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NON-FAMILY




ON

Bureau

BOYS

RELIEF

for

Homeless

Hen

St* Louis, Missouri

N O N - F A M I L Y
ON

BOYS

R E L I E F
0

A Study of Non-Family Boys,
Age 16 t o 2 1 , i n c l u s i v e , on
r e l i e f i n S t . Louis p r i o r t o
August 3 1 , 1933




BUREAU

FOR

ST. LOUIS,

HOMELESS MEN
MISSOURI




Issued By
Bureau for Homeless Men
204 a North Eighteenth St.
St. Louis, Missouri
May 1937

FOREWORD
Why is a non-family boy? Whenever and wherever the
problem of the older non-family boy is discussed, this
question is soon asked. Why is a non-family boy nonfamily? What happened to his family? The usual answers
are - death of the parents, broken homes due to domestic
discordj desertion by the father and neglect by the
mother. These and many other answers are given, but even
while giving them, we know that our knowledge of the subject is shakey and that our answers are based on supposition, suspicion, and guesswork.
It was to get an accurate answer to these and similar questions that the Bureau made this study of nonfamily boys on relief. The cases of all boys age 16 to
21 inclusive who applied for relief and whose cases wore
closed prior to Aug. 31, 1933 were studied. 1,641 cases
were includedj of these, 1,428 were given only a cursory
examination while 213 were held out for more detailed
analysis. Most of the report concerns these latter cases.
A detailed schedule was made for all of them and tabulations made from the schedules.
The closing date of Aug. 31, 1933 was chosen because
it marks the date on which the division of responsibility
between public and private agencies was made in St.Louis.
All boys prior to that date were under the care of the
private agency, the Bureau for Men, and the cases are in
the files of the Bureau. We hope at a later date to make
an additional study of those boys under care after August
1933, in both the private and public agencies so that
the story will be complete.
Much of the work of record reading and schedule
making was done by two N.Y.A. students, Misses Ruth
Armbruster and Anne Costello, graduates in social work,
who were loaned by St. Louis University.
G.M.G.




TABLE

OF CONTENTS
Page

Part I.

Part II.

A General Study of All Boys Applying
The Scope of the Study
The Method
Sample Schedule
Age and Race
Month of Application
Records not Studied
Transiency
A Detailed Study of a SmalLer Group
Why is a Non-Family Boy?
Relatives
Sources of Support
Problems Presented
Employment

i1 - 1 0
:

1

l
2 &:

4
5
6
8

Schooling
Transiency
Referrals by a Children's Ajgency
Living Arrangements
Time on Own
Childhood Environment
Length of Time in St. Louis
Tenure of Cases
Reason for Closing

11
15
17
18
20
22
24
25
25
25
26
27
27
30
32

A Summary of Findings

35

Age

TABLES
I
II
III
IV

Boys Studied, By Age & Race
4
Records Not Studied, By Reason & Race 7
Records Not Studied, By Reason & Age
9
Analysis of All Cases by Residence &
Age
10




TABLE OF CONTENTS cont'd.

V
VI
VII
VIII
IX
X
XI
XII
XIII
XIV
XV
XVI
XVII
XVIII

TABLES
Why Non-Family Boys Are Non-Family
Relatives of Non-Family Boys by Race
Sources of Support by Race
Problems Presented By Boys
Prevailing Type of Work & Age Began Work
By Race
Age at Time of Application by Race
School Grade Completed By Race
Living Arrangements at Time of Application
Time on Own Resources By Race
Childhood Environment of Boys By Race
Length of Time in St. Louis By Race
States of Origin of Boy Immigrants by Race
No. £ Length of Time Under Care By Race
Reason for Closing Cases By Race

Page
12
16
18
19
21
22
24
25
26
27
28
30
31
33

CHARTS
I

Applications by Race

II

Year of Arrival in City By Race




6
29

1.
A STUDY OF NON-FAMILY BOYS, AGED 16 to 21
INCLUSIVE, ON RELIEF PRIOR TO AUG- 31, 1933
PART I. A General Study of All Boys
Applying
The Scope of the Study. As has been pointed out in the
Foreword, the complete study covers all boys known to
the Bureau and whose cases were closed prior to Aug. 31,
1933. That date marks the division of case load between
the private and public agencies in St. Louis, all cases
closed prior to that time remaining in the files of the
private agency. While this would theoretically extend
the time of the study from 1925 through two-thirds of
1933, in practice it covered only 1931, 1932, and 8
months of 1933, as only 7 cases were found dated prior
to 1931.
Except for a few items, all information was taken
from the cases as of date of first application, the purpose of the study being to learn as much as possible regarding the condition of these boys when they first came
to the agency. The case records of all boys who were 16
to 21 years of age, inclusive, at time of application
were taken from the files and examined. This covered
1,641 case records, or about 9% of the total cases of
all ages. It was found necessary to divide these again
into two groups, one consisting of 213 records, or 13$,
suitable for intensive study, and the other consisting
of the remaining 87$, or 1,428 cases, which for various
reasons (see "Reasons Not Studied") were not suitable
for such an intensive examination.
The Method. As the records were read they were divided
into the two groups. In the last group, those not suitable for intensive study, tabulations of age at time of
application, month of application, and the reason for no
further study were made. In the smaller group for in-




(Sample)
BOYS' STUDY -

B.H.M.
Name

Vo<-

f

A d d r e s s / , ? XX M *A l^<~a-<-t

5ah »

Race /KAge / ^ B i r t h d . 3~6 Sf/
Opened

Closed

Place

Jlio

Reason.

