S. Information Agency (3)

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It looks like a similar situation existed in Houston in the 1930s:

Huts_and_unemployed_in_West_Houston_and_Mercer_St_by_Berenice_Abbott_in_Manhattan_in_1935“Huts and unemployed, West Houston and Mercer St., Manhattan,” Image ID: 482853,” by Berenice Abbott, 25 October 1935 (4)

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35bennettbuggy
“A Bennett Buggy“: An automobile powered by horses because its owner couldn’t afford gas … University of Saskatchewan Archives, 1935 (5)

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Here are more photos from the Hooverville era: http://carolyngreatdepression.weebly.com/hoovervilles.html

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THE NEW DEAL AND PUBLIC WORKS TO EMPLOY THE UNEMPLOYED

The New Deal was President Theodore Roosevelt’s answer to the Great Depression. See “The New Deal,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal#Public_works

President Roosevelt’s Public Works program, mentioned in the video and in the Wikipedia article, put many homeless men to work building bridges, dams, courthouses, post offices, and roads. It might be good to have such a government program today to employ the homeless and help build a better America.

1CWA_6000_men“6,000 Men and a Scenic Boulevard,” Civil Works Administration, San Francisco, CA, ca. 1934 (6)

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In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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FOOTNOTES

(1) “Photograph of Bonus Marchers,” Signal Corps Photographer, 1932 … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bonus_marchers_05510_2004_001_a.gif … public domain

(2) “Shacks, put up by the Bonus Army on the Anacostia flats, Washington, D.C., burning after the battle with the military. The Capitol in the background,” Signal Corps Photographer, 1932 … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Evictbonusarmy.jpg … public domain

(3) “Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone, 02/1931,” U.S. Information Agency … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Unemployed_men_queued_outside_a_depression_soup_kitchen_opened_in_Chicago_by_Al_Capone,_02-1931_-_NARA_-_541927.tif … public domain

(4) “Huts and unemployed, West Houston and Mercer St., Manhattan,” Image ID: 482853,” by Berenice Abbott, 25 October 1935 … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Huts_and_unemployed_in_West_Houston_and_Mercer_St_by_Berenice_Abbott_in_Manhattan_in_1935.jpg … public domain

(5) “A Bennett Buggy“: An automobile powered by horses because its owner couldn’t afford gas … University of Saskatchewan Archives, 1935 … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:35bennettbuggy.jpg … public domain

(6) “6,000 Men and a Scenic Boulevard”; Civil Works Administration, San Francisco, CA, ca. 1934 … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CWA_6000_men.jpg … public domain

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Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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ascension, homelessness, employment, Hooverville, Great Depression, New Deal, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, criminal justice, work furlough, prison reform, American Dream, shantytowns, economics, current affairs,

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