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Bulletin No. 190


A Handbook on Standards







Recreation and Housing for
Women War Workers
A Handbook on Standards






of the

Women’s Bureau, No.



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.

Price 10 cents







Letter of transmittal
Part I.-—Women war workers and their needs------------------------------------1
Emergency needs---------------------------------------------------------------------1
Special needs of women------------------------------------------------------------2
Varied needs of women
Need for standards______________________________________ _____
Summary of recommendations-------------------------5
Part II.—Standards and policies for a recreation program------------------11
The Program—■
Should he based on community conditions—:
Should be adapted to women’s particular interests_____________
Should comprise varied activities----------------------------------------------- 13
Should have modern philosophical and educational approaches___
Should take into account employment conditions----------------------14
Should be conducted apart from workplaces----------------------------15
Should be on a community basis
Should be conducted by qualified personnel----------------------------16
As related to a recreation center _____
As sponsored by available agencies---------------------------------------18
Part III.—Standards and policies for a housing program----------------------21
A place to live—
In relation to types of housing and general standards-----------------22
Available through room-registration service----------------------------23
In converted buildings or dwellings---------------------------------------25
As related to multiple dwellings—.----------------------------------------25
In low-cost dormitories with adequate standards_______________
In low-cost family dwellings------------------------------------------------27
And agencies responsible------------------------------------------27
Part IV.—Otherj welfare problems and suggested solutions------------------29
Questions of—
Information and social welfare---------------------------------------------29
Health and medical care-----------------------------------------------------30
Child care for working mothers
Part V.—Procedures to effect satisfactory programs—I--------------------- .—


A. Selected list of references_________________ ____________ _________
B. Code of ethics for volunteers—--------------------------------------------------C. V. W. O. A. room-registry schedule-------------------- ---------------------------hi




Letter of Transmittal
United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

~Washing ton, March 4, 191$.
have the honor to transmit for publication a handbook
on standards, policies, and procedures for the setting up and main­
taining of adequate living facilities for women workers on war pro­
duction. The purpose of the handbook is to serve as a guide to or­
ganizations concerned with the carrying out of this essential program,
particularly as applied to women’s housing and recreation. The
material has been assembled and the report has been written by
Mary V. Robinson, chief of the Division of Public Information.
These persons, prominently identified with tlie same or related
activities, have given helpful cooperation in the preparation of the
material and I extend to them my thanks: Miss Genevieve Lowry
and Miss Helen Crawley, Young Women’s Christian Association—
United Service Organizations; Miss Anne Hooley and Miss Helen
Potter, National Catholic Community Service—United Service Or­
ganizations; Miss Margaret Creech, National Travelers Aid Asso­
ciation—United Service Organizations; Miss Mary E. Switzer, Office
of the Administrator, and Mr. Mark McCloskey and Miss Helen
Rowe, Recreation Section, of the Office of Defense Health and Wel­
fare Services—Federal Security Agency; Mr. G. Ott Romney, Recrea­
tion Section, Work Projects Administration—Federal Works Agency;
Miss Irene Dickson, Strong Residence—Washington Young Women’s
Christian Association; Mrs. Helen Duey Hoffman—Washington
Housing Association.
Respectfully submitted.
Mary Anderson, Director.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.
Madam : I






Emergency Needs.
The present National emergency has necessitated a rapid remodeling of our regular economy into an abnormal set-up. Such develop­
ment is essential for the National program of defense and war. This
has had significant effects in the form of both benefits and hardships
to the Nation’s workers. Many workers are finding employment for
the first time in years. Others are getting better jobs with higher
pay. But all along the line large numbers of employees are having
to cope, outside their places of work, with difficult circumstances
which are beyond their control and to which it is hard to adjust unless the community shares the responsibility for making available
the essential facilities. Thus the emergency has necessitated for
large numbers of people not only different employment but different
living conditions.
Women as well as men in the labor force have become involved in
these unusual trends. Women as well as men are faced with diffi­
cult problems, concerned with living and leisure and arising out of
their jobs or employment in areas with defense impacts. During the
year and a half that the country was speeding up its defense production these problems were serious, but now that the Nation has been
drawn into the war, and into what authorities agree will be a long
hard war, these problems have become exceedingly acute. The situa­
tion for women promises to become even more complicated as the
result of war, with its need for more and more men for military
purposes and for more and more fighting equipment, since women
must constitute a larger and even more important part of the country’s labor supply in a steadily increasing program of production.
The rapid growth of plants to handle large war contracts—vast
new industrial developments in small-town or rural areas—shifting
and migration of workers occupationally and geographically—diffi­
culties to individuals through a suddenly congested population in
innumerable localities with inadequate facilities—greatly speeded-up
production programs, with night-shifts and overtime—rising costs of
living that cancel the higher wages now received by many men and
women—demand for more and more workers on war production and
fewer on manufacture of goods for civilian use—these are some of
the trends that make up the country’s current economic and social
patterns, these are the problems that necessitate the planning of new
programs to meet the needs of men and women workers in many



Special Needs of Women.
Efforts are being made by many forces and agencies to help to solve
the difficult questions pertaining to the workers’ life and living out­
side their hours of labor. In all such plans and programs special
attention must be given to the needs of women wage earners.
The Women’s Bureau, charged with the responsibility of promoting
the welfare of women as gainful workers at each turn of the economic
cycle, today not only is advocating the maintenance of good stand­
ards in their places of employment, but is vitally concerned with the
building up and safeguarding of satisfactory living standards for
women in communities with defense impacts. For example, the
Bureau stresses particularly the importance of adequate housing and
wholesome recreation for women and girls, many of whom are at
work away from home and family for the first time.
There is always the grave possibility that in a crisis like the present
the supreme elfort to turn out war equipment with phenomenal speed
may divert attention from these matters. However, in a time of
stress and strain comfortable living arrangements and the right kinds
of recreation become doubly urgent. They are essential safety valves
for fatigued bodies and frayed nerves. They help to maintain health
and morale. And of equal or greater importance in the grave emer­
gency, adequate facilities to guarantee to wage-earning women a
well-rounded, healthful, normal existence are essential to production.
It has been proved beyond question that unsatisfactory working and
living conditions are direct causes of a decrease in output and an
increase in labor turn-over, neither of which can be tolerated under
the war program, and that inferior food militates against the health
of workers that is one of the greatest assets in the war effort. Satis­
factory conditions will maintain women’s morale as citizens and as
the mothers and homemakers of the Nation, and thus help to build
up our inner defenses.
Women workers have certain needs and interests somewhat different
from those of men that should be taken into account in the planning
and carrying out of the emergency community program. Thus con­
ditions acceptable to men are not necessarily adequate for women.
Also, many women are found in the low-income brackets and have at
all times striking needs for low-cost facilities for living and leisure­
time pursuits. But now when large numbers of girls and young
women have been drawn from their normal home environment into
new localities, into suddenly expanded or greatly congested areas,
the need is doubly challenging. Thus it is imperative that many
women, whether temporary or permanent residents in industrially
inflated communities, be given opportunity for the best possible social
and economic adjustments during this emergency period.
Varied Needs of Women.
Meeting the requirements for women workers along the lines of
housing, recreation, and other matters related to their health and
social welfare calls for a many-sided program.
The problems as well as the solutions vary according to the several
types of defense areas. These divide into the following main classes:
1. Large cities, which have many facilities, diversified but inadequate
because of the expanded population.



2. Smaller cities and towns where existing facilities were or still are few,
undiversified, and wholly inadequate for a suddenly increased popu­
3. Sparsely settled and hitherto undeveloped areas converted within a few
months into manufacturing centers, into which large numbers of indus­
trial workers and service employees have been brought but which are
totally devoid not only of facilities for normal living but of essential
businesses and trades.
4. The suddenly expanded or newly developed environs of military camps
and forts, which have inadequate facilities to meet not only certain
needs of the men in service but the varied needs of large numbers
of workers, particularly women, brought into the area by the mushroom
growth of service industries.

Varied also are the types of women workers requiring accommoda­
tions for living and opportunities for leisure-time pursuits. Some of
the women are employed in private factories and engaged on produc­
tion of war materials of different kinds, many on monotonous, repeti­
tive, tedious, difficult, and sometimes dangerous processes. Some
women are employees of the United States in the Navy and War De­
partments and assigned to duty at military reservations, posts, or
bases. Then there are the nurses with the armed forces and the
workers in Government arsenals. Other women are employed in
many of the congested areas as white-collar workers and in service
trades, not all on so-called defense jobs but affected nonetheless by
the emergency impacts. As many of the women are low paid and
unable to meet rising costs of living, their need of the benefits of lowcost housing projects and recreation facilities is particularly acute.
In many situations a serious hardship for women is the lack of
satisfactory or conveniently located eating facilities, even where
effort is being made to house workers. In such places also the im­
portant question of wholesome recreation may be receiving scant, if
any, attention.
Another emergency problem for a considerable number of women
is long-distance commuting, which takes its toll in wear and tear and
allows the commuters no time for relaxation or diversion.
These living and leisure-time needs of women workers vary in many
cases with such personal factors as age, marital status, race, religion
in some instances, and other requirements. The needs must be con­
sidered in relation to such working conditions as occupations, wages,
time and length of work shifts, location of the place of employment,
and transportation facilities to and from work.
Need for Standards.
With such a variety of communities and of women workers calling
for programs to be planned and shaped specifically to widely diverg­
ent situations, no single pattern can be established for all localities.
But the Women’s Bureau has formulated certain general standards
and policies, certain desirable procedures, in regard to the following

Information on community facilities, and so forth.
Health and medical care.
Special social problems.