\lJL~

2.

3V "

1936

- "

4.
REL.Dead City t Out CI.
Fa. _ ^_
Mo.
Wl. '

Rel.'J.C.'

School

Case

tio.3Vf^

Left *^ Grade

Came t o C i t y 3 f F r o m >U^ With
Pa.<jLjZlL
Childhood Env. Urban Sm.Town<^Rural
AT TIME OF APPLICATION
Ch.Agc Pub Pr . Age Why.
Released
_Institution
On Own /&
(g ) How Sup.
Bhy H.F. ^a.
Fn.H. Wk'_None_
Living con-Fam R.H.g<Fl.H Fo.H. Wk' None
C l e a r i n g s &./?.{£.
Court Rec.
Vi^>-*cg, t

Data

£rom To ,SUP. BY TShy Term...
Bixth.J.C

3o .31.
3».^

Rel...

75"

l

V™!

-l*4(Lt<l,l.j£«'«.<>V




rime away
iL&tC^-.
Home l e f t
Camp?
tilth?
Returned?
EMPLOYMENT - N o n e _
Age began
General type - Lab JS^'Cl.
rype..af...for.k
...St., iHt»_ifl*a_
Eg....e;.....ip..rs
Duration...

K^

.../.«

*^

3.

COMMENT.
yh.f&L*!\

1.
2.
3.
4.
?•
5.
7.
8.
9.
10.
II.
12.
J.3.
17.
18.
19.
20.

£<£%.

dbte*£ZL. Q*r£iLz.

..raOffljEMS PRESENraD
24.
25.
27.
29."'
30.
3 1_
_.

22.
;
23.




33. '
34.
'35."
36.
37.

..._...
39.
40.

i'lv
44,
45.
46.

MAXLM^.-*
JjL&i.L

&,<ki.t JLLSA.^..

I.See...RugselI....S.a.ge...Card)...,
...5.2..
.5.3,
54.
'55.
56.
57.

si'.'
60".
61.
"63";
64.
66.

._

69.
70.
71.

_..

4.
tensive analysis, a schedule (see page 2&3) was filled
out on each case and all tabulations were made from it.
This was in no way a "sample study" as ail cases in the
age classification were examined.
Age and Race. As is to be expected in a group of this
kind, we find the smallest number of boys in age 16 and
increasing numbers up to age 19, the largest group.
There were 140 boys age 16j 177 age 17j 338 age 18j and
363 age 19. Age 20 was about the same as 19 with 359,
and 21 was considerably less with only 264. The large
increase in the 18, 19, and 20 year age groups was principally due to the large numbers of whdte transient boys
applying in 1932 and 1933. Table I. gives these figures
and also the percent in each age group.
TABLE I.
BOYS STUDIED, BY AGS AND RACE

Age
All
Age
.:!
..
"
"
"
"

Ages
16
17.
18
19
20
21

Totals
Number !
Percent
1,641
}
100
8.5
140
|
177... S
20.5
338
1
22
363
{
22
359
S
16
264
S

Race
White j Negro
862 !
779
90 j
50
117 1
60
207 |
131
198 j
165
174 |
185
76 1
188

% of the entire group were Negroes. Both the
number and the percent of Negroes was smallest in the
lower age groups, 50, or 16/£, in the 16 year level, and
increased as the age increased, the largest being 188,
or 71$,of the 21 year group. White boys, on the other
hand, were lowest in the 16 and 21 year groups, 90 and
76 respectively, and highest in the 18 year group, 207,
principally due to the large number of applications from
white transient boys. Table I. gives these figures in




5.
detail. Other points-, regarding race and age are brought
out in later topical sections, but all the figures show
that Negro boys applied for relief out of all proportion
to their numbers in the total population of the city.
Month of Application. While the study theoretically
covers the entire period from 1925 to August, 1933, it
actually covers only the 32 month period of 1931, 1932,
and the first 8 months of 1933 as only 7 of the 1,247
cases (*) had an application date prior to 1931. 1932
was the heavy year in applications, 760 or 61$, of the
boys applying during that year. This was an average of
more than 63 per month. Seven-tenths of them were
Negroes and three-tenths white. Only 105, or 8^fot an
average of less than 9 per month, applied in 1931, and
375, 30$, or an average of 47 per month, during the 8
months of 1933. These proportions were approximately
the same in those cases held for intensive review as
in those discarded.
A review of the figures as divided by race and
month brings out the interesting fact that 536, or 78$,
of the Negro boys applied during 1932. 58 applied in
1931 and 97 in 1933. The largest number in any month
was 106 in August, 1932. 1933, on the other hand, was
predominantly white, again because of the large number
of white transients applying. 278 of the 375 applying
in 1933, or 74$, were white boys. The largest number
of white boys in any one month was 75 in June of 1933;
other large months were 56 in May, and 59 in July of
the same year. Chart I. portrays these various figures
graphically.
(*) Through error, information regarding the month of
first application was not tabulated on 394 of the 1,428
cases not held for intensive study, so that this section
deals with a total of 1,247 cases instead of the complete total of 1,$41.




6.

Records Not Studied* When the entire group of records
was examined, we found that only 213, or 13$, of them
were suitable for intensive study. The other 87$, numbering 1,428 cases, were discarded for various reasons.
758, or 53$ of them, could not be used in this study of
resident non-family boys because they were records on
transients> 315, or 22$, could not be used because information in them was not sufficiently complete to enable them to be studiedj 159, or 11$, contained information that upon investigation had been found to be




7.
1

TABIiE I I .

i

RECORDS NOT STUDIED. BY REASON AND RACE
All Races
Reason Not Studied

f

White

By Race
Negro

t Negro

Information
Information

100

764

664

46.5

758

i

(Fictitious

\

1.428

All Reasons
i
j Transiency
!Insufficient

No.

