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STREET IN Bureau BEGGING ST.LOUIS for Homeless St. Louisf Men Missouri STREET IN B E G G I N G ST. LOUIS 0 Including a Report of a Fact-Finding Survey of S t r e e t Begging Made During November and December, 1936 BUREAU ST. FOR HOMELESS LOUIS, MISSOURI MEN Issued by Bureau for Homeless Men 204a N» Eighteenth Street St* Louis, Missouri February, 1937 FOREWORD The survey of street begging reported in Part II of this pamphlet is the first of this kind ever made in St. Louis. Previous anti-begging campaigns were based upon the casual observations and opinions of committee and staff members and any changes in plan were based upon workers1 reports and day by day observations. The surprising results of this survey show how inaccurate and misleading such methods can be. We had difficulty securing competent personnel and because of this were unable to complete several other portions of the survey included in the original plans. The neighborhood survey should be extended5 a study should be made of official records of arrests and convictions and of peddlers licenses5 and other similar studies are needed before we know all there is to know about Street Begging in St. Louis* It is possible that we may find ways to complete the survey in the near future\ if so5 a supplementary report will be issued. This report mokes no attempt to recommend action or to lay out a program^ it merely recounts the facts learned with an historical summary to furnish the nee* esscry background. A theoretical discussion of the problem would also be of value, but this alone would be sufficient material for an entire volume. We hope that some one will some day write it. G.M.G* TABLE OF CONTENTS Title PART Page !• AN HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF ANTI-BEGGING WORK IN ST. LOUIS 1-10 PART II. A REPORT OF THE FACT FINDING SURVEY OF BEGGING IN ST. LOUIS Chapter !• General Statement Introduction The Method Chapter The Survey of the Downtown District Territory Covered Classifications & Definitions The Number of Beggars Regular Beggars Frequent Beggars Intermittent Beggars Physical Condition Miscellaneous Information Working Hours Earnings police Interference Child Beggars Vendors Intermittent Panhandlers photographs Case Stories Recapitulation 11 - 50 11 11 12 11 14 - 42 14 14 15 17 19 20 20 22 23 25 27 29 31 32 34 35 41 Chapter 3. The Survey of Beggars in Neighborhoods General Statement Method Used Territory Covered The Number of Beggars Requests Frequency of Giving Attitude of Beggars The Number of Peddlers Sex Regulars ^Willingness to Buy Children Comments of Housewives 43 " 43 43 45 45 46 46 47 47 48 48 48 49 49 TABLES AND MAPS No* Map 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Title Downtown St. Louis The Number of Beggars & Vendors Regular Beggars Frequent Beggars Physical Condition of Beggars Miscellaneous Information The Earnings of Beggars The Number of Neighborhood Beggars The Number of Peddlers 13 16 18 21 20 22 26 46 48 50 PART I. AN HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF ANTI-BEGGING WCRK IN ST. LOUIS One of the functions of the Bureau for Homeless Men almost from the time of its organization has been the control and prevention of begging. In the past eleven years some very intensive and profitable work has been done on this perplexing problem that in view of recent complaints that begging is increasing might well be reviewed to see what has been learned. The Community Council of St. Louis in October, 1925, requested that the Bureau for Homeless Men form a committee to handle the beggar problem. As formed, this committee consisted of the Chief of Police, two municipal judges, Chief probation Officer of the Municipal Courts, Director of Public Welfare, Superintendent of the Workhouse, Deputy City Comptroller, Associate Secretary of the Church Federation, Secretary of the Charities Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce, an attorney, representatives of the case working agencies, publicity Secretary of the Community Council, and the President of the Bureau for Homeless Men. There v/ero also some influential and interested citizens. A case committee was appointed to hear special cases presented by the agencies• This Citizens1 Anti-Begging Committee, as it was called, v/as gradually enlarged to include the Secretary to the Mayor, Police Judge Advocate, Associate City Counselor, Judge of the Court of Criminal Correction Division $2, and Chief Probation Officer of the Juvenile Court. In December, 1925, the Mayor invited the Committee to meet with him in his office and plcn its work-. It was docided at this meeting to attack this distinctly urban problem on a case by case basis and the following 2. plan was inaugurated: 1. The Police to arrest all those found begging upon the streets* 2. The police court to fine thorn and send thorn to the workhouse. 3. The probation officer to be notified tJid in turn to notify the Citizens'1 Anti-Begging Committee, 4» The Committee, using case workers borrov/ed from various agencies9 to investigate each case and work out a plan for treatment. 5* If a client accepted the treatment of the Committee, his parole to bo recommended. This parole, however, to be forfeited in case he failed to observe its conditionsD 6* The probation office to appoint such representatives of the social agencies of the city serving, as workers for the Committee to act as deputy probation officers as the number of arrested beggars made necessary• 7« Exceptions to be made in the case of the blind in that they v/erc not to be sent to the v/orkhcuse, but turned over directly to the probation officer* The Executive Secretary of the Bureau served as Secretary of this Anti-Begging Committee and directed its work* The first campaign was from December, 1925, to April; 1926* This plan being followed closely, it was definitely shown that beggars did have resources, and could fce handled by the case work method.. The regular work of the agencies became so heavy, however, that they cou3d no longer lend workers to the committee and the campaign v;^s discontinued until tho following December, 1926o Similar cunpaigns wore then inaugurated and continued through tho winters of 1926-1927, and 19271928. The experience of these three campaigns demonsxrated the need for: 1- A year around campaign 2» A contrail Led plan 3. Full time case workers 3. It was decided to meet this need, and a full time ca'se worker-secretary, working under the ^committee but paid by and acting as a staff member of the Bureau, was employed in