449135°—42------ 2



Even the outlining of these general standards may prove useful as
a guide to those responsible for adapting recreation and housing pro­
grams to local conditions. The most desirable plans for the com­
munity at its peak of activity may be wholly different from the pat­
tern that must be followed to help women workers become adjusted
while developments are still in the early or incomplete stages.
In each community of the types described a survey should be made
of conditions and needs of women workers in the area. Such facts
compiled by the agency responsible for the investigation point out the
kinds of policies and procedures to be followed, that is, the remedial
measures that must be taken to bring about improvement in certain
community facilities essential to safeguard the women workers’
In a number of areas a survey has already been made by various
agencies, Federal, State, or local. Thus in any community where an
agency or other authority may feel the need of information on local
conditions, a check should be made to ascertain whether such data
have already been compiled by an agency and are available from such
For example, the Women’s Bureau has made a survey in a number
of communities, and is planning additional ones, as to the adequacy of
local facilities, of the types under consideration, to meet women’s
During the course of the survey the Bureau has consulted various
agencies and interests in the community as to possible improvements
and in its follow-up program has advised with those agencies—private
or public, Federal, State, or municipal, National or local—that are
best qualified to implement the Bureau’s recommendations.

Special effort to help women war workers solve problems pertaining
to their living arrangements and leisure-time pursuits is essential in
many communities throughout the country.
The welfare program along these lines must be adapted in a prac­
tical way to community conditions and available facilities, which vary
considerably from one type of community to another.
The program for women should be extended and improved, as com­
munity developments permit, to conform to the recommended stand­
ards and policies along broader lines.
The following outline includes general recommendations, also some
specific standards, as related to two types of communities—rural areas
and large cities. The other kinds of defense areas—small towns, camp
environs, and so forth—may share with cities or rural areas the need
for certain improvements, but also may have some additional require­
ments peculiar to their special circumstances.
I. Recreation Program.
A. General Standards and Policies:
1. The program should be adapted to women’s needs and
interests, in accordance with—•
a. Personal factors—age, marital status, race, religion, individual
preferences and requirements.
b. Employment factors—hours of work, time of work shift (with
special attention to the evening and night shifts), wages, field
of work (industrial, service trades, office work, professions),
type of occupation (sedentary, repetitive, hazardous, highly
skilled, requiring physical exertion or high degree of concen­
tration, etc.), location of workplace.
c. Variety of interests (for individual or group action)—to include
activities of the following types: Physical (indoor and out­
door) ; passive and relaxing; mental, educational, cultural;
creative and conducive to self-expression; social, with oppor­
tunities for association with men and with other local groups;
and social service.

2. The program should give full opportunity for women to
participate in planning and conducting their own ac­
tivities, to develop leadership among themselves, and
to cooperate as volunteers in service to the community
where feasible.



3. The program should be carried on away and apart from
workplaces, but agencies or forces responsible for it
should receive cooperation from local industrial man­
agements in all ways feasible.
4. Facilities should be conveniently located in relation to
homes and workplaces.
5. The program should be adapted to individual commu­
nities, become a part of any existing general community
program, utilize existing facilities and resources; and
aim through provision of wholesome activities to elim­
inate undesirable commercial features.
B. Additional Recommendations for Rural Areas:
1. The initial program should aim to develop among com­
munity groups an understanding of women workers’
needs; to secure cooperation of local agencies and
groups; and to work toward a broader program as re­
lated to the over-all local efforts (with special attention
to co-recreation with men).
2. The program should be conducted in connection with some
sort of center (if only a room), conveniently located
and equipped with all reasonable and possible facilities
and those most desirable from the women workers’ view­
point, to include perhaps some kitchen equipment for
their use in communities with insufficient and inadequate
eating places,
3. In a community without a representative from the official
defense recreation agencies, a local agency or group,
possibly a woman’s organization, should take the lead
in starting a program, in consultation with such agencies
as the Women’s Bureau, U. S. O. agencies concerned
with women workers (the National Board of the Young
Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic
Community Service, National Travelers Aid Associa­
tion), Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services,
Work Projects Administration, and so forth.
C. Additional Recommendations for Large Cities:
1. A well-equipped, conveniently located center is desirable
(with auditorium, lounge, facilities for games and ath­
letics, library, writing desks, small rooms for club groups
or individual private entertaining, facilities for “fresh­
ening up”).
2. The program should avoid duplication of community
facilities, but should make such available for women’s



use (as swimming pools, tennis courts, school equip­
ment, libraries, etc.) and on a co-recreation basis whereever feasible.
II. Housing and Eating Facilities.
A. General Standards:
1. All types of housing for women war workers should con­
form to standards essential for safety, security, health,
decency, adequacy, privacy, cleanliness, and comfort.
2. Living quarters should be conveniently located in regard
to workplaces and recreation facilities, and be in pleasant
3. Room rent should not exceed 20 percent of a woman’s
4. Safeguards should be set up in every community to control
rents and to prevent other dangers from hit-or-miss
room finding.
5. Single rooms are preferable, or double rooms with not
more than two women, each with her own bed.
6. Rooms (whether in private homes, boarding or lodging
houses, dormitories, etc.) should be adequately furnished
(including a closet with lock or a locker preferably for
each occupant) and should be properly heated, ven­
tilated, and lighted.
7. Bathing facilities and toilets should be modern and in
good repair, arranged to give necessary privacy, con­
veniently located and sufficient in number (in the ratio
of a modern bath, or shower, and toilet for every 5 to 7
persons; a washbasin to every 4, unless there is running
water in the bedroom, then 1 for every 7).
8. A place on the premises for entertaining guests outside
the bedroom should be available.
9. Eating facilities of proper kind should be conveniently
located, with satisfactory inexpensive meals.
B. Additional Recommendations for Rural Areas:
1. A campaign by local women’s groups would help—
a. To prevent discrimination against newcomers (particularly
industrial women) in the community.
b. To make available satisfactory rooms in private homes.

2. Improved types of housing projects for women are
a. Preferably single units, low-rental dwellings (similar to family
type) for occupancy by several women on a cooperative basis.
(Permanent or demountable, according to locality needs.)




Any new multiple dwellings or dormitories to be of an improved
To be built in accordance with plans and standards recom­
mended by women experts in the various agencies concerned
with the housing program for women.

To include on the premises certain essential features for
comfort and convenience, such as eating, recreation, leisure­
time, and laundry facilities.
c. Existing dormitories to be made more livable, and, if devoid of
eating, recreation, and laundry facilities, to have these essen­
tials provided in an adjacent building to be erected by a
Government or other agency.

3. Opportunity should be given for self-government by
women occupants of a multiple dwelling (under the
general supervision of the director of the dwelling).
4. Good eating places (with nourishing, inexpensive, appe­
tizing food), sufficient in number and conveniently
located, should be made available, and if necessary
could be sponsored by proper local authorities or
5. Arrangements for meals on a cooperative basis for women
workers, where desired by them.
C. Additional Recommendations for Large Cities:
1. Room-registration service of satisfactory type should be
set up and operated in accordance with the most ap­
proved standards and with assistance of trained
a. To encourage the renting of rooms in private homes.
b. To improve standards of boarding and lodging houses.
c. To help to control rentals.

2. Building of special houses or dormitories for women, or
making available to women apartments at low rentals,
is desirable if the need of such is revealed by a survey.
III. Other Welfare Problems.
A. Transportation Facilities in all areas should be—
1. Adequate to take care of a congested population.
2. Convenient for women in relation to homes, workplaces,
and recreation facilities.
3. Set up to give special service for women on evening and
night shifts.



B. A Health and Medical-Care Program adapted to meet the
needs in various types of communities (under the auspices of
health and medical agencies and authorities such as the Office
of Defense Health and Welfare Services) should include
wherever feasible and possible:
1. Education in regard to disease prevention, industrial
hygiene, and first aid (carried on possibly in connection
with a recreation program).
2. Adequate remedial care (including hospital facilities and
out-patient clinic) in case of sickness, at nominal fees
or with free treatment of women where necessary.
3. Group hospitalization and group medical care.
4. Special facilities (including visiting nurses and nurses’
aides working under professional direction) for care
of unattached sick women in homes of other people,
lodging or boarding houses, or dormitories, when hos­
pitalization is not possible or essential.
5. Training of volunteers for participation in health pro­
C. Information and Social Case-Work of the following types
are necessary:
1. Facilities of Travelers Aid Society in a community, or
where it is lacking a program of similar services.
2. Special attention to problems of migrant workers—
a. Including distribution at employment offices of a leaflet to give
women essential facts about a new area, in advance of arrival
b. Preventing migration of women ineligible for jobs in other areas.

3. Special facilities (including use of trained case workers)
for meeting emergency social problems of women as
newcomers in a community.
D. Adequate Child-Care Facilities for Working Mothers (on
all three shifts) in accordance with standards established by
the U. S. Children’s Bureau should include:
1. Nursery schools, centers, etc. (conveniently located but
not in plants) for children of pre-school age.
2. Playgrounds, leisure-time program, and supervision dur­
ing after-school time for children of school age.
3. Other arrangements, such as day care in foster homes,
housekeeper service, day and vacation camps.
4. Individual counseling service to mothers.