53

639

119

16

315

22

55

260

83

159

11

15

144

91

138

10

42

96

70

56

4

13

45

80

1

jLiving with P a r e n t s or Wife
i

JNo r e l i e f Needed

j




8.
fictitious; 10$ were living with parents or a wife and
were not typically non-family boys; 4$ were with more
distant relatives or friends and had no real relief need,
so that only brief records were set up on them. (See
Table II.)
Examining these cases from the viewpoint of race
(Table II.) we find that while 46.5$ of the group were
Negroes, only 16$ of the transient boys were of that race.
The percent of Negroes in the other four classifications
varied from 70$ for thoge living with parents to 91$ of
those giving fictitious information at time of application. The "Insufficient Information" group was 83$
Negro and the "No Relief Needed" group was 80$ Negro.
Table III., which analyses "allthe discarded cases
by reason for discard and by age, also brings out some
interesting facts. Approximately half of the transients
were concentrated in the ages 18 and 19 and the other
half were about equally divided between those younger
and older. The other four groupsj those that were predominantly Negroes, show a steady increase each year up
to age 21, age 16 being the lowest and age 21 the highest.
Transiency. 46$ of all the boys included in the study
were not residents of St. Louis (Table IV.). Dividing
them by race, we find that 74$ of the white boys included were transients and only 15$ of the Negro boys.
Dividing them by age we find a decreasing percentage of
transiency as the age increases; 63$ of the 16 year old
boys were transients and only 21$ of the 21 year old
boys. The other age groups ranged between these two extremes. These figures indicate again that transiency
was primarily a problem of young boys and of white persons.




9.
TABLE III.
RECORDS NOT STUDIED. BY REASON AND BY AGE

All
Aees

Rv Aee Rrouns
18 i 19

20

16

17

1.428

130

155

292

314

302

235

Transiency

758

88

103

185

186

140

55

Insufficient Information

315

8

29

49

60

78

91

159

7

10

21

34

43

44

138

21

8

24

22

26

28

56

4

5

9

11

14

15

Reason Not Studied
All Reasons

, ,

Fictitious Information
Living with Par. or Wife
No Relief Needed




1

21 "•

10.
TABLE- IV.
AN. ANALYSIS;OF ALL CASES BY RESIDENCE . RACE. AND AGE
Item

£ Trans.

Total

Residents

Transients

1.641

883

758

46

By Race - White

862

223

639

74

Negro

779

660

119

15

16
17
18
19
20
21

140
177
33B
363
359
264

52
74
153
177
219
209

88

63
58
55
51
39
21

All Cases

By Age




JS03

185
186
140
55

11.
PART II.
A DETAILED STUDY OF A SMALLER GROUP
213 of the 1,641 records included in the study concerned resident boys and also contained sufficient information to enable us to carry out a detailed study of
the circumstances surrounding each one. A schedule, (See
pages 2&3) was made out for each case and the information
tabulated from the schedules. This section of the study
is a report on those tabulations.
Why Is a Non-Family Boy?
Our principal purpose in making the study was to obtain an answer to this question.
Why is a non-family boy? Because both parents.are dead?
Yes. Because of a broken home? Yes. Because he ran
away? Yes.— and the same answer to many other similar
questions. But the real answer is that there is no
simple explanation for the non-family condition. There
arc almost as many explanations as there are boys, although we are able to place them in certain groups. (See
Table V.)
For example, 45 of the 213 boys were orphans, but
only 18 of these were absolutely alone in the world. The
other 27 had close relatives, but either could not or
would not live with them. 19 could got no aid from relatives because of economic reasons; 6 had relatives who
rofused to have anything to do with the boy; and 2 boys
refused to have anything to do with relatives. (Lines
2 - 5 , Table V.)
45 boys were "non-family" because of incompatibility
with parents or step-parents, but this group also shows
a variety of conditioning circumstances. 18 of them had
one parent dead and could not get along with the remaining one, generally the father. 12 left home because of
friction with a step-parent, and 5 left because of
friction with natural parents. 10 boys, on the other




12.
TABLE V.
WHY NON-FAMILY BOYS ARE NON-FAMILY
Numb er of Cases
Cause
Total White Negro
All Causes
213
98
115
l.Left home to work in city
4
30
26
2.Orphan-no locateable relatives ; 18
3
15
3. "
-relatives cannot help
19
4
15
4. "
-relatives refuse help
6
3
3
5. "
-boy refuses to live with
relatives
2
2
0
6.1 par. dead,incompatible with
!
other
18
12
6
| 7.Incompatible with step-par.
12
12
0
j 8.Incompatible with both par.
5
4
1
• 9.Boy put out of home
10
9
1
llO.Par. sep.-no relatives can help
13
4
9
jll.Par. sep.-physically imp. to he lp 5
3
2
•12.Father deserted, mother dead
18
5
13
(13.Father des.-mother left city
7
2
5
il4.Father des.-mother immoral
3
2
1
(15.1 par-, dead-other in hospital
6
4
2
J16.1 par. dead-other in prison
2
1
1
117.1 par. dead-other with relative 3
5
1
4
Jl8.Removed from fam. by social ageiicy 4
3
1
jl9.Left city on trip-par. moved
3
1
2
|20.Parents left city
2
2
0
'21.Married - sep. economic reasons
3
2
1
22.With father on relief
22
15
7




