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measured as a factor.

Buffalo, N. Y. The August load of
18,045 cases was 60 percent over August
1937. WPA has not expanded as it has
elsewhere, because of lack of projects.
Both coverage of need and size of allow-
ances appear to be "better than most"
in comparable cities in other states, but
"in comparison with cost of living we
can't be proud." Welfare officials antici-
pate a sharp increase in the present high
ase load, though this may be modified
, improved business conditions and by
mployment on several large PWA proj-
L-ts. "Relief is just taken for granted in
uffalo, with neither public nor client
ery excited about it."

Vew Jersey Since state financial
articipation about 75 percent of the re-
ef bill is not accompanied by state
tandard-setting the relief picture, mu-
icipaliry by municipality, is very spotty,
'here are no very recent figures on the
otal case load, but from January to
larch it rose from 74,300 to 87,100.
Tien WPA increases and seasonal em-
loyment induced a downward trend,
[owever, in Trenton the October load
ras 50 percent over October 1937, and
increases during the coming months are
xpected all over the state. "WPA has
ot begun to make the anticipated reduc-
on in the relief load, about 80 percent
f which is believed to be employable."
'ailure of CCC to take eligibles
900 applications for a quota of 1900
las been a factor in rising local relief
-osts. The legislature diverted $10,020,-
DO from various state funds for relief,
ut actual commitments to September
mounted to $15,569,710. The bill for
te year will probably run to $23,750,000.
Tie attitude of the legislature toward
uch a deficit is unpredictable. The most
rticulate opposition to relief and WPA
* that of employers paying substandard
vages. The press is demanding an equi-
:able method of financing and adminis-
ering relief. While about 30 percent of
le old age assistance and a lesser pro-
lortion of aid to dependent children cases
epresent transfers from relief rolls, the
ffect on relief has not been as notice-
ible as elsewhere.

J ittsburgh The direct relief load
icunted steadily from August 1937 with
2,793 cases, to August 1938 with 43,128.



Expenditures rose in the same period by
$467,525. Improved business conditions
are now reflected in a slowly declining
case load. Coverage is considered fair
but individual budgets are only a little
more than half of the "minimum for
health and decency." Funds are available
to carry the present load at the present
standard probably until late February.
After that it will be up to the legisla-
ture. The public is highly critical of the
WPA program, employers claiming that
it demoralizes work habits. From the
end of February till the middle of April
there was a net reduction every week in
the relief case load due to the payment
of unemployment compensation benefits.
Since April, however, more cases were
returned to relief because of cessation
of benefits than were closed because of
them.

Philadelphia Lack of local sponsor-
ship for WPA projects is held account-
able for a persistently high direct relief
load 76,636 in August, 35 percent over
August 1937. The categories were down
by 254 cases. "If WPA were to double
its rolls it still could not take all the
employables on relief." Coverage seems
fairly good, budget allowances not so
good. Pennsylvania pays allowances in
a cash lump sum, so that inadequacies of
specific budget items do not stand out.
Rents, figured at less than half the irre-
ducible minimum in the city are depress-
ing the standards of relief families. Fail-
ing a bad break in general conditions
nothing more than seasonal rise in relief is
anticipated. The state appropriated $138
million for public assistance for the bien-
nium ending May 31, 1939. The deficit
probably will run above $50 million.
Employer prejudice against "WPAers
and reliefers" seems to represent New
Deal opposition rather than an estimate
of the people themselves. Large relief ap-
propriations "certainly are not popular,"
although there is a pretty general accept-
ance of the necessity for them.

Washington, D. C. A reduction of
the congressional appropriation for re-
lief from $1,437,000 to $900,000 forced
a cut of 35 percent in the case load.
No employables are receiving relief and
only part of the unemployables. The case
load represents only the money available,
figured down to minimum subsistence lev-
els and in no sense a coverage of exist-
ing need. No one knows how people
live. "I guess it is a case of the neediest
being cared for by the next neediest. Of
course the Negroes a third of our pop-
ulation are the worst off." Public opin-
ion seems divided on the question of
larger appropriations, liberal groups and
churches favoring them, business men
and taxpayers' organizations opposing.
"Two thirds of the people on relief are
colored and a city largely southern in



its outlook is not much worried about
their problems." About half of the 3300
people receiving old age assistance were
taken from relief rolls making way for
other unemployables who otherwise
would have received no aid at all.