IV. Personnel and Other Forces Responsible for Community
A. Paid Directors (and their assistants) of projects for recrea­
tion, housing, etc., should—
1. Be trained and experienced in the special type of work
they are directing, in group work, and in social case­
work where desirable.
2. Be familiar with problems and needs of women workers.
3. Possess essential personality qualifications.
B. Services of Trained Volunteers are desirable, to assist in
various types of projects, wherever feasible.
C. Cooperation of Local Agencies or Forces, including women’s
organizations (a State Federation might help where no
local branches exist), can be especially helpful in making
housing and recreation programs for women workers in
their communities more adequate, through assistance of
trained volunteers, in such projects as—
1. Operating a room-registration service.
2. Making duration dormitories more livable.
3. Helping to develop an existing recreation program, or
initiating one in a community without such.
4. Sponsoring a publicity campaign to help the community
understand the needs of women workers and to secure
cooperation of local forces in making available essen­
tial facilities.

The most obvious phase of a special community program for women
is recreation, or re-creation as it might better be called because of
its broader connotation. Such activities pertain to the interests of
a larger number of women workers than does any other of the special
aspects considered in this report.
Practically every individual wants and needs some form of recrea­
tion or relaxation. The significance of recreation to the individual’s
well-being has been stressed by one authority as follows: “The
function of play is to balance life in relation to work, to afford a
refreshing contrast to responsibility and routine, to keep alive the
spirit of adventure, the sense of humor, and that sense of proportion
which prevents taking oneself and one’s job too seriously, and thus
to avert the premature death of youth, and not infrequently the
premature death of the man himself.” (25) 1
Another authority asserts that “the use of the people’s leisure is
one of the three or four outstanding social and economic concerns.”
(11) He believes that a community should accept recreation as a
governmental responsibility on the same plane as education, safety,
and health. He points out that, in the past, recreational opportunities
for women have been slighted, and that the problem should be studied
and met “head-on.”
Opportunities for play, relaxation, wholesome entertainment, self­
expression, education are required and desired by all women workei's.
Particularly is this true in a time of National emergency and ab­
normal changes, when there is an increased strain and heightened
feeling of insecurity. For many the need is greater because of the
three-fold pressure of strange surroundings, overcrowding, and the
speeding up of industry. For many girls away from home, employed
in factories or at service jobs for the first time, the right type of
recreation program is imperative and an inescapable community re­
sponsibility. It is not only beneficial to the women, in promoting
their health, morale, and efficiency, but a valuable asset to the com­
munity in promoting better local conditions and contributing to the
general public welfare.
At a conference on recreation called in July 1941 by Paul V.
McNutt, as Coordinator of Health, Welfare, and Related Defense
Activities, Mr. McNutt said:
The leisure-time problems of our millions of defense workers are at least
as urgent as those of the men in military service. Many of those coming
into defense communities are young and away from home for the first
time. Many of them are girls and women. Many of the older men have
families with children. All of them are in equal need of wholesome, inter1 Figures in parentheses refer to sources in reading list. Appendix A.
449135°—42----- 3




esting recreation. * * * progressive leaders in organized labor, business
management, and municipal government have realized that “all work and
no play” makes not merely “dull boys” but below-par workers.

The approach to the question of recreation used in the following
discussion is the over-all set-up designated as “the program.” This
comprises various important factors: (1) The standards and policies
formulated by various agencies to meet the needs; (2) the leadership;
(3) the facilities, equipment, or resources; (4) the activities planned
and carried out; (5) the procedures necessary to implement the stand­
ards, to secure or utilize facilities, and to develop leadership; (6) the
practices conducive to community understanding and cooperation.
The broad term “program” is discussed in relation to a number of
important aspects involving in one way or another the several factors
mentioned above.
The Program—
Should Be Based on Community Conditions.
1. The recreation program for women naturally will differ widely
with the different types of communities. In some instances the pro­
gram will vary as conditions in a locality change from the status
quo at the beginning of the defense impact in the area, up to the
peak of defense activities and related developments. In other com­
munities, especially the smaller ones devoid of some of the facilities
found in larger cities, all the recommendations that follow would not
be feasible.
2. Plans may encompass—
A simple set-up in a newly developing community, requiring initial steps
to be taken by a local recreation committee (see part V on procedures)
for use of any existing facilities or establishment of those most feasible.
A more ambitious program in a community still in a transitional stage of
development, through continuing effort to get increased cooperative partici­
pation by local interests and agencies or those in neighboring communities.
A fully developed program in a large definitely settled community, carried
on in connection with a well-equipped recreation center, and utilizing
all available resources of local, State, and National agencies.
A program in connection with special dormitories or housing projects for
women to provide certain recreational facilities on the premises. (See
part III, p. 26.)

The Program—
Should Be Adapted to Women’s Particular Interests. (19)
Any recreation program for women must be planned to meet their
varied needs and interests—
Along the lines of individual or dual activities, group or team activities.
At different age levels, primarily as young or mature persons.
In relation to the opposite sex.
Because of different marital status as single, unattached women, or married
women seeking recreational opportunities together with their husbands.
On the basis of religion or race wherever desirable or feasible.
In view of other personal preferences or requirements due to physical con­
dition of the individual, her mental development, educational background,
and special proclivities as related to physical, mental, creative, social, and
social-service activities.



The Program—
Should Comprise Varied Activities.
1. The program should be as broad in scope and as many-sided as
possible. It should take into account the wide range of individual
and group interests, and be planned in accordance with recommenda­
tions of experts (19) (20) in the field of recreation and group work.
Care should be taken to give participants a definite share in formu­
lating and carrying out the program, and to have full opportunity
for co-recreation with men.
2. The program must be adjusted to particular circumstances and
needs and should be based wherever possible on the following
To permit women to derive pleasure as participants, spectators, or both,
as facilities allow and individuals desire.
To include both outdoor and indoor activities, in relation to facilities
available at home and away from home.
To give opportunity for physical activities—
Individual or dual activities (in which the individual plays by herself
or with one other) such as hiking, golf, bowling, ping-pong, shuffleboard, skating, swimming, boating, tennis, badminton, croquet, and
so forth.
Team activities, such as volley ball, basket ball, hockey, playground
baseball, and so forth.
Group activities, such as gymnastics, folk dancing, outings, active
indoor games, sports, and so forth, as listed above for two persons.
To provide passive relaxing entertainment, such as—
Music, motion pictures, plays, quiet indoor games, use of library
facilities, and so forth.'
To afford opportunities along lines of—
Mental tests—
Guessing, observation, accuracy games; card games; puzzles and
Cultural and educational interests—
Lectures, concerts, sight-seeing trips.
Classes of various kinds.
Workers’ education courses (particularly to enable women and
girls, some of whom are employed for the first time, to obtain
information about, or understanding of, legislation pertaining to
their employment).
To encourage creative effort or self-expression:
Group activities—
Singing, dramatics, discussions, forums, and so forth.
Individual activities—
Arts and crafts, playing musical instruments, singing, hobbies,
and so forth.
To afford social activities:
With men—
Special parties, dances, outings, and in connection with many of
the recreational performances listed above (with special effort
to include men in the military services).
In women’s and girls’ clubs—■
A series of meetings and suppers at regular intervals.



To arouse interest among the women in social service, as an altruistic form
of recreation, particularly in connection with civilian and community
needs in the war effort.
To provide the atmosphere and amenities of a home, as far as possible.
(See discussion Part II, p. 18, as to provision of kitchen and laundry
equipment and sewing machines.)
To arrange for week-end excursions and more extensive vacations in con­
nection with special camps and lodges that may be available (for mixed
groups when feasible).

The Program—
Should Have Modern Philosophical and Educational Approaches.
1. The program should be based on a clear understanding not only
of the needs and integrity of the individual, her self-expression and
development, but of the desire of groups for self-organization and
collective action. (Such objectives are in line with modern trends
among workers, particularly in connection with women’s increased
participation in the labor movement and their growing interest in
programs sponsored by labor groups in an ever-broadening field.)
2. The program should be designed—
To permit women workers to formulate plans and conduct their own
activities as far as possible.
To encourage the women to develop leadership among themselves.
To tap individual interests in building up group associations.
To develop a sense of social responsibility on the part of the group and the
individuals comprising it.

3. The program should be developed with due consideration of the
exceedingly limited incomes of the majority of women workers, but
definitely should not follow the policy of providing entirely free recre­
ation in all instances. A well-balanced program in this respect should
Use of free community facilities.
Opportunities for low-cost commercial recreation of a wholesome nature.
Development of specially organized, occasional activities on a no-expense
or small-fee basis.
System of nominal dues for certain regular activities involving significant
expenditures by sponsoring agencies.