13.
hand, were put out of the home by their parent or parents. The distinction between this group and the other
three is that in this one the fault seemed to lie with
the boy rather than the parent. (Lines 6 - 9,TableVi)
The largest single group was composed of 30 boys
(Line 1, Table V.) who came to the city, leaving parents
and family in some other city or town, to find work.
26 of this group were Negroes and 4 were white boys.
Most of them came to St. Louis in 1928 or 1929 when jobs
were plentiful, but now found themselves out of work and
in need of relief. They were, of course, residents of
St. Louis.
18 boys were in the "non-family" class because of
the separation of their parents. In 13 cases, there
were no relatives, either parents or others, in a position to be of any assistance to the boys and in the
other 5 cases it was physically impossible for a parent
to take the boy in, generally because of work which included room and board as part of the pay and which 4t
seemed inadvisable to drop in order to have the boy with
the parent. In several of these cases the present whereabouts of one or both parents were unknown. (Lines 10
and 11, Table V.)
In 28 cases the home was originally broken by the
desertion of the father and later happenings to the
mother completed the boy's non-family status. In 18 of
these cases, this later happening was the death of the
mother, in 7 it was the departure of the mother from
the city (which may or may not have happened immediately
prior to the application for relief) and in 3 it was
immorality of the mother which caused the final break
between mother and son. (Lines 12 - 14, Table V.)
Another group, 13 boys, came to the Bureau because
of the death of one parent and a later happening to the




14.
remaining one which completed the break-up of the family.
(Lines 15 - 17, Table V.) Quite often this later breakup was only a temporary one, as, for example, the 6 boys
who had no home because the remaining parent was in the
hospital. In 2 cases the other parent had been sent to
prison*, curiously enough, it was the mother in both
cases. In 5 cases the parent was living with relatives
who found it physically impossible to accommodate the
boy as well.
There were several other smaller groups which did
not come under any of the above classifications. (Lines
18 - 22,Table V.) 4 boys - 3 white and 1 Negro - were
removed from the home by a social agency for the welfare
of the boy. This was generally done by the Juvenile
Court and in every case happened several years prior to
the time of application to the Bureau. 3 boys left the
city on a "bumming trip" through the country and found
on their return several months later that their family
had moved and could not be located. In 2 cases the
parents moved from the city and left the boy behind.
Later, unemployment made it necessary for him to apply
for relief. 3 boys were married, but separated for
economic reasons. The last group of 22 boys were
actually not "non-family" boys as they were still living with \heir fathers, but were under care at the
Bureau, the non-family agency, because of a local relief
policy which classed all "family groups" composed entirely of adult males as non-family men.
Grouping the various causes as given in Table V.
into broader classifications, we are able to make the
following general "cause table" for the six largest
classifications.




15.
Totals
Cause
All Causes
Orphans
Incompatibility
Left home to work
Desertion
Separationoof parents
Death of one parent

By Race
White
Negro

No.
213

100

98

115

45
45
30
28
18
13

21
21
14
13
8
6

12
37
4
9
7
6

33
8
26
19
11
7

i

Thus 83/£, or more than four-fifths of the boys,
were non-family from some variation of one of these
six general causes.
A comparison of items in Table V. and the above
table by race brings out at least one curious, but not
surprising, point. Almost half (47 of 98) of the white
boys are separated from parents or close relatives
because of incompatibility or emotional conflict of
various degrees, but only one-tenth of the Negro boys
are separated for these reasons. The predominating
factor with Negro boys seems to be economic; for
example, 26 of them left home to better their economic
condition in the city and 28 had relatives who were
willing, but financially unable to assist them.
Relatives. In connection with the discussion of why
boys are "non-family" and of the closeness of their
social ties with relatives, it is interesting to note
the number of boys who have relatives of varying
degrees of relationship and especially those who have
close relatives living in the city. Figures regarding
relatives are given in Table VI.
48 of the 213 boys, or almost one-fourth, were
orphans, the proportion being much higher among the
Negro than among the white boys. 68, or 32$, had both




16.
TABLE VI.
RELATIVES OF NON-FAMILY BOYS BY RACE
All Boys
"Wo.

Rac e
White

Relatives & Location
All Cases

213

100

98

Parents, both dead
"
both living
"
1 living

48
68
97

23
32
45

13
32
53

Father, dead
w
in city
"
Out of city

85
74
54

40
35
25

33
46
19

Mother, dead
"
in city
H
out of city

i 108
J 46
i 59

50
22
28

46
34
18

4
2

2
1

1st degree rel., in city
85
out of cittf 49
(1)

40
23

56
18

2nd degree rel., in city
89
"
out of citj 46

42
26

34
25

Any relatives in city?

81
19
14

85
13
11

Wife,
"

in city
out of city

Yes
No
If Not, any out of city?