Baltimore Last year at this time the
direct relief cases numbered 3100; this
year 4728. WPA had an enrollment of
5000; this year about 10,000. Not many
reasonably employable persons are now
on direct relief. The city has borrowed
funds for relief purposes and now has an
accumulated deficit of nearly $3 million.
However, there seems to be no tendency
to shirk the responsibility to cover need
as it shows itself. Allowances are fairly
adequate except as to rent. The security
services have helped markedly to hold
down relief rolls. "Nearly all ADC cases
certainly would have required relief
and probably half of the old age cases."



DOWN SOUTH

Atlanta, Ga. The load, higher by 325
cases than a year ago, represents only the
money available, not a coverage of need.
Although the security services tended at
first to bring the load down, it rose to
3003 in September with 1000 applica-
tions pending for lack of funds. WPA
assignments rose from 6051 in September
1937 to 16,394 in September 1938. As-
signments for women lag. Monthly re-
lief averages have been cut from $10.17
per family to $8.05. Hospitals and clinics
'testify to the fact that many cases com-
ing to them are not of illness but of
undernourishment." Except for social
workers and a few liberal groups, "it is
impossible to get anyone excited." Many
if not most of the cases now receiving
social security services were drawn from
the relief rolls, but there are long wait-
ing lists in all the categories especially
the aged where the waiting list numbers
2887; the active list, 2184. The general
public is becoming increasingly confused
not to say dubious over the intricacies of
the whole relief business WPA, catego-
ries, direct relief and so on and increas-
ingly skeptical of unmet needs when so
much machinery is in evidence. Employer
prejudice is rising against anyone who
ever has been involved in the program.

Florida More people than ever before
are seeking relief of all types. Employ-
ment conditions have been bad and in-
dustry shows slight prospect of improve-
ment. Seasonal and casual employment in
the southern part of the state is rising
slightly. The state has no direct relief
program. Meager county aid is generally
limited to unemployables and acute emer-
gency situations. WPA now has more
than fifty thousand at work with several
thousand awaiting assignment. It is car-



<OM-MBER 1938



341



rying many who "should be on relief if
there were any." The security services,
until last month limited to old age assist-
ance, have had an appreciable effect on
county relief rolls, but lack of state funds
has prevented taking over all the eligi-
bles. Security grants are "rather ade-
quate" at least when compared with
county relief, and in some depressed lo-
calities "may be a beginning in raising
the standard of living." New appropri-
ations, if any, for assistance services prob-
ably will be earmarked for the aged.
"Our citizens are willing to have more
relief but not more taxes. What we real-
ly want is as much federal money as
possible but with no strings on it."

Alabama Here two categories, aid
to mentally and physically handicapped
and temporary aid, are considered as one
general relief program, with state and
county sharing fifty-fifty in the costs.
Available funds determine the relief load.
Only the most urgent cases are cared for
and these inadequately, "just enough to
keep the most needy families alive." State
and counties hesitate to vote money for
this group when the same dollar appro-
priated for security services would bring
in federal funds. At the end of July,
WPA had 9733 persons waiting for as-
signment. Over 40,000 farmers have been
referred to WPA for supplementary em-
ployment but on October 1 about 23,000
still were awaiting assignment. The secu-
rity services emphasize the needs of those
not covered. Industrial depression, espe-
cially in textiles, has created a stupen-
dous problem for relief officials, state and
local. Unemployment compensation has
helped a little, but benefits are too small
and too many workers uncovered for it
to have much effect on relief.

Birmingham, Ala. The direct relief
load is much higher than a year ago, but
the employment outlook is improving.
Average monthly grants for ADC cases
have risen to about $23 ; old age cases
average $11; general relief, $10. "Sur-
plus commodities are definitely life-savers
in many cases." Clothing is supplied by
WPA sewing projects. Rent, gas, elec-
tricity and even water are not included.
"White families buy food with their
allowances and move rather than pay
rent; Negro families club together on
food, and undoubtedly scavenge in refuse
cans, but do try to pay rent and burial
insurance." Any attempt by relief offi-
cials to arrive at a realistic estimate of
needs "brings out such a startling figure
that the appropriating bodies are scared
off." Employers in increasing numbers
are evincing prejudice against WPA
workers. "It has been a very, very diffi-
cult summer."