The Program—
Should Take Into Account Employment Conditions.
1. The program should be developed with a sound physiological and
psychological approach and scientific understanding of women’s needs
and interests as related to different types and conditions -of employ­
ment. It must be remembered that as women in the same field of
work comprise different types with varying educational backgrounds,
generalizations as to types of desirable recreation are not advisable.
In fact, care should be taken to avoid trying to classify women too
definitely according to their recreation needs. A questionnaire as to
kinds of activities preferred, to be answered by each individual
woman for whom a program may be designed, would serve as a
desirable guide. (21)



2. Special effort should be made—
To meet any different interests and inclinations of women in such diversified
fields as professional, clerical, industrial, as revealed by the women
To meet the needs of women (on white-collar jobs, or in professional work
such as nursing, or in service occupations) within the military camps.
There will be a growing need to provide facilities for such groups as
women become employed more extensively on jobs with the military

3. The program should be adapted, with attention to job require­
To meet the needs of women on sedentary jobs. (Though some physical
activity is desirable it should be adapted to the physical condition of the
participants. It might better be of a pleasantly, than a violently, active
nature. It should be play, not hard work. Activities such as hiking,
golf, folk and social dancing, swimming, boating, and so forth might be
preferred by some women, while young girls might find tennis, badminton,
basket ball equally or more desirable.)
To meet the needs of women whose jobs require considerable standing or
physical exertion. (Special effort should be made to provide activities
tending to offset (he physical fatigue but not necessarily to avoid all
physical activity. Exercise calling into play muscles other than those
used on the job, especially along the lines of the milder forms of bodily
activity, should prove desirable and beneficial.)
To furnish for women who perform repetitive, monotonous, unskilled jobs,
opportunities for types of leisure-time activities conducive to wholesome
fun, gayety, excitement, and development of self-expression and initiative.
(They should not be expected to engage necessarily in creative activities
unless they wish to. Parties, dances, and outings with men, also physical
contests of various kinds, may be of most interest and most desirable.)
To plan for women on operations requiring a high degree of concentration,
the constant use of hands and eyes, or on processes involving considerable
stress and strain, opportunities for essential relaxation, such as plays, mo­
tion pictures, music, group singing, mild games; folk dances; parties,
dances, outings with men.
To give recreation opportunities to women on all work shifts, with particu­
lar consideration of those on the late afternoon-evening and the night
shift. (Effort should be made not only to provide the most feasible
activities of the types discussed but to secure cooperation from com­
munity facilities, such as commercial enterprises and educational institu­
tions. A well-rounded program including co-recreation activities for these
two more difficult shifts should be set up.)

4. Recreation facilities should be made available in convenient
locations with due consideration of distance from workplace and liv­
ing quarters, and of satisfactory transportation to prevent unneces­
sary waste of time and energy.
The Program—
Should Be Conducted Apart From Workplaces.
1. The program should be planned and carried on apart and away
from workplaces. The program will prove to be of a more effec­
tively recreational nature if not identified in any way with the job.
There will be a definite break between work and play.
2. It is not the intention to discourage employers from taking an
interest in recreation facilities for their employees, as in many in­
stances the plant management is in a key position in the community
to help initiate such a program.



3. It is recommended that the employer, instead of establishing
leisure-time activities in or around the plant, help to develop a com­
munity set-up for such purposes through contribution of money or
services. In places having no special agencies or organizations to
develop a recreation program the management may well take the
first step of calling together a committee to secure the cooperation
of State or Federal agencies in regard to a local project. In any
instances where a recreation program sponsored by the industrial
management seems the only feasible arrangement in an emergency
situation, the workers should be given free rein to plan and direct
the activities.
4. Essential plant facilities, such as restrooms where women may
relax during rest- and meal-period breaks in working hours, are
essential for health and efficiency, and though re-creational are not
to be confused with leisure-time activities.
The Program—
Should Be on a Community Basis.
1. Recreation plans for women workers should be part of a total
community recreation program (18) or should be tied in with any
existing recreation programs or plans in a community. Where noth­
ing of the sort exists, those responsible for building up facilities for
women should work toward the broader objective wherever possible,
thus preventing their becoming a segregated group. The aim wher­
ever feasible should be toward co-recreation as a normal wholesome
2. The program for women should—
Prevent undesirable duplication and unnecessary effort, thereby cutting
down expenses.
Aim at the pooling for their use of all available local facilities, resources,
and personnel connected with both public and private agencies in any
way concerned with the matter of recreation.
Give ample opportunity for use of such community facilities as municipal
auditoriums; athletic fields, swimming pools, skating rinks, tennis courts,
golf courses; school and library facilities; women’s clubhouses or clubrooms; church parish halls; union headquarters; and so forth.
Aim to coordinate most effectively all recreation facilities for women con­
nected with special centers, housing projects, and local agencies in any
way concerned with the matter of recreation.
Give full opportunity for association with groups having different interests
in the community in connection with the various kinds of opportunities
listed above.

The Program—
Should Be Conducted by Qualified Personnel.
1. One of the most vital aspects of the whole recreation program is
the choice of the right types of persons to formulate, direct, and carry
on the activities.
2. The program can be carried on most effectively through the use
of both paid and volunteer workers.



3. Paid personnel should include—
A mature woman as program director who should have as many as possible
of the following characteristics:
Experience as an executive.
Some training in group work along recreation lines and in social case­
Experience in working with organizations.
Ability to organize community resources, to visualize and utilize com­
munity potentialities.
Ability to use and supervise volunteers.
Familiarity with the problems and needs of women workers.
Pleasing, well-balanced personality.
Maturity of judgment and tact.
Sympathy with and understanding of people.
Ability to maintain emergency workers’ morale to enable them to meet
the trials of the present emergency and to develop spiritual resources
among individuals.
A younger woman as assistant and program leader, with the following
Considerable training in recreation work.
Ability to lead and direct groups and to secure cooperation.
Enthusiastic approach to conducting activities.
Pleasing and stable personality.
Program skills, such as athletics, arts, crafts, and so forth.

4. Volunteers (2) (36) can assist greatly in the program (par­
ticularly if identified with such organizations as local and State de­
fense councils [affiliated with the Office of Civilian Defense], the
Young Women’s Christian Association, the National Catholic Com­
munity Service, and so forth) if they have the following qualifications:
Training along necessary lines.
Willingness to cooperate in many ways, particularly in securing interest and
assistance from community groups.
Professional attitude toward standards of service.®
Sense of responsibility and dependability in carrying out assigned duties.

The Program—
As Related to a Recreation Center.
1. A well-rounded recreation program for women can be carried on
to best advantage in conjunction with a well-arranged center per­
mitting the many diversified activities already discussed as essential
or desirable. The center may be set up for use of men also and for co­
recreation activities, but under such circumstances care must be taken
that women are allowed their full share in the use of resources. (In
smaller communities where a large center would not be possible, much
less elaborate headquarters, such as a I’oom or two, could be provided.)2 *
2 See Appendix B, Code of Ethics for Volunteers, American Association of University
Women, Washington. D. C., 1940.



2. The center should be planned and equipped for varied indoor
and outdoor activities with—
Auditorium, lounge, library, writing desks; several small rooms for use
by club groups or by individuals for private parties; gymnasium or room
for such games as ping pong, basketball, and so forth.
Surrounding grounds (if space is available) equipped for picnics and such
games as tennis, badminton, croquet, and so forth.
Use of the roof of the building (if in a congested city area) for such activi­
ties as parties, dances, picnics, sports, sun bathing. (This arrangement
is particularly desirable for summer in warm climates.)
An outdoor or indoor swimming pool, if feasible and not elsewhere available
in the community.
Provision of showers and powder-room for women to “freshen up” after
physical exercise or on coming from or going to their jobs.
Provision of kitchen equipment for use of women, particularly in com­
munities where satisfactory eating facilities are lacking and a limited
number of women would like to prepare occasional meals.
Provision of sewing-machines and laundry equipment, since in many in­
stances facilities are not available in connection with women’s living

3. The center should include sufficient equipment for a varied
program, but should avoid unnecessary duplication of certain com­
munity facilities by planning for a cooperative program with all other
local agencies concerned in any way with recreation. Women should
be given opportunities similar to those given men for use of certain
facilities when it is desirable for one sex to use them alone, as in
basketball, hockey, baseball, and so forth.
4. In large cities where women live in rooming houses or private
homes in which recreation facilities are not available on the premises,
and which are located at some distance from a large center such as
has been described, small neighborhood activities are desirable. These
might consist of social affairs carried on in almost any place avail­
able—a school, church parlor, hall, and so forth.
The Program—
As Sponsored by Available Agencies.
1. The recreation program for women workers in defense areas
should be a cooperative one utilizing all forces of the local community
and the services of certain qualified and designated agencies as well
as other groups and organizations that may be able and willing to
2. Two agencies8—the Young Women’s Christian Association and
the National Catholic Community Service—of those comprising the
United Service Organizations are specifically charged with certain
responsibilities for providing recreation for women workers. These
two agencies have been supplied with funds through voluntary contri­
butions by the public, and with some buildings through Congressional
appropriation, to carry on their work.
The Young Women’s Christian Association works in military and naval
areas with the large numbers of women and girls employed “behind the
8 Only the activities of these two agencies and the other agencies discussed that relate
to women workers are mentioned.