September, 1928. This centralization eliminated much of the confusion between the agencies and municipal authorities and served to keep the work operating on an even basis. An educational campaign was waged through practically all avenues of publicity in the winter of 1928-29, including the distribution of 12,000 pamphlets entitled: "Three Things A Policeman Doesnft Like To Do." The committee was virtually inactive during 1930 owing to the excessive demands on the social agencies* In April, 1931, activities were resumed because of complaints o f . citizens regarding the increased numbers of beggary. The relief division of the Citizens1 Committee on Relief and Employment, administering public relief, had also received complaints and requested that the committee take immediate action* At this time another publicity pamphlet entitled: "This Beggar Is Different" was issued* The committee decided to work under the same plan with the addition of another full time case worker. The Chief of Police also detailed a special officer to work with the Committee* The general order of arrest already in force was not rescinded but was allowed to remain as supplementary to the work of the special officer. This officer gave the beggar a chance to accept the services of the case workers of the committee in utilizing the resources available for his rehabilitation, but arrested those who refused this offer of aid. It was found that this policy of kindness v/ith firmness was fairly successful. Arrangements were made with the Mayor's Secretary who issued permits for all monthly peddlers licenses, 4. whereby peddlers who used them as a camouflage for begging would be refused a renewal upon proof of misuse. In this way pressure WLLS put on some of the difficult cases who were wise enough to manipulate their licenses in such a wcy that convictions were difficult to obtain. Regular "surveys" of the downtown section were also made by the case worker and the special officer to pick up any beggars found operating* The first records which indicated the size of the problem were kept in 1928 and 1929, at which time the average case load was 49 cases per month and the case work-secretary of the committee was used to assist with the regular work of the Bureau for Homeless Mt>n as well as the handling of beggars* For the first three months of 1933 the c^se load increased to 432 cases per month, including all street warnings an4 curbstone interviews* After a roorganization of the Bureau in the fall of 1933, the Anti-Begging Department, along with all other departments of the Bureau, came in for very close scrutiny CLS to its place in the total picture and also the methods and thoroughness with which it was covering its field* It WELS found that the so called "beggar case locid" wes very much over-emphasized. For instance, the figure of 432 cases per month in the first three months of 1933 by actual examination proved to contain only about one-third this many active cases. The others were inactive, being told for observation, or consisted only of notations that the man had been seen on the street. It was also found that "once a beggar, always a beggar" v/as very much true in this case load* If a man stated to a worker of the Bureau that he had panhandled at any time in recent months, even though it was only one offense, he was immediately transferred to the Beggar Department for attention. The mere fact that a single man has at some time or othor requested a dime on the street or a semdv/ich at someone's back door 5. does not make him a beggar in the true sens© of the word* There soemed to bo no clear cut distinction between the one-time panhandler and the confirmed beggar and the entirely different problem each represented. For statistical purposes they were all part of the caso load. When the case load was finally cleared of all dead wood that had accumulated .in it over the years, it was found that only about 50 to 60 cases of confirmed beggars existed. Many of these, however, had not begged to the worker's knowledge, in the past six months or a year. As a result of this, by the end of J933, the begging work was being handled by one case worker, who spent his mornings in court and his afternoons at the office or visiting. His case load varied from 60 to 80 cases. The type' of treatment that these cases received was in most instances exactly the same as given men in the Bureau Mass Treatment Department except that the amount of relief was generally higher* In the meantime changes .were taking place in other aspects of the Anti-Begging program. In the early days of the program, as pointed out *in the foregoing history of its organization, the plan was that of-a continuous police drive upon the beggars with the case workers, first borrowed and then employed full,time, coming into the picture after the beggar's case had boon heard by the courts. The job of keeping the streets clear of beggars was placed upon the police department with regular surveys by the Anti-Begging workers to assist them. The police wore to perform their function of stemping out this misdemeanor by arresting the beggars and the committee was to furnish case w.ork service for each beggar so arrested. It was believed that through this case work the Bureau could convince the police and the public of the fact that beggars were such through choice rather than necessity. The addition of a plain clothes man to the Anti- Begging Department in 1931 did a great deal to cut down this close cooperation with the Police Department* It is a well known fact in police circles that as soon as a special squad of men is detailed to any special branch of crime, the regular patrolman ceases to pay any attention to that part of his job. The result has always been - TILet the traffic squad attend to that.11 This was true with the special patrolman on the Anti-Begging staff. The general police force knew there was such a man and they could see no reason why they should bother with beggars. The regular patrolman was reluctant to arrest a beggar because it was necessary for him to appear in court during his time off duty to testify. Also there was little "glory*1 or recognition to be obtained from arresting beggars. The result was that the entire work of keeping beggars off the streets v/as thrown upon the special patrolman and the Anti-Begging workers. We also find an even more drastic change in the attitude of the courts* The Anti-Begging worker in the police court served merely as a stop gap for the workhouse and the court. Court procedure required that any man paroled be paroled to