No relatives at all

172
41
29

12

(1) Refers to brothers and sisters only
(2) Includes grandparents, uncles, and aunts




17.
parents living and 97, or 45$, had one parent living.
In 85 cases, the father was deadj in 74 he was living
in the city5 and in 54 he was living out of the city.
In 108 cases the mother was dead* in 46 she was living
in the cityj and in 59 she was living outside of the
city. In many cases, although one or both parents were
known to be living in St. Louis, their exact addresses
were unknown. These figures do, however, show the degree
to which family ties had been broken. This was true to
a greater extent with the white boys than with the
Negroes. 6 boys, all Negroes, were married but separated
from their wives. In 4 cases the wife was in St. Louis.
85 boys, two-fifths of the entire group, had first
degree relatives (brother and sister) living in the city
and 49, or 23$, had first degree relatives outside of
St. Louis. The figures on second degree relatives, including only grandparents, uncles, and aunt, were 89 in
St. Louis and 46 outside. 172, or 81$, had relatives
living in the city and of the remaining 41 who had no
close relatives in the city, 29 had some living outside,
so that only 12 of the 213 boys had no close relatives
at all. 10 of these 12 were Negroes and 2 were white
boys. These figures illustrate again our previous point
that actual "non-family" boys are few and far between
and that most of them are "non-family" because of social
or emotional conflicts of various kinds.
Sources of Support. Table Vll., dealing with sources of
support for the boys from birth to time of first application, also throws some interesting light on their
social and economic ties with relatives.




18.
TABLE VII.
SOURCES OF SUPPORT BY RACE

ill

Source
Sources

'arents
Jncles or aunts
Triends
Orphanage or agencies
Brothers or sisters
Grandparents
bousins

All
Boys

Wiite

Race
Negro

213

98

115

213
45
31
27
19
15
10

98
17
11
20
7
5
2

115
28
20
7
12
10
8

All boys at some time during their life were supported by one or both parents. The next largest groups
were 45 of the 213 cared for by Uncles or Aunts, and 31
by Friends. 27 were supported at some period by an
Orphanage or a Child-Caring Agency, 19 by Brothers or
Sisters, 15 by Grandparents, and 10 by Cousins or more
distant relatives. The relative importance of these
various sources was about the sane fpr both Negro and
white boys, except the support from Orphanages and
Children*s Agencies * 20 of the 27 in this group were
white boys. Less than two-thirds of the 213 boys included in the study received support from any source
other than parents at any time prior to application for
relief.
Problems Presented. The prevalence of these same
problems is further emphasized by Table VIII., with the
number of cases in which certain problems, as listed on
the statistical card form of the Russell Sage Foundation,
appeared. The most "popular" problems, omitting unemployment, which appeared in 208 of the 213 cases, were




19.
TABLE VIII.

PROBLEMS PRESENTED BY BOYS*
Mo. of Cases
]
Description
total finite Negro

No.
Total Cases
98
213
115
113
95
! 208
1. Unemployment
2
3. Seasonal employment
2
8. Tuberculosis
5
2
3
11. Cardiac
1
12. Syphilis
i
4
3
1
13. Gonorrhea
11
19
8
18. Malnutrition
1
!
l
2
20. Other chronic illness
1
1
5
21.
"
acute
"
3
2
i
22. Need of dental care
1
l
23. Need of optical care
3
4
1
24. Blindness or sight impaired
1
3
1
25. Paralyzed or crippled
2
2
27. Other physical disability
5
3
8
30. Psychosis
2
2
33. Mental disorder suspected
1
1
34.
"
def. diagnosed
1
3
4
35.
"
"
suspected
2
1 2
36. Alcoholism
2
1
3
38. Irreg. sex relationships
7
2
9
39. Personality problem
29
17
46
41. Att. producing conflict in fam.
32
25
7
44. Orphan
48
13
35
45. Inadequate parental care
97
56
41
51. Juvenile delinquency
28
18
10
6 !
53. Imprisonment
1
5
55. Conflict with community
38 I
22
16
64 ! 45
56. Unfriendliness of relatives
19
57. Begging tendency
8
4
12.1
58. Irregular school attendance
5 !
2
3
3i
60. Inability to read or write
1
2
63. Need for vocational adjustment
3 !
2
1
64. Bad housing
4 j
2
2
66. Chronic drifter
23 ! 16
7
70. Enuresis
3 !
3
2i
1
.
71. Masturbation
1
* Problems taken from Russell Sage Statitstical C ard



i

I 1

i

i

*

1

20.
"Inadequate parental care" in 97 casesj "Unfriendliness
of relatives" in 64 cases and "personality or behavior
problems" in 46 cases. Others not quite so popular were
(No.55) "attitude producing conflict with the community"
appearing 38 timesj "juvenile delinquency" (no.51) 28
times, "chronic drifter" (no. 66) 23 times, and "begging
tendency" (no. 57) 12 times. 9 boys were psychotic or
had mental disorder or defectiveness diagnosed or suspected j 19 had gonorrhea and 4 syphilis* 5 had tuberculosis j and 10 were crippled or physically disabled. In
all, 36 different problems were noted, averaging 3 l/3
problems per case.
Employment.
46 of the 213 boys covered in this study
had never worked prior to their application for relief.
The proportion of white boys who had never worked was
slightly higher than that for Negro boys. Of the 164
boys who had worked, 76 had generally had steady work*
55 had only intermittent jobsj and 33 had worked only at
odd jobs. The proportion of white boys on steady work
was also much higher than that for Negroes.
Only 8 boys of the 164 had worked at clerical work.
7 of these were white and the other was a Negro. 17,
13 white and 4 Negroes, had skilled jobs, and the other
139 had worked only at laboring or unskilled types of
work. A review of the jobs held, in connection with the
ahove figures, shows that employment had always been a
"catch-as-catch-can" proposition, taking any job that was
available. In no case in either the skilled or clerical
groups did we find where a boy had held two jobs of the
same general type in similar industries.
Most of the boys began work when 15, 16, and 17
years of age, 105 of the 164 boys starting during this
three year period. 19 boys started work at age 14 and
11 when less than 14 years old. The youngest were a




21.
TABLE IX.
PREVAILING TYPE OF WORK AND AGE BEGAN WORK BY RACE

All
Boys

Types of Work

By R ace
Negro
White

213

98

115

49

25

24

164

73

91

Steady

76

46

30

Intermittent

55

ie

37

Odd jobs

33

9

24

Clerical

8

7

1

17

13

4

139

53

86

11

4

7

14

19

9

10

15

30

13

17

16

37

17

20

17

38

18

20

18 & ov<3r 21

9

12

8

3

5

All Cases
A.