lines” and the wives and families of service men. It works in industrial
defense areas with an ever-increasing constituency of women and girls
employed in defense plants, and the wives and families of defense workers,
who in some instances may be employed women. The work with these
new groups is not in competition with the regular industrial and business
girls’ programs of the Association. To the contrary, it is hoped that the
“on-going” program may be enlarged and strengthened by the U. S. O.’s
contact with these thousands of workers. Basic to a successful emergency
program like that of the U. S. O. is a strong and vigorous “regular”
industrial program which in many communities is aiding extensively with
the emergency program. (38) (39) (40) (41)
The Women’s Division of the National Catholic Community Service is as­
signed the responsibility of providing leisure-time programs for women
and girls employed in war industries, wives and families of war industries
workers or of servicemen, who are living in overcrowded communities
away from home, family, and friends. This agency gives to such persons
working on three shifts, who in the emergency often are forced to put up
with accommodations in trailer camps, boarding houses, and with inade­
quate recreation facilities, opportunities not only for recreation but for
a variety of other services along the lines of education, culture, personal
and spiritual guidance, and efforts “to dispel loneliness and fill leisure
hours with pleasant play and companionship.” (14) (15) (16) (17)

3. Other agencies are officially involved in one way or another with
recreation for women because of the scope of their programs. The
most important of these and the ways in which they cooperate are:
The Women's Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor, charged with the responsi­
bility of promoting the welfare of women workers and formulating stand­
ards and policies to improve their working conditions, increase their
efficiency, and develop opportunities for their profitable employment. It
acts in consultative capacity to employers, workers, and other groups
and agencies seeking guidance in regard to all needs and interests, in­
cluding those along recreation lines, of women workers. (30) (31) (32)
(33) (34) (35)
The Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services, Federal Security Agency,
concerned with the fields of health, welfare, social protection, family
security, education, and nutrition. In this agency is a recreation section
that is devoted to the question of recreation needs as related to defense
workers and their families, with the many ways and means of meeting
such needs, and which offers expert guidance along the lines of recreation.
It has a special field staff serving in such capacity. (1) (2)
The Office of Civilian Defense and its affiliated State and local defense
councils, a part of the broad program of which is to furnish, through the
use of volunteers, assistance in a recreation program for defense industry
workers along a variety of lines, such as: Preparing a list of current
amusements and of available recreation facilities; organizing athletic
contests and planning outings; providing increased recreation facilities
in the community; preparing a magazine and book collection for community
centers; serving as hostesses, chaperons, dancing partners, and so forth;
acting as leaders for all sorts of interest groups such as sewing, cooking,
art, music, drama, crafts, and so forth; acting as leaders for adult dis­
cussion groups on current topics; teaching a variety of subjects such as
current events, citizenship, art and music appreciation, and so forth.
(36) (37)
The Work Projects Administration, Federal Works Agency, which has in­
cluded as part of its normal program activities the providing, in com­
munities, of recreation programs and facilities or supplementing such
efforts of local agencies, and developing leadership for recreation; and
which has extended its recreation program to meet war needs. The
latter includes efforts to provide adequate recreation for women indus­
trial workers with special recognition of the needs of night-shift workers;
provision of recreational opportunities for women in trailer camps, con­
gested or emergency housing areas, and evacuation situations; extensive
and widespread organization of women and girls to serve as dancing



partners and chaperons at dances for men in uniform. (6) (7) (8)
(9) (10) (11) (12)
Certain agencies (prior to February 24, 1942, see p. 27) charged with
responsibilities for management of defense housing developments, such
as the Housing Management Division of the Federal Works Agency, the
United States Housing Authority (13), the Farm Security Administration,
the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the War and Navy Departments.
In connection with the building and operation of low-cost defense housing
projects, they were concerned with provision of certain recreation facilities
for the occupants of such houses or dormitories. These occupants may
include single or married women workers in many instances.

4. Various community agencies may become definitely involved in
a recreation program for women, either through cooperation with the
tigencies listed above as specifically charged with developing such a
program for women defense workers or defense workers in general,
or through taking the lead (in the absence of such agencies).
Some of the most usual of such community agencies are—
A regular community recreation set-up or other civic organization.
Other U. S. O. agencies (the Y. M. C. A., Jewish Welfare Board, the Salva­
tion Army ) that may be operating in a community devoid of Y. W. O. A.
or N. C. C. S. representation.
Women’s clubs or organizations. (These can render particularly helpful
and valuable service in a cooperative program, or may be the most de­
sirable force in many communities for taking the lead in a recreation
program for women.)
Churches or social agencies.

From the viewpoint of women as defense workers and newcomers
to a community, a place in which to live may be an even more urgent
question than a recreational program. They may, if forced to do
so, be able to draw to some extent on their own resources for amuse­
ment and leisure-time pursuits; but they cannot build a place in
which to live, and only in very rare instances can they assume
responsibility for having a home built. They must, therefore, de­
pend on housing facilities available in the neighborhood or nearby.
To be sure, in some areas many of the women are regular residents
or commute only a short distance, but others are forced to travel in
some type of conveyance back and forth for an unduly long dis­
tance. In view of the required rationing of automobile tires, com­
muting may have to be discontinued by large numbers of workers.
Thus, in many localities with suddenly expanding industry and the
influx of thousands of workers from other areas, the plight of many
women migrants is serious and calls for immediate action to enable
them to make suitable living arrangements.
In the emergency period even more than in normal times, inade­
quate and indecent homes threaten the welfare of individuals and
of the community as a whole. Today good housing is one of the
greatest bulwarks in preserving morale, health, and efficiency of
women workers. It helps to foster content among them, and to
prevent labor turn-over, with its slowing down of production.
Housing is more than shelter. It should mean satisfactory living
conditions for women workers, guaranteeing them safety and secur­
ity and conforming to standards of decency, cleanliness, health,
adequacy, comfort, and convenience. Living quarters should be
attractive and in pleasant surroundings. Women need satisfactory
shelter at a price they can afford to pay, and such standards are possible
without material addition to expense.
Adequate housing of women workers calls also for some facilities
on the premises for recreation and relaxation, if possible, since a
number of women after a day’s work may not wish to seek diversion
outside their home.
As already pointed out, the emergency has injected certain new
and acute problems into the housing situation for both women and
men as migrant workers. However, since many men going from one
neighborhood to the other take their families with them, they are
more likely to derive benefits from defense housing in the form of
desirable family dwellings. Women should not be made to feel that
they are “a problem group” or that they are being regimented into
some undesirable housing set-up.
Communities differ considerably as to housing possibilities for
women from other localities. Wherever private facilities or enter21



prises are not able to meet the need, the Government assumes respon­
sibility for the housing program.
The basic policy of defense-housing program is that no defense activity
shall be retarded because of lack of housing and no American worker
shall be forced to live in substandard conditions while carrying on duties
vital to the defense of his country. (22)

A Place to Live—
In Relation to Types of Housing and General Standards.
1. Satisfactory living quarters for women workers may be of the
following types:
Rooms in private homes.
Rooms in boarding or lodging houses.
Dormitories, whether remodeled buildings, new permanent buildings, or
temporary demountable structures.
Defense single-unit dwellings.

2. Authorities on budgets consider that a fair charge for living
quarters is an amount not in excess of 20 percent of the worker’s
3. The question of standards adequate in all respects for any type
of living quarters for women is complicated hy too many technicalities
for exhaustive treatment in this connection. Any structure should
be in accordance with modern scientific building codes. (24) It
should meet all specifications in regard to safety and fire regulations.
4. Irrespective of type of accommodations there are certain general
specifications as to rooms and premises that should be met to guarantee,
for women occupants, decency, adequacy, and safety. These essential
minimum standards may be summarized as follows:4
A private single room if possible or a double room with not more than two
women (with separate beds).
Room to be of sufficient size to permit essential activities by occupants (who
in some instances may not have regular use of a living room).
Privacy to be guaranteed, by having any door leading into the room provided
with lock and key and the room not to be used as a passageway to another
For ventilation of the room, at least one window that will open, overlooking
a street or yard but not an airshaft; and cross ventilation by means of a
second window, transom, or shuttered door, if possible. (In most climates
windows should have screens.)
Proper heating arrangements.
Electric lighting in the room, adequate for reading or sewing at night. (A
portable light for use at dresser, table, or bed is a convenience.)
A closet or wardrobe that can be locked, preferably one for each occupant.
Minimum furniture and furnishings to conform to the basic principles of
combination of colors and designs, and to include—
Bureau or chest of drawers; one for each person in double room.
One or more chairs, at least one an upholstered chair; two or more chairs
in double room.
Desk or small table.
Rug or floor covering.
* This summary is based largely on the specifications for living quarters contained in a
joint report of the Bureau of Home Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and
the Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor : Factors To Be Considered in Preparing
Minimum-Wage Budgets, pp. 12-14. .



Window shades or curtains.
Bed with good spring and mattress, clean and free of vermin; a bed
for each person in double room.
Blankets, the number depending on climate. Bedding should be clean.
One or two clean sheets a week per person, decision to be made on the
basis of local custom.
One clean pillow case a week per person.
Two clean turkish bath towels, two clean hand towels, one bath mat a
week per person; more may be specified.
A modern bath (or shower) and toilet in good repair, on the same floor with
the room, for every 5 to 7 persons; 1 washbasin to every 4 persons, unless
there is running water in the rooms, when the ratio may be 1 to 7.
General cleanliness of room and premises, with frequent and regular cleaning
by management.
Facilities on premises and privileges for laundering of clothes, preferably
apart from a bathroom.
A place on premises for entertaining guests elsewhere than the bedrooms.