the Probation Department and not to an outsider. However, in the case of begging it had merely become a formality. All arrangements were ccjrried on with the Bureau's workers; the only contuct with the Probation Department was that of record. Practically no beggars, even the ones having a long record of frequent arrests, v/ere sentenced to the workhouse# They were paroled with a warning and turned over to the Bureau for relief. Even if they v/ere sentenced or fined the maximum was $100, which meant 33 days in the workhouse. As a general rule it v/as $50 or 18 days. This was no deterrent whatever to a confirmed boggex but merely took him out of circulation for tv/o weeks or a month if he served the sentence. The workhouse, on the othor hand, v/as continually complaining against those men being sent to than. Their usual complaint was that they 7. were too old or too crippled t o work and i t simply moant one more man for thorn to care for. There are no s t a t i s t i c s available, but our estimate would be that only one msji in twenty over went to the workhouse. All of this resulted in a complete change of emphasis so that instead of the case workers being an aid to the court by offering case work service to beggars, the court was doing the case v/orkors and the cdmmittee a "favor1* by paroling the beggars to them* Th£ courts and the beggars also came to believe that such a parole constituted a mandate by the court that the beggar was to receive relief without question, jf he did not receive any relief requested he threatened to go out on the streets and bGg again. When this did happen and he was brought back into court as a repeater, the case workers v/ere often severely criticized by tho court for not carrying out the instructions of the court. As those trials were frequently broadcasted from the court room, the agency was often placod in on embarrassing and undeserved light before clients and public. Beggar clients were known throughout tho Bureau as "preferred"' clients and there were many cages in which rolief recipients arranged to be c&ugh,t panhandling in ordor to be eligible for the "beggar department" > and so roceive more relief. Relief statistics for the various departments of the Bureau show that for a long time the Beggar Department had the heaviest par capita rolief cost* A large part of this -wasi for clothing, yet beggar clients were notoriously ragged. As these developments in the Beggar Problem, find the difficulties that had arison wore analyzed, three things became more and more appejrent. They were; !• The Anti-Begging progrcm got off to a gobd and proper start* It had the support, through 8. the Citizens1 Anti-Begging Committee, of the leading organizations, city officials, and business men of the community* they were all working together for the solution of a perplexing civic problem; they succeeded in evolving a sound, workable plan, one which wae successful through at least the first two winters of oporation* There can be no doubt on this point* The tremendous reduction in the number of beggars and the enthusiastic response and hearty cooperation from all organizations bear ample witness to this success* At some point in its development the program failed* There can be little doubt of this* Somewhere between 1928 and 1933, the Anti-Begging Program failed to meet the challenge and started on the downward trail. It is difficult to say just when this occurred* It is possible that the fatal mistake was made in 1928 when the committee changed from borrowed to a salaried case worker* Prior to that time, the use of borrowed workers had forced the cooperation of all organizations and officials and had made of the progrom a community undertaking, but with the change to a full time staff this cooperation was lost. Anti-Begging work was then a function of the Bureau for Homeless Men only* The advent of the depression with its unprecedented case loads fostered this tendency on the part of other social agencies to dump the entire job on the Bureau* Another factor that undoubtedly contributed to the destruction of tho Anti-Begging progrnm was the failure of those responsible for planning to recognize tho need for a changG in program* When tho Citizens* Anti-Bogging Committoe was 9. organized in 1925 it had two immediate goals. One was to ineot an emergency and rid the city of a horde ofboggars, the other was to demonstrate to the public and the authorities the valuo of case work methods in dealing with bogbars. Both these goals were attained by the end of the second winter campaign and it was then that the plans should have been changed and the efforts directed to a more permanent set-up. Instead the only change was to employ a full time staff; the plan of operation remained the same throughout the life of the work. Control of begging is first a police and then a court function. The social agency should appear only when relief is necessary or as a leader in pointing out the need for or in demonstrating the method and value of discharging that function# St. Louis agencies demonstrated successfully for two years and then continued to demonstrate on a basis of descending returns for seven more years. 3« The Anti-Begging Program of the Bureau had reached an impasse. By 1934 it was apparent that the work was at a dead end, that it was accomplishing nothing by its current methods and that it would be exceedingly difficult to effect any satisfactory changes. It was eventually decided that the best way to put the program back on the proper basis would be to discontinue all begging work for a period of one or two years, allow all the existing misunderstandings and misconceptions to die out, and then re-establish it on a new plan* Accordingly, in the fall of 1934, the AntiBegging Department was eliminated, the representative at the police courts was withdrawn, and the beggar cases 10* distributed through the regular case load. Relief to beggars was continued, of course, but they were handled as part of the regular load with no discrimination for or against them because of their illegal acts. The only active anti-begging work since that time was the issue, during the winter of 1935-1936 of a pamphlet entitled "When You Give, It Hurts". This pamphlet points out that giving to beggsxs "hurts you, the beggar, and your community11 by wasting your money, encouraging the beggar to a pexusitical mode of living, and diverting the charitable resources of the community to illegal channels. Numerous talks on the subject were also made before? vcxious organizations, in an attempt to educate the public to an intelligent attitude toward begging and beggars so that the income of the beggars would be cut off at its source. This was the situation in the fall of 1936 v/hon numerous complaints from citizens, organizations, and the Community Council were received that begging was on the increase* The Committee on Bogging of the Board of Directors discussed the question and decided that the only sound way to resume the anti-begging work would be to start a fact-finding survey. 