Texas Since June 1936 responsibility
for direct relief has rested on cities and



counties. Results are various. San An-
tonio has no relief program, except sur-
plus commodities. Houston and Dallas
in cooperation with their respective coun-
ties give relief to unemployables, but the
former defines them liberally, the latter
very strictly. Fort Worth gives aid to
both employables and unemployables but
the small individual allowances "mean
very little."

Houston gives to unemployables, only,
an average monthly allowance of $15,
"probably the highest in the state," but
even including surplus commodities that
is about 65 to 75 percent of a minimum
standard budget. WPA rolls in Harris
County (Houston) are nearly twice as
large as a year ago with a high percent-
age of persons probably not employable
by private standards.

The rural situation over the state is
serious. WPA opened its doors to farm-
ers who were referred to it in large
numbers. Counties, however, are not able
to meet the sponsorship cost of projects
and applicants who have been accepted
and not assigned "will soon be very
restive over one more disappointment."

Louisville, Ky. For relief during the
fiscal year ending September 1, 1939 the
board of aldermen has appropriated
$240,000, about the same as in 1937-
38. This is intended primarily for unem-
ployables and will provide for a case load
of 1097 at a monthly average of $18.
The case load rose from 781 in Septem-
ber 1937 to 846 a year later. WPA rose
simultaneously from 1965 to 7000. WPA
has never taken all the needy employ-
ables. Private agencies accept a few
emergency cases. There is some local
backing for increased appropriations but
unless conditions become much worse,
action is unlikely.



THE MIDLANDS

Cincinnati, O. The present load of
the city relief division is 10,434 cases.
Figures for 1937 (5438 cases in October)
are not comparable since the County
Welfare Department was then on a
skeleton basis. The present load is con-
sidered a fair coverage of need. The av-
erage monthly relief voucher is $20.88;
average local work relief $38.88. Rents
are paid in urgent cases. About 1000 of
the present case load are certified to
WPA but not assigned ; many more are
rated employable. There is a fairly large
turnover in the case load. Security ser-
vices have reduced the general relief
load, but lack of matching funds keeps
on relief many families eligible for ADC.
By borrowing against future tax collec-
tions present relief levels can be main-
tained until the first of the year. After
that another acute crisis is likely unless
the state acts. "It is impossible under



present tax limitations for local funds
to carry the load." Public opinion on
relief is "indifferent and ill-informed"
and organized protest by the clients has
dwindled "the great majority have had
their fighting spirit beaten down and
their self-confidence broken."

Akron, O. The September 1938 case
load was 6940; that of September 1937,
1535. There is a heavy turnover due to
the ups and downs of WPA which at
no time has taken all the employable.
Coverage is probably fair but allowances
are meager. Clients seem to be "just sit-
ting by and taking it without much pro-
test." Public opinion generally is "agin
the WPA" but without any alternative
proposal. "Our people are habituated to
running their own relief business, and
though they recognize the necessity for
the government stepping in, they resent
politicians affecting the program."

Dayton, O. The relief load has quad-
rupled since October 1937, but local
business is improving and "we are the
least bit more optimistic." Each visitor
is carrying upwards of 300 cases, the
work complicated at present by inves-
tigators from the state auditor's office
who check records, interview clients and
even order allowances discontinued. Fam-
ilies are being housed in foreclosed prop-
erties "under conditions violating any
standard of health and decency." Some
8000 are on WPA and an additional
2900 could be if projects were available.
It is "probably true that WPA labor is
'suspect' by the average employer who
charges the sins of the few to the many."

Cleveland, O. The emergency funds
with which the city weathered the crisis
of early summer will be exhausted by
the first of December. Employment con-
ditions are improving but the tax situa-
tion is chaotic with borrowing against
collections for three years ahead. The
case load (17,500) is about the same as
1937. WPA with 78,000 enrolled has
done well in absorbing employables. Food
allowances have been cut 10 percent be-
low the federal estimate for minimum
subsistence; clothing is supplied only in
emergencies; rents are paid to landlords
in the form of tax abatements. Old age
assistance and ADC have probably re-
moved or kept several thousand cases
from relief rolls. Administration is com-
plicated by conflict between state and
local officials, and by the row between
the Social Security Board and the gov-
ernor. Public opinion is increasingly con-
cerned about relief, perhaps because it
has been made a campaign issue. Ex-
cept for some CIO activity the clients
have remained passive.