A Place to Live—
Available Through Room-Registration Service.
1. A definite service rendered today by local agencies in many com­
munities with defense impacts where there has been a large influx of
workers is a listing of available living quarters—houses, apartments,
rooms. Such an emergency set-up, generally known as Room-Regis­
tration Service, has been established to function in addition to or in
cooperation with any existing facilities of this type such as those that
for years have been sponsored by the Young Women’s Christian Asso­
ciation, the Travelers Aid Society, and the National Catholic Commu­
nity Service in many places. Considerable effort should be made, and
is being made generally, to have all available quarters carefully in­
spected, and listed only if they meet certain standards; and to control
rentals from soaring as demands for rooms increase.
2. Great care should be taken to provide suitable places for occu­
pancy by young, unattached women as newcomers to a locality and
thus to prevent the dangers of hit-or-miss room finding. The Y. W.
C. A. has been working on the problem for years; the standards which
it has developed are listed below as a helpful guide to all who may
be concerned with this problem:
Minimum Standards for Y. W. C. A. Room-Registry Work
I. A committee, whose members are familiar with housing
facilities and needs in the community, who shall be
responsible for—•
a. A thorough Investigation of all houses having rooms registered
with the Y. W. C. A.
b. The establishment and maintenance of an adequate list of those
rooms which are known to be suitable living places for girls
and women.
c. Reinvestigation of all registered rooms systematically and period­
ically (about every six months).
d. Helping to raise standards of rooming and boarding houses.
e. Demonstrating an interest in the welfare of the girls and women
placed through the registry.
f. Check-up with those referred to rooms or with landladies on
whether rooms are taken.



II. A staff member, even though one carrying other work, who
shall be responsible for directing the room-registry
work and who shall—
a. Work with the committee on methods and standards of inves­
b. Supervise the interviewing of applicants—those seeking roomers
and those seeking rooms (day and evening hours).
c. Supervise investigation or actually do the investigating of rooms.

III. Equipment should include—
a. Space for interview free from interruptions.
b. Records—
1. For every house listed, a record card or blank giving name,
address, personnel of family and roomers (number, sex,
approximate ages), number and kinds of rooms (double
and single), number of bathrooms, privileges offered, de­
scription of neighborhood, house, and landlady, references,
name of investigator, date and space for later reports, and
permanent referrals.
2. For each applicant to whom an address is given, a card with
name, address, occupation, parents, or name and address
of person to call in case of emergency, employer and refer­
ences with their addresses, houses to which referred.
3. Blanks to be sent to references.
4. Blank to use in referring an applicant to a proprietor or
c. Statement of standards, as understanding between landlady,
roomer, and Y. W. C. A., and some information about the

IV. Ways of cooperating with—

The Association residence and other organized homes.
Other Association departments.
Other community agencies.

3. The cooperation found in some communities between any gen­
eral room-registration service and the Y. W. C. A. or the N. C. C. S.
might well be imitated in others.
4. Additional desirable procedures for providing suitable rooms
for unattached women.
Careful preparation of a standard schedule" for use by inspectors.
The setting up find sponsoring of an association of boarding-house and
lodging-house keepers in a community to serve as a clearing house and
educational medium for the members, and as a means for developing and
maintaining better living standards and sounder business techniques for
such houses.
Attention to the rates of rooms registered to see that they do not exceed
20 percent of the income of those seeking this service.
The compiling of special registries according to the religion and race of
those having rooms to rent, for the use of applicants for rooms who in many
instances may desire this type of information.
See Appendix C, Y. W. C. A. Standard Schedule.



A Place to Live—
In Converted Buildings or Dwellings.
One policy advocated by housing authorities calls for careful
consideration in those communities where it may be feasible to follow
through on it. This is the possibility of converting certain existing
buildings into a multiple dwelling for women. In connection with
such projects every effort should be made to conform to the general
and particular standards recommended in this discussion.
A Place to Live—
As Related to Multiple Dwellings.
1. ’I lie influx of large numbers of young unattached women into
boom towns, into a suddenly developed industrial project in a
sparsely settled section, or into other defense areas leads local author­
ities to face the need and possibility of special housing projects for
women. The most obvious type is a dormitory or multiple dwelling.
Such a structure may be built either for permanent or for temporary
use, depending on the type of community. Some authorities believe
that the needs of defense housing now might serve to some extent at
least the permanent needs of the community later.
2. Dormitories for women, when sponsored by a business concern,
should be on a limited-income or small-profit basis if the structure
is planned for women at low-income levels of $35 or less a week, or
even for those in the somewhat higher brackets.
3. The most desirable type of multiple-dwelling units for women
of low incomes would seem to be one sponsored, financed, constructed,
and operated by the Government or U. S. O. agency on a self-sustain­
ing basis (if for temporary purpose) or on a self-liquidating basis
(if for permanent use).
4. A special type of housing known as “duration dormitories” has
been sponsored by the Government (planned, built, and operated
by the Farm Security Administration) as temporary shelter for in­
adequately housed or unhoused women and men in designated defense
industries. These are demountable, multiple-dwelling units. This
type has been erected in, or planned for, a number of sparsely set­
tled areas now devoted to war industries. Such units will be removed
as soon as adequate private and more permanent defense housing
units are available, though it is possible that the majority of these
temporary structures may be needed throughout the emergency
period. This type of dormitory has certain desirable features but it
also has had some definite limitations. For example, restrictions of
the act appropriating funds for this program have meant that the
agency delegated to handle these projects was able to do very little
directly to provide recreational or eating facilities and equipment.
A Place to Live—
In Low-Cost Dormitories with Adequate Standards.
The site of a dormitory should be carefully selected in regard to
convenience of location. The site also should be carefully developed,
since the emergency may continue for some time.



The general standards discussed on page 22 should be conformed
to in the dormitory set-up. Certain additional recommendations re­
lated to obvious needs of women living on a multiple-dwelling basis
are as follows:
A single dormitory 6 to be limited to accommodations for 50 to 60 women.
Bedrooms to be largely single ones, at least 8 feet wide by 12 feet long,
and 8 feet high; with possibly a few double rooms of at least 11 feet by
12 feet; preferably all equipped with running water.
Rent per room set on a 20-percent-of-income basis, to run from a weekly
rate of about $2.40 for a $12-a-week worker to $5 or $6 for a $30-to-$35-a. week worker; or somewhat higher rates for more desirable facilities,
such as larger room or semiprivate bath.
Small lavatory units with curtains or partitions surrounding tubs and
showers to give privacy.
Toilets to be separate from bath facilities.
Bathrooms and toilets conveniently located to all rooms.
Laundry room with stationary washtnbs, drying racks, ironing equipment.
Recreation facilities (preferably within the dormitory) to include—
A large general lounge, attractively and adequately furnished.
Several small rooms or cubicles for individuals to entertain visitors.
Some library facilities.
Space for parlor games.
A kitchenette for use at. parties.
Recreation facilities of the above types, if not available in dormitory,
to be supplied by means of an adjoining hut.
Outside space adjoining the dormitory for relaxation in warm weather
and for games and so forth.
Eating facilities to include—
A comfortable, attractive, nonprofit cafeteria within or adjoining the
dormitory to make meals easily available.
Inexpensive, nutritious, appetizing, well-balanced meals, at a set rate
per meal or per week, the cost of meals to be separate from room
Some provision within or near dormitory for cooperative meal prepara­
tion by women who might prefer such arrangement, especially if a
conveniently located cafeteria or other type of eating arrangement
is not available.
Adequate dormitory slai'f to include—
1. A director (a mature woman), responsible for management, upkeep,
planning of policies and social program, with—
Experience in institutional, club, or project management.
Preferably some knowledge of social work, and of work with
groups and individuals.
Ability to handle financial matters.
Familiarity with problems and needs of women workers.
Pleasing personality.
Mature judgment, tact, and understanding of people.
Ability to get along with people.
Ability to help make a success of a program of self-government by
the occupants.
8 Some authorities ill favor of including in tile same housing unit hotli men anil women
admit that such arrangement would cause additional problems, but helieve its advantages
would more than offset the disadvantages.



2. An assistant to director, a younger woman with—
Experience in group work.
Some training along recreational lines.
Pleasing personality.
Interest in people.
3. A desk clerk with—
Experience in business.
Ability to meet people.
Pleasing personality.
Interest in people.
4. A housekeeper.
5. Sufficient maid and janitorial service.
Self government by occupants so that rules and regulations would be selfimposed and administered (in cooperation with the director as the
Special provisions for workers on evening and night shifts to include—
Arrangements for preventing noise during their sleeping hours and for
promoting sociability for them during waking hours.
Desirable recreational activities and eating arrangements during their
nonworking hours.

A Place to Live—
In Low-Cost Family Dwellings.
1. In communities where defense housing projects make available
at low rentals family dwellings, either of a permanent or of a tem­
porary type, some women workers as members of families occupying
such homes might have satisfactory living quarters. Where there
might be a surplus of such dwellings and a substantial number of
women in need of living quarters, houses of this type could be assigned
to unattached women, three or four living in a single unit on a cooper­
ative basis, sharing the regular rental costs set for the project.
2. Another possible housing arrangement for a considerable number
of unattached women workers might be, instead of multiple dwellings,
a series of single dwelling units, possibly in the form of apartments,
definitely constructed for occupancy by single women, several living
in a unit on a cooperative basis.
B. In a series of such units, were recreational facilities provided as
part of the project, women would have access to them.
A Place to Live—
And Agencies Responsible.
The over-all agency responsible for defense housing projects is the
National Housing Agency established by President Roosevelt in an
Executive order (February 24, 1942), merging all existing Federal
housing activities. Prior to this date all matters pertaining to de­
fense housing were centralized and passed on by the Division of
Defense Housing Coordination (23), with other housing agencies
participating in the program in various ways (24).