11. TART II. A REPORT OF THE FACT-FINDING SURVEY OF BEGGING IN ST. LOUIS NOVEMBER - DECEMBER, 1936 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION General Statement The purpose of the survey was to gather as much information as possible regarding the prevalence of begging in the city, the number of beggars, their approximate income, and types of appeals. One surveyor was employed from Nov. 17 to Dec. 15 and one from Dec. 12 to 31. The first spent about two weeks in the downtown district, 3 or 4 days in the various neighborhood shopping districts and 8 days on a house-to-house survey. The second surveyor spent his entire time downtown. For purposes of reporting results the survey is divided into a Downtown Survey and a Neighborhood Survey. The Method The method used in making a count of the beggars in the downtown district was to cover the entire district, an area of 72 blocks, as rapidly as possible and count each beggar or peddler seen* Care was taken to eliminate duplications or those persons v/ho moved from place to place and might be seen at different locations on the same count. The accuracy of this depended upon the worker's powers of observation. On other days detailed observations were made. Each beggar spotted was reported on a daily report and given a special case number. The entries from these daily reports 12. were then typed into chronological case records a9 permanent records* The more flagrant cases were watched for periods varying from 30 minutes to half a day and observations made of "earnings11 and method* Some were also followed to their rooms when going off duty. Department store doormen, newsboys, and beat patrolmen were engaged in casual conversations as a means of collecting valuable information regarding names, family histories, hours of work, and similar details. Casual remarks to bystanders often resulted in valuable comments on particular beggars* The worker frequently allowed himself to be panhandled as a means of opening a conversation and numerous meals were purchased to provide an opportunity for an interview* Other details of method will appear in the case stories given in a later portion of the report. The method used on the neighborhood survey was a house-to-house canvass with a card filled out on each interview. This is discussed in greater detail in that section of the report. DOWNTOWN ST.. LOUIS Showing the Territory Covored in the Survey (North) I I J ' J * I i t lin -"BTvdT U _J } j JSL. T I I ir TSye -PI • '"*-^" ton"' '-~Kve.~ L? I i ir 1 * St» jT ft If Tl P L Pine i I o I 1 "chestnui ... -. (South) at. nn rL ! I i 14. CHAPTER 2 THE SURVEY OF THJT DOWNTOWN DISTRICT Territory Covered* The territory covered in the survey of the dcwntW. district was limited to the area bounded by 4th Street on the east, 12th Street on the west, Market on the south, and Franklin on the north* We found that the most popular streets for boggars were Olive and Locust from Broadway (5th Street) to Ninth,and Sixth and Seventh Streets from Olive to Washington. This latter territory contains the three large department stores of the city, the principal banks and office buildings, and also comprises the principal retail shopping district* Most of the persons in the district are either retail shoppers or office workers* Classifications ajid Definitions* Much as we dislike the practice of labeling beggars as "moochers, panhandlers* professionals11 and the like, it is necessary to have some classification system in a statistical type of study* In making our counts of beggars in the downtown district we found many persons selling razor blades,song sheets, Christmas novelties and toys, candy, ana other salable products who obviously were not begging. We could not avoid considering these persons in our survey* neither could we class them as beggars. We make a distinction, then, in our classification between vendors and beggars. Vendors* Sidewalk salesmen of a salable product. In this class are placed those persons who have an apparent stock of goods representing un investment of at least $1. Some of them have regular locations and carry a stock evidently worth $8 or $10. Observation has shown that members of this group in- 15. sist that the product be taken and change accepted. Money is not displayed as a bait for the passer-by. They give every indication of being legitimate, though impoverished, salesmen. Beggars are divided in two groups according to the appeal used; Peddlers are those who display a few items of merchandise, such as 3 pair of shoe laces, a few pencils, or a few packages of gum as a blind for their begging operations. The giver, however, is not supposed to take the merchandise. One peddler was observed who displayed 5 or 6 packages of gum, but when a passer-by dropped a nickel in the box and picked up the gum, he said "That will be 10 cents.11 Many of these carry a street peddlers license as a protection against arrest as a beggar. The Panhandler is one who offers nothing, but requests a coin or a car token or who displays a deformity in such a way as to make a silent appeal* This includes the occasional "stemraer" as well as the full time beggar who makes no pretense of offer* ing anything for sale. The Number of Beggars* Estimates of the number of beggars in the downtown distri ct made previous to this survey varied widely. Some of them ran as high as 100 and 200, and the lowest were "several dozen." Interested persons reported being "hit" 3 or 4 times in a few blocks walk, and statements regarding the "swarms of beggars" were frequent. In fact, as has already been mentioned, the Community Council received sufficient complaints to warrant a request to the Bureau to resume its antibegging work. We were much surprised, therefore, to find that the actual number of beggars on the streets was very small. The largest number counted in the 72 block area by a Bureau survey worker at any one time was 11. This was on Saturday, November 21. Other days varied from 5 on 16. Monday, December 14 which was a rather cold day, to 8 or 9. On Friday, November 20, three different counts were inade with extra effort to watch for duplications. The early morning count showed 9. A count at noon only 4, and an afternoon count 10* Two of these were duplications, making a total of 21 different beggars during the day. At the same time that these counts were being made, separate counts of the vendors were also kept. This number varied from a low of 13 to a high of 58. The latter figure was on Saturday, November 21. This group is more fully discussed in a later section^ The following table shows the figures on eight different days: TABLE NO. 1 THE NUMBER OF BEGGARS ANEVENDORS IN THE DOTNT W DISTRICT O N Day and Hour Tuesday , Nov. 17 M F r i d a y , Nov. 2 0 - 9 A t o 12 M it 11 »t 11 " " Beggars Vendors Total 9 9 4 12 M " 3 PM 3 P M " 5P M jSaturday, Nov. 21 Monday, Dec. 14 Monday, D e c . 