Never worked
All types

B.

C

Skilled
Unskilled
D.

Age bogan - Under 14




Not given

22.
white boy who started selling newspapers when 12 years
old, and a Negro boy who started as helper in a grocery
store when 11. 21 boys were 18 or older when thoy found
their first employment. These figures are given in
Table IX.
Age. Table X. shows the ages of the boys included in
this study. The peak age for these resident boys is 20
as compared to 19 in the total group of 1,600 cases.
This is largely because the transient boys, who wore included in the larger group, are younger than resident
boys at time of application. The average age of the
Negro boys was 19^- and of the white boys 18 2/3.

TABLE X.
AGE AT T H E OF APPLICATION BY RACE

AEG
All Ages

16
17
18
19
20
21

All
Boys

213
10
22
46
49
57
29

Race
White Negro

98
9
11
24
23
22
9

115
1
11
22
26
35
20

It is interesting to note the circumstances of the
10 boys who applied for relief when only 16 years of age.
The following summary shows this for each cases1. Mother dead. With father and older brother
on relief. Has worked for 1 year and held 3
jobs.




23.
2. Mother dead. Father deserted. With older
brother on relief.
3. With father on relief. Mother in sanitarium diagnosis, paranoid-praecox. Has never worked.
4* Orphan. Lived with an aunt for last 5 years
and 2 orphanages prior to that. Aunt cannot continue to keep him. Has worked for 1 year and
held 3 jobs*
5. Mother dead* Father chronic alcoholic and
takes no interest in the boy. Has worked for
1 year and held 2 jobs.
6. Mother dead. Boy cannot get along with
father and stepmother. Has never worked*
7* Blind boy. Left
with friends and was
for blind* Ran away
begging cm streets.

home 4 years ago to live
later sent to state school
from school and was found
Had never worked*

8* Parents separated several tines. With
father on relief* Had never worked*
9* Mother dead. Father deserted* All relatives
refused to help in any way* Classed as an "incorrigibl*rtboy. An older brother in same circumstances and also receiving relief. Had never
worked.
10. Negro boy. Father dead and boy came to
agency when mother was sent to tuberculosis
Sanatorium. Has never worked*
Only 3 of these 10 boys had ever worked and none
of those 3 had held steady jobs. 4 of them were on
relief with father or older brother, 1 was an orphan,




24.
1 had one parent dead, and the other in a sanitarium,
3 were non-family because of incompatibility with relatives and the other was the blind boy who had run away
from school. These 10 cases show how difficult it is
to classify "non-family" boys.
Schooling. Table Xi. gives information regarding the
schooling of the boys. It shows that 102 of the 213
finished the 8th grade, 49 of them being white boys and
53 Negroes, and that 10, 2 v/hite and 8 Negroes, finished
high school. The average grade completed for the Negro
boys was 7.1 and for the white boys 7.5. 5 boys, 4
Negroes and 1 white, were still attending school at time
of application.
TABLE XI.
SCHOOL GRADE COMPLETED BY RACE

Grade Completed
All Grades
None
1 to 4
5 to 8
9 to 12
College
Not known

All
Boys
213.
2
17
136
44
3
11

White

Negro

98

115

0
4
68
18
2
6

2
13
68
26
1
5

According to this table, only 47, or 22$, of these
boys have gone beyond the eighth grade. FERA statistical reports regarding Youth on Relief* estimate that
41$ of the urban males, age 16 to 24, have gone beyond
the eighth grade. This would seem to indicate that
broken homes, family discord, and unsettled family conditions make it necessary for non-family boys to leave
*FERA Research Bulletin, Series I, No. 16., Jan. 6, 1936




25.
school earlier than is true of the general run of youth
on relief.
Transiency. The records of only 33 of the 213 boys showed
any history of transiency prior to application. Many of
these had only made one trip and only 23, 16 white and 7
Negroes, were classed as chronic drifters (see "Problems
Presented"). None of them had ever been returned to St. Louis
by a social agency. It should be remembered, however, that
this study antedates the formation of the Federal Transient
Bureau.
Referrals by a Children's Agency. Only 6 boys were actually
referred to the Bureau by a children's agency although 20
boys had received support from such an agency prior to application (see "Sources of Support"). All 6 of these were white
boys. 2 were referred by a public agency and 4 by a private.
Living Arrangements. Approximately half of the boys were
living with a family, although not a part of it, at the time
of application and one-third were living in rooming houses.
15$ had no home at all, although this condition had generally
lasted for only a few days. 4 were living in a flop house
and 3 were in foster homes. These figures are given in
Table XII.
TABLE XII.
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS AT TIME OF APPLICATION

Arrangement
All types
With a family
Rooming house
Flop house
Foster home
None
Not given




All Boys
No.
i
100
213
93
64
4
3
29
20

48.5
33
2
1.5
15
X

Race
White Negro

98

115

34
23
4
3
21
13

59
41
0
0
8
7

26.
Time on Own.
It was difficult to make an accurate count
of the length of time a boy had been "on his own" prior
to application. Many of them had been living with
friends or relatives and had received much financial
assistance, yet these friends had actually assumed little
or no responsibility for the boys welfare. We finally
decided that if the boy was wholly or principally selfsupporting and was assuming the responsibility for his
own planning, then he was "on his ovm."
102 of the boys had never been dependent upon their
own resources and 16 had been for only 1 or 2 months
prior to application. On the other hand, 66 had been
"on their own" for 2 years or more. These figures, and
others in Table XIII. show that some of these boys were
quite self-reliant, a fact which is more true of the
Negro than of the white boys.