Detroit On October 19 the case load i
was 18,799 compared with 14,557 a year-



342



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



ago. It is dropping at the rate of about
a hundred a day due to unemployment
compensation benefits, WPA expansion
and improved private employment. WPA
is carrying 75,487 persons in Detroit;
last October it had fewer than 14,000.
than a third of the $3 million allot-
ted for the last quarter of the year was
expended in September and "drastic
steps" may be necessary to stretch funds.
Food budgets are "slightly above the re-
istricted diet." Fuel and clothing are sup-
plied "as needed." Supplementation of
[inadequate income earnings or security
service grants accounts for 5328 active
cases. Of the whole case load 7526 are
"igurcd as employable, practically all of
them women and white-collar. About 700
are eligible for old age assistance if funds
were available. Although there is some
'fed-up-ness over the whole business of
relief" the public generally and officials
from the governor down to councilman
;how no tendency to shirk responsibility.
'Restriction of funds is not due to lack
f understanding but just to plain lack
f money in the public treasury."

ndianapolis, Ind. In September the
irect relief load of 8676 was only 113
bove that of the same month last year.
IVPA had expanded from 66% to 14,647.
Employment is improving. Coverage of
eed is probably fair, but family budgets
iuch too low. A maximum of $9 a month

allowed for rent, "but only after evic-
on." WPA is apparently "taking care
f the great majority of employables,"
ut many employers seem to be con-
Knced that "most WPAers would rather
cay where they are than take any but

e most attractive jobs."

linois Relief cases increased 9.1 per-
nt from September 1937 to September
938. Only a seasonal increase is ex-
acted this fall. Present allowances range
'Om "fairly adequate" to "grossly in-
dequate" with the greatest deficiencies

clothing, shelter and, outside Chicago,
edical care. State funds amounting to
,800,000 per month (the most since
)35) are available through January,
ntil now these have met approximately

percent of the deficit between avail-
lie local funds and estimated needs.
> ressure groups in some communities
ive been able to influence standards of
lief and service," but "such organiza-
>ns lack unanimity and continuity of
idership."

go Seasonal rise in the case
nt is not as high as last year, but
"spell of weather" probably would
it up. Improving business conditions
may be reflected in the relief load,
ut 45 percent of which is considered
ployable. WPA has some 27,000 per-
certified but unassigned. State
are "in sight" until February. The
ef administration does not accept

JVEMBER 1938



cases for supplementation where income
meets 85 percent of estimated need.
Budgets are computed without items for
clothing, electricity or household inci-
dentals and with "an irreducible mini-
mum" for rent. "We then deduct 15 per-
cent of the sorry total and tell the client
that is all there is." The clients are much
less aggressive than formerly. "When
budgets are cut complaints increase, but
with the exception of a somewhat emo-
tionally unstable minority, protests are
pathetically few."

Milwaukee, Wis. Local relief cases
have jumped in a year from 12,000 to
19,000; WPA from 11,000 to 27,000.
No large immediate increase is antici-
pated. WPA has taken all eligibles ex-
cept a few hundred heads of families and
some 1500 single persons. Remaining on
relief, however, are several thousand
employable heads of families (about a
third of them aliens) who are not eligi-
ble for WPA. Coverage of need is held
to be "reasonably good"; budgetary allow-
ances "reasonably adequate." The secur-
ity services have had "no appreciable
effect on relief rolls, but unquestionably
have met existing needs." The Depart-
ment of Outdoor Relief prepares an an-
nual budget, but exceeds it if unanticipa-
ted need arises. "There has never been
any great public complaint that too much
is being spent on relief."



THE FLATLANDS

Des Moines, la. Direct relief rolls in
September had dropped to 2745 from
4559 a year ago. WPA had risen from
3636 to 6620. Only seasonal increase is
expected. More than half the relief recip-
ients are held employable. Family allow-
ances average $20 a month plus surplus
commodities. "This seems to be fairly
adequate." Neither city nor county pays
rent for employables. Old age assistance
has had some effect on relief rolls, but
the effect of employment compensation
is not apparent as yet. The state has not
qualified for ADC.