2 1 Wednesday, Dec. 23 F r i d a y , Feb. 1 2 - 1 1 AM t o 1 PM x - Not counted (i) - 10(1) i_ 13 (2) 11 5 8 9 58 30 8 20 22 27 23 69 35 X X 28 - 2 repeaters. (2) X 13 23 T o t a l of different beggars for day was 2 1 Estimated about 36 d i f f e r e n t vendors f o r the day These figures were so astonishingly low that special counts were made during the month of February by a r e g . ular case worker of the Bureau to check the accuracy 17. of the previous surveyor • The table shows that these counts, made by three different persons, £.11 agree as to the smallness of the number of beggars. It is natural for the casual observer to give an exaggerated estimate of the number. The irritation caused by the panhandler's request or the peddler's display stimulates the normal tendency to over-estimate. The location of the beggar is also a factor in these estimates. For example, in the count on Dec. 14, only 5 beggars were reported, yet 4 of those were within half a block of the intersection of 6th and Washington and it would havo been possiblo for a person to walk one block and pass 3 of the 4 beggars. The fact that panhandlers seem to frequent a few streets at certain hours also tonds to make the numbor seem larger. This is more fully discussed in the lator section on panhandlers. Regular Beggars. At tho end of each dayfs work the surveyor turned in a report covering tho day's observations These wore individual reports on beggars, giving the time, location, description and all details on each. Each beggar so reported was givon a "case number", and subsoquont roports regarding him were copied into his "case record". It is from those daily reports and case rocords that tho rosults of tho survey are tabulated. During the six woeks that a surveyor was kept in tho downtown district, reports were turned in on 44 differ ont bGggars, some of whom, of course, were soon on several different dajs. By tabulating the number of timos each was seen and comparing this to reports of daily observations and also to outside reports received at the Buroau, v/o have separated these 44 into throe groups, called regular, frequent, and intermittent beggars. Regular beggars rxo ones who are on the downtown streets practically every day. Only 12 foil into this group. Five of these wero seen so often that we did not bother to count the number, but simply recorded 18. TABLE Case Times No. Reported 2 Continuous it 15 it )16 ii )16 A 3 19 24 4 29 3 30 6 37 5 42 2 43 10 44 Continuous NO. 2 - REGULAR BEGGARS Description (lj Legless whito meji - age 55 Deformed Negro man - age 55 Blind whito man - ago 60 Whito man - age 30 White man - age 35-appoars senile Legless Negress Blind whito woman - 4 ft# tall Blind Negro mcji - age 38 Whito boy - age 16 Blind white man - ago 50 White man - right leg off Legless whito man - ago 40 Usual Appoal Shoo laces for sale Outstretched hand o nly Pencils for sale Pencils for sale Safoty pins - sing song voice None - empty box only Matches-"please buy" Pencils - wears large crucifix Shoe laces - "please buy" Pencils Pencils Gum ((1) Ages are gonerally estimated (#) These two men generally work together, although tho young man (16A) has been seen without the blind man* (See section on "Case Stories" for details on some of these cases) 19. thorn as Mcontinuous•" One other was reportod 10 times, another 6, and others less often* We have reason to bolie vo, however, that a survey on 2 or 3 days at any time of tho year (not necessarily during the Christmas shopping season) would find practically all of those 12 beggars on duty and that all of them make thoir living by begging. Table No* 2 gives some details regarding them. It is interesting to note that nine of these twelve beggars are handicapped in some way, 4 of them blind, and 4 having one or both logs off, and that one of the othor three makes a pretense of being senile and feebleminded* Only 3 of the group us© any kind of verbal appeal, the others merely display their deformity and small stock of pencils or lacos, and wait* 10 of the twelve display a commodity that is apparently for sale, tho other 2 rely entirely on the appeal of their deformityIt is possible that somo of the "frequent" beggars discussed in the next section should be classed as "regulars", but so far as wo are able to establish, thoso 12 persons arc the only regular members of St* Louis' downtown "standing criny" of beggars* Removing them permanently from the streets would practically solvo the beggar problem* Frequent Beggars* We class as "frequent" beggars those who were observed only 2 or 3 times during the period of tho survey and who, we have reason to believe, beg only as a side line ejid tit tines when the returns should bo unusually good. There cro only 9 in this group• Table No* 3 givos details regarding them* We find a much smaller proportion of handicapped persons in this group than among the regular beggars, only 5 of the 9 being handicapped. 3 of these are blind^ 2 have lost one leg, and the other 4 are apparently 20. physically sound. As mentioned in foot note (2) on case No. 5, this couple would normally be classed as vendors, but on two occasions the man was seen to separate from the woman, who was selling candy, and accept money* The baby was used as his appeal. This case is fully discussed in a later section. Many of the persons in the next group might be classed as frequent beggars if we knew more about thenu Intermittent Beggars are thoso who were seen only once during the period of the survey. We have no way of tolling whother this was their only offense, but wo can be sure that they arc not regulars. 