TABLE

TIME ON OWN RESOURCES
Length of Period
All periods
None
1 - 2 months
3-4
5-6
"
1 year
2 years
3 years
More than 3 years
Not given




I

XIII.

1

BY RACE

All
Boys

213
102
16
5
4
9
17
12
37
11

Race
White Negro

98
50
7
5
2
6
9
1
11
7

115
52
9
0
2
3
8
11
26
4

27.
Childhood Environment. It would bo assumed that, since
this study deals only with resident boys, the predominating environment during their childhood would be urbe.n,
but this is not by any means the case. Only 61$ of the
boys had an urban onvironmont during the formative yoars
of their life. 31$ grew up in small towns and 8$ in
rural territory. (See Table XIV.)

TABLE

XIV.

CHILDHOOD ENVIRONMENT OF BOYS
All Boys
Environment
All cases
Urban
Small town
Rural

No.
213 i 100
130 i 61
67
31
16
8

BY RACE

White

a

Nogro

No. i T
No.
98 100 115 100
69
24
5

70
25
5

61
43
11

53
37
10

The white group had a higher percent urban, 70$,
and were correspondiiTg lower from small town and rural
territory, 25$ and 5$, respectively. The Negro group
were slightly over half, 53$, urban, 3$ small town,
and 10$ rural.
Length of time in St. Louis. The comparatively small
percentage of boys with an urban background is explained
by the figures in Table XV., which shew that only 30$
of the boys had spent their life in St. Louis and only
4$ had been in the city more than 10 years.




28.
TABLE

XV.

LENGTH OF TIME IN ST . LOUIS
>
i

AH

Boys

BY RACE

White

Yrs. in City| No. Cum.yJ i No. ! Cum./£
All cases
213 100 ! 98 | 100
Life
63
43 ! 44
30
11 or more
34
43
13 ! 57
9-10
20
55
10 ! 67
7-8
16
62
6 i 73
5-6
20
72
8 ! 82
3-4
34
88
7 ! 89
|2 or less
23
99
8 i 97
iNot given
3 1 100 i
3 100

Ne^ro
No. Cum./.
115 100
17
20
21
36
10
44
10
53
12
63
27
87
15 100
0
o

of the white boys were native St.Louisans and
57$ had been hero more than 10 years. The figures for
the Negro group wore far below the average, only 17$
having been here for life and 36$ for 10 years or more.
13$ of the Negroes and 8$ of the white boys had been
here less than 3 years. Of the 95 Negroes who are not
native St. Louisans, 44, or almost half, came to the
city in the four year period from 1927 to 1930. (see
Chart II.) 8 came in 1927, 12 in 1928, 14 in 1929 and
10 in 1930. Most of these boys came alone to find work
in the city, leaving their parents and family in the
rural district. 37 arrived before 1925, most of them
in the immediate post-war period, coming with parents
or relatives. The white group show no such decided
trends. The largest number in any one year was 6 in
1925, while 5 each in 1928 and 1930. 24 arrived prior
to 1925.




29.

CHART II.

Number
of Boys

YEAR OF ARRIVAL IN CITY
BY RACE
(1925 - 1932)

10
WHITE
5 ~..f
:
l

0
15

!•>!

i

10

i
Year




»l

i
I**

I

X'25 «26 '27 '28 '29

NEGRO

w

a
m A„M
'30 '31 '32

30.
Table XVI. gives still more information regarding
those boys who have come to the city in recent years.
Of the 49 white boys not born in St. Louis, 23 came here
from out-state Missouri, 12 from Illinois and 14 from
other states. The heavy immigration from Missouri was
before 1925, only 8 having arrived since then. The same
thing holds true of the other states as well. The heavy
state in the Negro immigration was Mississippi, 28 of the
95 coming from there. The next highest were Arkansas
with 22, and Missouri and Tennessee with 11 each.
Illinois sent 7 and Alabama 4, with 12 coming from
various other states. 16 of these 28 from Mississippi
came in the 6 year period from 1926 to 1931, and 15 of
the 22 from Arkansas between 1927 and 1932. 4 of the
Missouri's 11 arrived in 1928.
TABLE XVI.
STATES OF ORIGIN OF BOY IMMIGRANTS BY RACE

All
States of Origin
All states
Missouri - St. Louis
Out-state
Illinois
Arkansas
Mississippi
Tennessee
Others

Boys

213
63
34
19
25
29
11
32

Race
White
Negro

98
43
23
12
3
1
0
16

115
'20
11
7
22
28
.11
16

Tenure of Cases. All information discussed in previous
sections has concerned conditions at time of, or prior
to, application. We made no attempt to evaluate the
agency's work or to account for any later changes in
circumstances. The case records were, of course, read
during the progress of the study, but this reading was




31.
wholly for the purpose of determining the accuracy of
the information given at the time of application. The
only section of the schedule referring to information
or happenings subsequent to application was the one
calling for opening and closing dates of case records,
and the reason for closing.