Omaha, Neb. Public relief rolls are
down, not through lack of need but lack
of funds and the fact that the Douglas
County Assistance Bureau limits itself to
families with health problems and with
no employable member. In August 1937
it expended $8465 on 960 cases; in Au-
gust 1938, $6075 on 625 cases. In that
month last year five private agencies ex-
pended $5734 on 943 cases; this year
$6979 on 1251 cases. The county relief
load "probably is only a quarter of what
it should be if real need were the meas-
ure," but the county has been running a
deficit for several years and efforts to
obtain larger relief appropriations "have
been sadly ineffectual." WPA with an



enrollment of 9841 in August has a cer-
tified waiting list of 1700. Public opinion
seems to be against the heavy spending
involved in WPA, "with too little aware-
ness of what conditions would be with-
out it."

Lincoln, Neb. The relief load is
higher than last year with a 'poor pros-
pect" for more funds unless the legisla-
ture acts in January. The case load,
public and private, and the allowances
represent money available stretched to
the uttermost and not need. "But no one
seems greatly disturbed except social
workers and a few others." The clients
are passive. "Perhaps when cold is added
to hunger they will begin to voice their
sufferings." The WPA program is dis-
trusted by many people and employer
prejudice against "all these reliefers" is
increasing.

Kansas City, Mo. The direct relief
load, about 4000 cases, is a little below
that of a year ago, but WPA is carrying
a payroll fully two and a half times as
large, with some 2000 certified persons
awaiting assignment. Private agencies
supplement inadequate WPA wages a
little, public agencies not at all although
the need is "glaringly apparent." General
relief grants run around $12 a month.
"No comment on adequacy is necessary."
"There is slight prospect for any increase
in funds before the legislature meets in
January, if then." Direct relief, without
the attraction of matching federal funds,
''is the hardest appropriation to crack."

Minneapolis, Minn. The direct re-
lief load has been consistently higher all
summer than it was a year ago, but has
not shown the usual seasonal rise, prob-
ably because of increased WPA enroll-
ment and a slight business improvement.
Taking together WPA, the security cate-
gories and direct relief, the needs of the
community seem to be "relatively cov-
ered on a fairly decent level of ade-
quacy." But relief has been financed by
bond issues, and the city is fast approach-
ing its legal debt limitation. Taxes for
relief can be increased only by removing
statutory limitations or amending the
charter, neither likely to appeal to a
public beginning to resent relief costs.
"Most of them are unaware that they
haven't yet paid for it." WPA is meeting
a lot of criticism, "much of it not very
discriminating," and WPA workers have
increasing difficulty in getting jobs.

St. Paul, Minn. Direct relief rolls
are about the same as a year ago; WPA
rolls considerably higher. Present allow-
ances are "relatively generous though
no relief is high enough to be comforta-
ble." The outlook for funds is "distress-
ing. . . city and county politicians refuse
to cope with the real problem of financing

343



relief." Interest and retirement charges
on bond issues absorb an abnormal share
of current tax funds. The tax rate is
up "to the point of diminishing returns,"
with widespread public irritation over
relief costs. By January 1, the city will
have used its share of state relief funds
supposed to last to July. Security ser-
vices and unemployment compensation
have not cut relief very much "though
things would have been worse without
them. And without WPA whew!"



OUT WEST

Washington (State) Outstanding is
the increase in WPA from 24,545 in
September 1937 to 60,485 in September
1938. Some 2000 are now awaiting as-
signment with the number rising each
week. Direct relief rolls, decreased from
25,892 in September 1937 to 16,254 in
September 1938, reflect WPA increases.
Direct relief to the able-bodied is negli-
gible at this time, limited largely to emer-
gency grants pending WPA assignment.
Standards of relief have been lowered
the past year only in respect to rents.
Given the whole public assistance and
WPA program the coverage of need is



believed to be much more adequate than
a year ago.

Seattle, Wash. Since last March
when sharp curtailments were considered
necessary by the state officials, there have
been drastic cuts in number of cases and



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