23 of the 44 beggars fall into this group. Ten of them wore panhandlers and apparently wore using this mothod to pick up some odd change or spending money. Throe of them were blind, two "selling" pencils and the other playing a guitar and mouth harp and accompanied by a woman carrying a cup. Three were legless, one of them soiling pencils, one begging with an empty box, and the other was seen bogging a meal in a restaurant. Physical Condition. Much has been said in the previous sections regarding the physical handicaps of the various beggars. The following table gives a summary of these facts for the entire group of 44 persons. TABLE NO. 4 THE APPARENT PHYSICAL CONDITION OF THE BEGGARS Totals ! Regulars Frcquont. Intermit Totals 44 1 10 Blind 1 or both legs off f! 9 Defonaed or crip i 2 Apparently fit 1 23 ! 12 ! 1 4 4 i 1 3 9 3 2 0 4 i 23 3 3 1 16 21. TABLE NO, 3 - FREQUENT BEGGARS Case No. Tines Seen 2 4 (2) 5 8 18 31 (3)32 34 (3)39 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 Description (1) White man - age 65 White man - age 50 Young white couplo with baby White girl - age 18 White man - age 60 - blind White man - age 2 2 - 1 log off White man - age 38 - blind Elderly white woman - right leg off White man ~ age 50 * blind » Appeals Used Laces - razor blades Ordinary panhandler | Candy I Razor blades ! Pencils j pencils and laces Plays a guitar j Novelties » Plays an accordion (1) Ages are generally estimated (2) This couplo are frequently on tho street, but beg only occasionally (3) Always accompanied by a woman, apparently his wife (See section on "Case Stories" for details on some of these cases) 22 • From this table it can be seen that 21 of the 44 beggars v/ere physically handicapped to such an extent that they are not normally employable• 10 were blind, 9 had one or both legs amputated, and 2 v/ere deformed or crippled in such a way that the deformity was apparent to the casual observer. Every one of these 21 persons was using his or her handicap as the chief item in the appeal for money* It is also interesting to note that the percentage of physically handicapped persons is largest in the "regular" group end decreases through the other classifications. 75$ of the regulars were handicapped, 55$ of the frequent beggers, and only 22$ of the intermittent beggars. Miscellaneous Information* The following table gives miscellaneous information regarding sex, ages, etc. TABLE NO* 5 MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION REGARDING 3EGGARS Information Totals Regular Instrument players 3 ] 0 Children (under 12) 1 1 Older boys 1 1 I Girls 1 Women 7 2 Couples 3 2 men 1 1 Negroes \ 4 3 Frequent Intermit. 2 1 i i 3 4 0 1 All of the "musicians" were blind. The one child listed begged after school and on Saturdays with his older brother who was a regular beggar. These 2 boys v/ere sent to the Bureau office by the surveyor, but an attempt to visit their home address as given showed that the information was false. Of the women, one of the regular beggars was blind and one crippled, the frequent beggar was crippled and one of the others was deformed. Two of the couples listed consisted of a blind man and a 23. sighted woman, and the other of the young couple with the baby. The "two men together11 was a blind man and his sighted male companion. One of the Negroes was blind and all of the other three either crippled or deformed. One of them was a woman. Working Hours. It is rather difficult to set any definite time as the "working hours11 of the beggars, but by piecing together portions of the reports on the various persons, we can arrive at some conclusions that fit in most cases. Wo must, however, remember the difference between the throe groups, the regular, the frequent, and the intermittent beggars. The regular beggars, as a rule^ work all day and seem to have a definite routo and time schedule. Once this schedule is known, they can be located at any given time on any work day. The frequent boggars, on the other hand, work for shorter periods of time and over varying routes. They seem to choose- their location at random without any definite knowledge as to the best stands and they may be seen anywhere. The intermittent beggars work more as a group and will be congregated on certain streets at regular times. (See soction on "Panhandlers".) The only ones, then for which we can set any definite working hours, are the regulars. Taking case No. 15, a partially paralyzed Negro man, who has been rated by the surveyors as St. Louis1 No. 1 Beggar, we find that his route is very definite. He rides to work on the northbound Broadway car, arriving at Broadway and Olive about 9:30. He then works up Olive to 7th, north on 7th to Washington, east to 6th, and south on 6th to a point between St. Charles and Locust Sts. This has taken him from one to one and a half hours. From then until noon, he seldom moves more than 15 or 20 feet. At noon he takes 15 minutes off for a light lunch, purchased at the bakery counter of a noarby Fivo and Ton Cent Store and eaton on the running board of a car. During the afternoon he works up 6th St. to Olivo, west on Olive to 8th, south on a side trip to Chestnut and then back to Olive. 24. It is then about 3; 30. The next hour he spends going east on Olive to Broadway, arriving there between 4:30 and 4:45 to board the Broadway car for home and the end of this day f s work* This itinerary seldom varies, and his working day is generally 7 hours - from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. In Case No. 16, an elderly blind man accompanied by a younger, sighted man, we find that they also start to work at 9:30 each morning. They differ from the previous case, however, in that they spend most of their time standing in one location, generally the corner of 7th and Y/ashington. Promptly at 4:20 each day they start home, the earlier quitting time probably caused by the fact that they walk home instead of riding street cars and so require a longer time to reach there. The legless white man in Case No. 3, who propels himself on a small, three-wheeled truck, gets to work a little later in the morning, usually about 10:00# Until about 12:30 he can generally be found on 9th Street near the old Federal Building. After noon he works east on Olive Street to 7th and south on 7th to Chestnut. At 3:30 PM he generally starts for home. His shorter working day is probably due to the fact that he travels slower and it takes him longer to reach home. In all three cases the beggar reaches homo about 5:00 to 5:15. It is also interesting to note that all three of these beggars live within a block of each other and that near there is a novelty store featuring laces, pencils, gum, candy, and other products for sale to street peddlers* Those beggars are also