The room-registration services in the various communities operate
usually as part of the local defense council, wherever such exists.
Or this type of service may be carried on by some other community
agency or authorities. (See Part III, p. 23.) All such services
make considerable use of volunteers adequately trained for inspection
and so forth.
Commercial enterprises also may be responsible for a defense hous­
ing project, and may be permitted to borrow from the Government a
large proportion of the essential funds for construction.
Local and State agencies or organizations, and also Federal agencies
concerned with the welfare of women workers, have an important
stake in the housing program for women to see that their needs are
adequately met. (See agencies listed in Part II, p. 18.)
Women’s organizations in a community may make a very material
contribution, if they assume the responsibilities not only of roomregistration services but of helping to make dormitories more livable
and more complete. For example, where dormitories are devoid of
recreational and eating facilities, the lack may be supplied through
the cooperative efforts of such local organizations in raising money
for equipment, and recruiting services of volunteers for operation,
and so forth.

As already indicated, various other social and economic problems
as related to their living arrangements develop for women workers
in defense areas and necessitate carefully worked out remedial pro­
grams. For some aspects the community itself may be largely re­
sponsible for formulating and carrying out plans. For other matters
cooperative efforts between agencies in the community with the influx
of women workers and agencies in the areas from which the workers
come will produce the best results. Only a few of the most obvious
problems will be touched on here.
Questions of—
Transportation is a matter so closely related to housing, recreation,
and place of work, and is such an essential factor in satisfactory
living arrangements, that it requires special attention.
Development of satisfactory transportation facilities for women
workers calls for—
A survey by community forces (sponsored possibly by the local industrial
managements) on the location of work establishments, living quarters
of various kinds, and recreational centers; as well as on the problems of
women employees in relation to their work shifts.
Establishment of a good local transportation system with special effort
to prevent women workers from being fatigued or inconvenienced by long
waits for conveyances, or walking long distances, or using at night
lonely stations and stops, or walking unsafe stretches.
Arrangement for cooperative use of private automobiles among workers
commuting from the same directions.
Cooperation from volunteers in a community who may be willing to furnish
automobile transportation to help workers on different shifts to avail
themselves of recreational facilities.

Questions of—
Information and Social Welfare.
1. Informational and social-welfare services should be provided
in each community, particularly those characterized by an influx of
defense workers. _ One of the U. S. O. agencies, the National Travel­
ers Aid Association, is charged with this responsibility, which is of
great importance to women as migrant workers.
The Travelers Aid Societies (operating, at railway and bus terminals, ports
of entry to cities or to the country, and so forth) provide even in normal
times, through their various services, valuable assistance to unattached
women, who in many cases are young and inexperienced. The movement
of people (including many women) as a result of the defense program
necessitates increased services at points where the societies are functioning
and new services in places with recent concentration of population.



The agency’s available information on housing, recreation, churches, medi­
cal resources, pertinent legislation, and so forth, proves especially helpful
to women as newcomers to a community.
The agency’s protective travel service and its distinctly individualized
help on a social case-work level mean much to women in meeting various
types of emergency or solving their social problems.
Since such cases generally involve more than one locality (the point of
departure and point of arrival), a strong chain7 of services must be
maintained to prevent any possible breakdown in care.

2. The information service might well include distribution of pop­
ular leaflets containing pertinent facts to women workers before they
arrive in a community (informing them, for example, of the re­
quirement that they bring their birth certificate as proof of citizenship
when coming for a job in a defense plant). Such a service would
help to reduce the problems of women recruited for employment in a
strange locality, and also to prevent undesirable migrations of women
not eligible for such types of available employment.
3. A broad social-service program to help unattached women work­
ers make satisfactory adjustments in a neiv community could be
developed through the cooperative efforts of various local agencies,
such as the Travelers Aid Society, the local defense council (where
such exists), civic or social agencies, women’s organizations, labor
unions, schools, churches, and so forth. Such a service could be
greatly facilitated through volunteers in the capacity of trained case
4. Efforts should be made to create among the regular _ residents
of a community better understanding of the needs of industrial women
as newcomers to the community, and to prevent any social discrim­
ination against them—to have it understood that in the present con­
ditions production in the factory is as important to the life of the
Nation as service at the Front, and the welfare of the production
workers as important as that of the fighting forces.
5. Use should be made of all local publicity mediums to arouse
community interest and cooperation in regard to the welfare of
women workers.
Questions of—
Health and Medical Care.
1. A program to promote the health of unattached women workers
and to aid them in getting proper medical care is a desirable service
to be set up and carried on by community authorities.
2. The program should be based on replies to such questions as:
Are there sufficient hospital facilities to warrant a group hospitalization
Are there adequate out-patient clinics in health departments and community
Are diagnostic facilities available especially for tuberculosis, venereal dis­
eases, and cancer?

3. A health program should be sufficient in scope to provide edu1 Such a chain is now made available in some 2,000 communities in the United States by
the regular Travelers Aid Societies, the cooperating representatives, and the TA-USO units
organized for the defense program. See (22) in Appendix A for further information.



cation in regard to first aid, disease prevention, and remedial care
in cases of sickness, at nominal fees or free treatment for women if
needed. (3) (4) (5) Especially valuable would be industrial hygiene
services in state and local health departments.
4. The program could be established and maintained under the
auspices of certain committees of the local defense council concerned
with health, volunteer services, and so forth. Such local committees
wherever they exist have a working relation with the Office of Defense
Health and Welfare Services through its regional offices and com­
mittees. If a community has no local defense council it should apply
to the regional Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services for
advice on what can be done in the health and welfare field.
5. The management of local industries might make available some
medical and nursing care to their women employees when away from
the plant as well as when on the job. Programs of medical care
could be worked out in cooperation with plant physicians and/or
6. The program should include, wherever feasible and desirable:
Services in connection with dormitories—
Mrst-aid equipment and trained persons in charge. (Possibly the
assistant to the director or some of the occupants. The Red Cross
could be called on to train women in first-aid work.)
Provision for care of occupants when confined to their rooms because
indisposed, though not ill enough to go to a hospital.
Arrangements for serving them meals in dormitories without a
dining room as the responsibility of some member of the staff
or a community service.
Some nursing care by industrial, public health, or community visit­
ing nurses and nurses’ aides working under professional direction.
Services in connection with recreational centers—
Lectures on health, hygiene, social diseases.
Talks on nutrition.
First-aid courses.
Development of group hospitalization for women in connection with their
places of employment wherever feasible. Group medical care also may
be possible to develop, either with the Group Hospitalization Association
or separately.
Maintenance of a neighborhood clinic sponsored by public and private
medical authorities, and available to women workers unable to finance
essential medical care.
Training of volunteers for participation in the health program for women
workers, along the lines listed above.

Questions of—
Child Care for Working Mothers.
Working mothers who cannot make arrangements for adequate
care of their children by relatives or friends should be given assist­
ance in accordance with recommendations by the Children’s Bureau,
U. S. Department of Labor. (29)
Community plans should include—
Individual counseling service to mothers already employed or planning
to enter employment.



Day care in accordance with recommended standards as to personnel,
equipment, and procedures, to meet the needs of children of all ages—
For those of pre-school age—nursery schools, centers, and so forth
(conveniently located but not in the workplace) under the auspices
of some recognized agency in the community and under the supervision
of some government unit.
For those of school age—playgrounds, leisure-time program, and proper
care and supervision when not at school.
Other forms of care—day care in foster homes, housekeeper service, day
and vacation camps.
Adequate care of children of mothers on evening or night shift.

The question of procedures for developing and carrying on the sev­
eral types of recommended programs has been discussed to some extent
m the preceding sections. As the question is complicated by the vari­
ous Federal, State, and local government agencies and by the different
private organizations with national and local set-ups that are or may
participants, some concluding suggestions as to procedures may bo
d he soundest procedure is for some authority or socially-minded
gioup in an area to take the initial step to arouse the community into
surveying the needs of women workers and in setting up the essential
operating committees for the several fields discussed. Altogether
there are a great many communities with war industries employing
women, and the problem is a steadily growing one. The communities
vary so greatly in needs and available resources that many different
approaches to the problems of women are possible.
In some of the sparsely settled areas involved in a program of in­
dustrial development, the plant management may be the first force to
become aware of the need of initiating a program centered on the
interests of women workers and is the logical one to take the first step
in having local committees set up. In other communities a group of
workers may take the lead most effectivelv, or in some instances a
woman s organization or group of organizations may well be the force
to give the original impetus and often the continued driving power.
The committees set up in an area, whether on recreation, housing
health, or social welfare, should in each case be made up of represen­
tatives from all local agencies or interests in any way concerned with
the question. Such committees may or may not become organized into
a local defense council, but they can develop some method of relating
their interests and activities. Needs of the community should be re­
ported to State or Federal Government agencies and the cooperation
of such agencies secured in various ways to promote the most desirable
programs for women workers in relation to their living arrangements
leisure-time pursuits, and all other important social and economic
problems m a particular community. From the National public and
private agencies are available information, recommendations as to
procedures, standards, and policies, and more definite assistance in va­
rious forms, including an allotment from certain general funds appro­
priated or contributed for different phases of the over-all defense and
war program. Though the Federal agency or National organization
may in some instances be responsible for the spending of the allotted
amount in the community, whether for constructing a housing project
building a recreation center, or developing some other important
aspect, the community and all its component groups derive the benefit.