TABLE XVII.
NUMBER AND LENGTH OF TIME UNDER CARE BY RACE
'

Total

| A. No. of months*
i
Total cases

1
!

3

1

1
1

4

5

6

i
|

7-9
10-12
13-18
|
19-24
;
25 or more
B. No. of times op ened

One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Total
Average
* First time only

Negro

98
11
24
13
9
7
5
7
14
5
3
0

115

166
37
7

1
2

!

White

213
29
35
18
22
17
16
30
25
15
4
2

78
17
1
1
1
124

88
20
6
1
0
150

2

'

1
274
1.29
—

1.26
i

18

j

11 1
5 i
13

i

io

;

ii
23
ii

!
i
!

10
1
2

1.30
,

Information tabulated from this section of the
schedule shows that contacts with the boys were generally of short duration (Table XVII), the average for the
white boys being 6 months, and for the Negro boys 6.6




32.
months. Almost half, 104 of the 213 cases, were under
care for 4 months or less, and only 21 for more than
one year. These figures refer to the first period of
care only, later periods were generally for a still
shorter time.
47 cases were opened 2 or more times, the average
number of times for all cases being 1.29. The average
for white boys was .1.26 and for Negro boys 1.30. 7
cases, 1 white and 6 Negro, were opened three times, 2
four times, and 1 five times. These figures indicate
that Negro boys, by a slight margin, applied for relief
oftener and stayed on relief for a longer time.
Reason for Closing. The reasons for closing the cases
throw some interesting sidelights on the results obtained. (Table XVIII) 116 of the 274 were closed because contact with the boy was lost. The next largest
group was 42 for whom employment was secured. Relatives
assumed responsibility for the boy in 59 cases but in
24 the relatives were receiving relief from a family
agency. 14 were dropped from the rolls during the two
financial crises in February and July, 1932, while 13
were sent to CCC Camps, 5 were in jail, and 4 were sent
to school on scholarships. The most promising part of
the report is that 59 boys were reunited with relatives
and that 42 were self-supporting through employment.
These two reasons account for almost two-fifths of the
closings.




33.
TABLE

XVIII.

REASONS FOR CLOSING CASES
Reasons
All reasons
Lost contact
Employment secured
Relatives assumed responsibility
Relatives (on relief) assumed responsibility
Further relief refused (no funds)
Sent to CCC
In jail
Sent to school
Further relief refused (case work reasons)
Joined army or navy
Placed in working home
Boy refused employment
In hospital
Referred to Juvenile Court
Not given




BY RACE
Total

White

Negro

274

124

150

116
42
35
24
14
13
5
4
3
3
2
2
2
1
8

48
24
16
8
0
9
2
2
1
2
2
0
2
1
7

68
18
19
16
14
4
3
2
2
1
0
2
0
0
1




35.
PAR?
A SUMMARY

Ill
OF FINDINGS

Why Non-Family? 45 boys were orphans, 45 were separated
from their family because of incompatibility, 30 left
home to work in the city, 28 were "non-family" because
of desertion, 18 because' of separation of parents, 13
because of the death of one parent, and the other 39
for various other reasons. (See page 12)
Relatives.
Only 12 of the 213 boys had no close relatives. The others had relatives living in or out of
St. Louis, although exact addresses were often unknown.
(See page 16)
Sources of Support. Less than two-thirds of the boys
received support from any source other than parents
prior to their application for relief. (See page 18)
Problems Presented. The most prevalent problems were
"Inadequate parental care", which appeared in 97 cases,
"Unfriendliness of relatives", 64 times, "Personality
or behavior problems", 46 times, "Attitude producing
conflict with the community", 38 times, and "Juvenile
delinquency", 28 times. In all, 36 different problems
were noted, appearing at the rate of 3 l/3 for each
case. (See page 19)
Employment. 164 of the 213 hoys had worked prior to
application. 8 of these had worked at clerical jobs,
17 at '''skilled" jobs and the other 139 at laboring work*
Most boys began work when 15, 16, or 17 years of age.
(See page 21)
Age. 10 boys applied when only 16 years of age. The
largest number, 57, were age 20. The average age of
the Negro boys was 19^- and of the white 18 2/3. (See
page 22)




36.
Schooling. The average school grade completed was 7.1
for the Negro boys and 7.5 for the white boys. 5 boys
were still attending school at time of application.
(See page 24)
Transiency. The records of only 33 of the 213 boys
showed any history of transiency prior to application.
23 boys were classed as chronic transients. These 213
boys were all residents of St. Louis, however. 46$ of
the entire group of 1,641 cases studied were not used
for intensive study because the boys were not residents
of St. louis. (See pages 8 and 25)
Childhood Environment. Only 61$ of the boys had an
urban environment during the formative years of their
life. 31$ grew up in small towns and 8$ in rural territory. (See page 27)
Length of time in St. Louis. Only 30$ of the 213 boys
had spent their entire life in St. Louis and only 43$
had lived in the city more than 10 years. 44$ of the
white boys were native St. Louisans and 17$ of the Negro
boys. The heavy years of Negro immigration to the city
were 1928, 1929, and 1930. There was no outstanding
year of white immigration. (See pages 27 and 28)
Tenure of Cases. White boys were under care for an
average of 6 months and Negro boys 6.6 months, immediately following application. Cases on white boys
were opened an average of 1.26 times and on Negro boys
1.30 times. Negro boys, by a slight margin, applied
for relief oftener and stayed on relief for a longer
time, (see page 30 and 31)