acquainted with each other and were seen by the surveyor to engage in conversation near their homes. The working day of these persons, then seems to be between 9:30 and 4:30. These are the hours when business executives and shoppers, rather than office 25* workers and rctc.il clerks, ere on the streets and are probably chosen because these folk represent the most lucrative prospects. It is possible, of course, that some of the beggars return to work in the evening and so work more than a 7 hour day, although our surveyors have seen only one of thorn on duty in the evening* This is a legless man who spends most of his time on Grand Avenue. These same observations also apply to Sundays and holidays when the only activity in the downtown district is near the hotels and theatres. Earnings. In order to establish a basis for computing the earnings of these beggars, it is necessary to go back to the individual case reports and quoto the observations of the survoyo r. Referring again to Case No* 15, wo find the following ontries - "at 9:30 AM v/atchod him for 20 minutes and ho rocoived 2 coins.....On the south side of Olive between 7th and 8th observed for half an hour. He received 5 coins. At 3 PM near the Wainwright Bldg. he received 3 coins in half an hour. From 3:45 to 4*40, ho received 8 coins while walking from 8th to 7th on Olive... .While he was resting ho took a handful of change from his pocket and started counting. I counted up to 22 coins before he started across the street." (This was at noon.) From Case No. *3, we take the following - "His approach was principally to women shoppers by removing his hat. He made 15 approaches in 20 minutes, with 4 contributors, but none took his pencils••*.During this 2 hour poriod, ho received 13 coins that I actually saw and ho may have received some that I couldnft see because of the heavy pedestrian traffic." From Case No. 16 - "As the people would pass and drop a coin in the box, the sighted man would pick it up and hand it to the blind man who would feel the coin 26* with his right hand, evidently to determine its value, and then place it in his right hand overcoat pocket. Once he received a larger coin, apparently a qucxter, which he put in his vest pocket, I observed those 2 men from 2:20 to 4:20 PM* During this tamo they received 12 nickels, 3 dimes, and 1 quarter, an average of S coins per hour...Watched them for 35 minutes. They roceived 7 coins.11 This is the only case on which the surveyor was able to stsjid close enough actually to identify tho coins as they were roceived EJid so is our only guido to an average value per contribution. These 16 coins represent a total value of $1.15 or zjn average of 7 ^ . If we accept this as an average on all the regular beggars, we can reach on estimate of the day f s earnings. Table No. 6 summarizes this information from a group of cases. TABLE HO. 6 THE EARNINGS OF BEGGARS Case Time Ho. Obssrv. 3 15 16 19 24 30 42 No. of Coins 230 Min. 135 " 195 " 90 " 240 " 40 " 120 " Averages # Figured at an working day 22 18 28 11 30 6 12 Aver. per hr. Avcra*»e earnings ; PGr hr.* Per dcv* $3.22 4.06 4.37 •62-£ 3.72 •53 3.80 .54 4.56 .65 3.04 ".43-£•52-f3.68 average of i-y. per coin and a 7 hour 6.3 8 8.6 7.3 7.5 9 6 $0.46 .58 H The average earnings for a full timo regular beggar in the downtown district, then, would seem to be about 27. $3.70 per day. The poorest of the group can expect to make a minimum of $3#00 per day and the best ran as high as $4.50. This "No. 1 Wage Earner11 was a blind Negro man about 38 years old, and rather neatly dressed. Even on the coldest days his overcoat was opened to display a five-inch gold cross hung on his chest. He also held a box of pencils and laces and kept repeating, "please buy, please buy a pencil.11 While the actual count of his earnings covered only a very short time, he was always reported as receiving frequent contributions. The next highest paid beggar, Case No. 16, v/as tho blind man mentioned several times previously. He is always accompanied by a sighted man, so that 2 persons must live on his earnings. V/hile he has never been seen without his companion, there were several days when this companion, a man about 38 or 40 and apparently physically sound, was seen begging alone. On those days his earnings seemed to bo rather poor* The above cases have all been cited from tho regular group* There was one intermittent beggar, however, who had hourly earnings much higher than any of those. Ho was a blind accordion player, a man about 50> neatly drossed, accompanied by a v/oman about the same ago who carried tho contribution cup# (Case No. 39) They were observed for an hour on each of 2 different days. In one hour they took in 12 coins and in tho other 13. This was an average of 90£ per hour, although this couplo apparently worked only a fow hours each day. No attempt has been made to estimate tho total earnings of the intermittent beggars and panhandlers as their hours and earnings aro too irregular. Police Interference. The surveyors were instructed to be especially watchful for police interference with the 28. activities of beggars and to ask about this in conversations and interviews* On only cno occasion wore tho police seen to arrest a beggar. This was an oldurly drunk (Case No* 41) who was walking north on 6th asking for "a nickel for a cup of coffee.11 A traffic officer placed him under arrest. We find sovoral instances of police questioning boggars. In Case No. 15, the partially paralyzed Negro who is classed as the "No. 1 Beggar", wo find the following entry - "A police squad car carrying plain clothes men pulled up to the curb on Olive, one man got out and talkod to tho beggar fcr a fow minutes, then returned to the car and drove on. The beggar continued on his route and did not coase begging.11 In Case No. 32, a blind guitar player accompanied by a woman, one cf tho frequent beggars, we find this report - *fA patrolman walked up to the blind man and spoke to him. The woman (who had been looking in tho store windows while the man played and sang) walked around them trying to hear what was being said. She thon stepped between them and said a few words to the officer. Tho couple then walked south on 8th Street to Olive, whore tho man gave hor some change and she entered tho Five and Ten Cent Store. He continued to play and sing while she was gone 11 These two are the only occasions upon which the police were soen to interfere in any way, and in neither case did the beggar discontinue his work. The surveyors reported several times that beggars v/ero soon to move