Thus the program is a cooperative one all along the line. It is made
broader and sounder in any one community because simultaneously,
in thousands of other communities throughout the United States, more
or less similar programs are going forward and being tied into the
vast network of activities to safeguard the interests of the workers and
citizens of the Nation, to protect this democracy against attacks from
without and within, and to develop it into a stronger, truer democracy
than ever before.


Federal Security Agency.
Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services4
(1) Recreation Bulletin (weekly). Washington. 1941-42.
(2) Recreation for Defense. Washington. 1941. (Mimeog.)
Public Health Service.
(3) Community Health Series. No. 1. What to Know, What to
Do, About Cancer. Washington. 1939.
(4) Venereal Diseases Series. Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5. Washington. 1939,
(5) Workers’ Health Series, Nos. 1 to 5. (Dealing with “flu,”
appendicitis, carbon monoxide, benzol poisoning, and stomach
ailments.) Washington. 1941.
Federal Works Agency.
Works Projects Administration.
(6) Community Recreation Programs. A Study of W. P. A. Recre­
ation Projects. Washington. 1940.
(7) Community Service Circular. No. 10. The Organization of
Training for Recreation Leadership. Washington. 1940.
(8) Leisure. A National Issue. By Edward C. Lindeman. Wash­
ington. 1939.
(9) Recreation Circular No. 1. The Training of W. P. A. Workers
in the Field of Recreation. Washington. 1937.
(10) Recreation Program. (In Relation to Defense.) 1941.
(11) Recreation—The Modern Concept. By G. Ott Romney, di­
rector, Recreation Section. Washington. 1940.
(12) Numerous technical bulletins on recreational activities.
United States Housing Authority.
(13) Community Activities in Public Housing. Washington. 1941.
National Catholic Community Service (1312 Massachusetts Ave.,
Washington, D. C.).
(14) The Roll of Leaders. Published by National Council of
Catholic Women. Washington. 1940.
(15) The White Book. Published by National Council of Catholic
Women. Washington. 1941.
(16) Youth Leaders’ Handbook. Published by National Council of
Catholic Women. Washington. 1937.
(17) War Is Women’s Business, Too. Washington. 1941.
1 For additional references consult Health and Medical Committee and Nutrition and
Health and Welfare Divisions.




National Recreation Association (315 Fourth Ave., New York
(18) Introduction to Community Recreation. Prepared for N. R. A.
by George D. Butler. McGraw-Hill, New York and London.
(19) Recreation for Girls and Women. Prepared for N. R. A. by
Ethel Bowers. Barnes, New York City. 1934.
(20) Recreation. Monthly periodical.
(21) The Leisure Hours of 5,000 People. A Report of a Study of
Leisure Time Activities and Desires. 1934. (Mimeog.)
National Travelers Aid Association (425 Fourth Ave., New York
(22) The Short Contact in Social Case Work. A Study of Treat­
ment in Time-Limited Relationships in Social Work. By
Robert S. Wilson. New York City. 1937.
Office of Emergency Management.
Division of Defense Housing Coordination.
(23) Homes for Defense. A Statement of Function. Washington.
(24) Summary of Standards for Defense Housing. Washington.
Riggs, Austen Fox, M. D.
(25) Play: Recreation in a Balanced Life. Doubleday, Doran, Gar­
den City, N. Y. 1935. p. 15.
United States Department of Agriculture.
Bureau of Home Economies.
(26) Factors To Be Considered in Preparing Minimum-Wage Bud­
gets. Bui. No. 324. (Prepared in collaboration with
Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor. Washing­
ton.) 1938.
United States Department of Labor.
Children’s Bureau.
(27) Community Program of Day Care for Children of Mothers
Employed in Defense Areas. Washington. 1941.
(28) Children Bear the Promise of a Better World: Are We Safe­
guarding Those Whose Mothers Work? The Defense of
Children Series, No. 2. Washington. 1941.
(29) Recommendations Adopted by Conference on Day Care of
Children of Working Mothers. Washington. 1941.
Women’s Bureau.
(30) Effective Industrial Use of Women in the Defense Program.
Special Bulletin 1. Washington. 1940.
(31) Employment of Women in the Manufacture of Artillery Am­
munition. Washington. July 1941.
(32) Employment of Women in the Manufacture of Small-Arms
Ammunition. Washington. June 1941.



(33) Increase in Woman Employment 1914-1918 and Occupations of
Women in Defense Industries. Sept. 1940. (Mimeog.)
(34) The Employment of and Demand for Women Workers in the
Manufacture of Instruments—Aircraft, Optical and FireControl, and Surgical and Dental. Washington. Nov. 1941.
(35) Women’s Factory Employment in an Expanding Aircraft Pro­
duction Program. May 1941.
United States Office of Civilian Defense.
(36) A Civilian Defense Volunteer Office: What It Is, How to
Organize It, What It Does. Washington. 1941.
(37) Emergency Medical Service for Civilian Defense. Medical
Division. Bulletin No. 1. Washington. 1941.
Young Women’s Christian Association (Y. W. C. A.-U. S. O., 600
Lexington Ave., New York City).
(38) National Industrial Council News. December 1940. Pub­
lished by Womans Press, New York City.
(39) News and Notes. January 1942. Published by Womans
Press, New York City.
(40) Report on Recreation Program in Clubs. By Clara W. Alcroft.
Published by Womans Press, New York City. No date.
(41) The Industrial Worker of the Y. W. C. A. By Annabelle
Stewart. Published by Womans Press, New York City. No


As a volunteer, I realize that I am subject to a code of ethics similar
to that which binds the professionals in the field in which I work.
Like them, I assume certain responsibilities and expect to account for
what I do in terms of what I am expected to do. I will keep con­
fidential matters confidential. I interpret “volunteer” to mean that
I have agreed to work without compensation in money, but having
been accepted as a worker, I expect to do my work acording to
standards, as the paid staff expect to do their work.
I believe that all work should be carefully analyzed in order that
work methods may be standardized. I believe that people should be
studied in order to determine what jobs they can do and like to do and
that, as far as possible, they should be assigned to jobs they can do well
and enjoy.
I promise to take to my work an attitude of open-mindedness; to
be willing to be trained for it; to bring to it interest and attention.
I realize that I may have assets that my coworkers may not have and
that I should use these to enrich the project at which we are working
together. I realize also that I may lack assets that my coworkers
have, but I will not let this make me feel inadequate but will endeavor
to assist in developing good teamwork.
I plan to find out how I can best serve the activity for which I
have volunteered and to offer as much as I am sure I can give, but
no more. I realize that I must live up to my promises and, therefore,
will be careful that my agreement is so simple and clear that it cannot
be misunderstood.
I believe that my attitude toward volunteer work should be pro­
fessional. I believe that I have an obligation to my work, to those
who direct it, to my colleagues, to those for whom it is done, and to
the public.
Being eager to contribute all that I can to human betterment, I
accept this code for the volunteer as my code to be followed carefully
and cheerfully.
American Association of University Women
Washington, D. C., 1940


AddressTelephone_____ CarTo
Name----------------------------Nationality-----------------------------Church----------------Last name

First name

»«■ ■»


ffit::: T--------- -------

Husband’s occupation--------------------------- By whom employed?
Are you employed? By whom?
What arrangement Is there for showing rooms In your absence?
Have you a lease?_______ When does it expire?
How long have you lived at your present address?
Please give your previous address-----------------------------------------------------------Permanent----- Transient____ No. accommodated____ No. rooms___ •Lsln,gle-----(double___
Rate per
Rate per day, Single {Km'raTKf bdV;_7

Double & and'

Board in vicinity---------------,------ Keys for rooms
Accommodations for men______ womenchildrencouplesParlor privileges?--------Use of piano?
Housek’p’g privileges?_____ Extra charge?____________
Laundry privileges?--------Extra charge?
Rooms cared for by lodgers?by hskpr?


No. of Used by



Bath __
Lavatory__ _ __
Toilet.. . __ ...
Houses listed with the Room Registry must meet the following requirements:
I. The house should be in eharge of a responsible person who shall—
a. Give satisfactory references as to personal character.
b. Satisfy herself as to the moral character of persons admitted as
c. Answer as fully as possible all questions asked in the questionnaire.
II. The house should have clean rooms with adequate furnishings (where
rooms claim to be furnished), heat and light and necessary sanitary
III. The house should have a common parlor.
Everyone listing rooms with the Room Registry is asked to subscribe to the
I agree to notify the registry immediately upon renting any of my rooms,
whether through the efforts of the registry or otherwise.



I agree, further, to make no claim against the Association if for any reason
my house should become unsuited to the needs of the registry and my name
be removed from the list.
Date Signed----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Please give the names and addresses of two persons, not relatives, who have
known you at least two years, one living in this city.






Character of neighborhood:
General description
House: appearance, condition------------------------------------------

Rooms: cleanliness, furnishing.

Landlady: type, appearance, sense of responsibility.

Grade of house.

Visited by_