on to another block when a police officer approached, but no interference was noted and no such fear of the police was ever displayed by any of the handicapped beggars. In most cases, the police attitude was one of studied indifference. The following report is indicative. (Case No. 6) - I(An elderly man, in filthy condition, carrying a bag of umbrellas, went into a department store on 7th 29. Street, Approached 3 clerks and obtained 2 coins. Crossed the street to a drug store and was refused by clerks there. Crossed to a theatre and was refused by the doorman. He continued north on 7th Street for a block and succeeded in collecting at the door in 2 stores. At the others, he v/as merely taken by the arm and led to the street. While this man's actions and appearance attracted considerable attention from passers-by, a sergeant of police and a traffic officer standing on the corner ignored him.11 Some comments by the beggars themselves are also illuminating. For example, this one from an 86 year old pencil salesman. "I asked if he had to buy a license and he replied that he had been here for 4 years and never bothered about a license. The police all knov; him and are his friends.11 And this from the 16 year old beggar (Case No. 37) who has a stock of two pair of laces - "He said he had no license but he knew the fcopsf around there* However, the other day, a new detective came up to him, but when he said that he was giving the monoy to his mother, the detective wont away.11 It is not surprising that the average boat patrolman doos not like to arrest a boggar. There is no glory attached to such an arrest, and under the system in use by the police department in St. Louis, the patrolman making an arrest must appear in court on his own time to testify. Under these circumstances, they much prefer to ignore tho beggar unless complaints aro made by merchants or others molested, or at best they merely warn hijn off their beat. Child Beggars. The surveyors reported children being used in only 3 cases. One of thGsc v/as Ccso No. 5, the young couplo with tho baby, mentioned in a previous section and also in the later section on "Caso Stories.11 Tho mother sold candy during tho noon hour to workers on 30. the WPA consus project at the old Federal Building while the father wont around the corner with the baby, who was crying, and collected several coins from sympathetic workers• The baby was apparently about 18 months old* The second was Case No- 37, the 16 year old regular beggar who was sent to the Bureau office by the surveyor, but who gave e fictitious address for his family and could not be located • Ho generally had with him a 9 or 10 year old boy, supposed to be his brother, who bogged near him or across the street • The report contains this entry - "Vernon and tho younger brother wore observed today on Olive St. near 9th, thG other boy on the north sido and the younger on tho south side* They boat a hasty retroat v/hen they saw me. A razor blade salesman informed me that he was told that these boys have a gong begging. Ho said tho larger boy has a different small boy with him about every 10 days. He understands that the small boy occasionally gets a 50£ piece and on one occasion got a dollar bill* People sympathize with him on account of his small size and shabby clothes." We were never able to check this report and cannot vouch for its truth. He had only tho one youngster during our survoy. The third case, very appropriately No. 13, is tho most flagrant of the three* "Noticed near tho west entrance of a department store a man cbout 38 or 40 with 2 boys aged 10 or 12, each boy with a box covered with colored paper. He seemed to bo giving them instructions and soon they entered the store v/hile he remained in the vestibule. I followed one boy and found that his box contained 2 packages of gum. The boy would select some woman customor sxid stop close to her as she was receiving change aft or a purchase His pica was f won f t you please buy some gum?' He was successful almost every time. This was repeated 10 or 12 times, unnoticed by tiny floor walkor and never reported by any clork. Ho then returned to the door and in guarded actions turned his money over to the man.11 The group then went into another large department store and repeated the procedure. The man later separated from the boys without apparently giving them any of the money. The surveyor unwisely chose to follow the man instead of the boys and later lost him in a saloon. Neither he nor the boys was ever seen again, although a careful watch was kept, nor was a similar arrangement seen at any later time* Vendors« One of the most noticeable things on St. Louis streets is the extremely large number of vendors, or sidewalk salesmen. Most of them seem to be legitimate salesmen, not interested in begging or in accepting monef without giving their product in exchange. They always offer the purchaser his change and generally insist that it be accepted. They apparently are as legitimate as newsboys or many of the other products of urban life. The most popular items offered for sale are razor blades at 50 c. package, approximately half of the vendors having this commodity only for sale. The next most popular seems to be city maps and guides at lOpl oach. Other items offered are safety matches at 10 a box or 100 a carton, song sheets, candy, gum, peanuts, popcorn, and similar edibles, and wall pockets, artificial flowers and similar home mado articles. Those vendors generally sell one item only* Referring back to Table No* 1 wo find that on Friday, Nov. 20, 36 different vendors were counted on the downtown streets during the 3 counts made on that day* Tho following day, Saturday, 58 were counted. On Monday, Dec. 14, there were 30 and on Friday, Feb. 12, there v/ore 20. During the veoks immediately preceding Christmas their numbers were augmented by those selling Christmas decorations, novelties', and toys. fc!oct of these mon all congregated on 3 or 4 streets, so that it is not at all unusual to see 4 or 5 to a block. On 32. Dec, 14, the surveyor reported 10 in one block, 5 on each side of 6th Street between Olive and Locust* Another "depression phenomenon11 of downtown St# Louis is the large number of "car washers11. These are usually Negro boys or men, equipped with a bucket containing rags and sometimes polishing materials, who steer the auto driver into a parking space at the curb and then offer to wipe off his car for 100• They v/ill also give the car a complete wash, borrowing water from a nearby store, or polish it for a larger amount. Iffhile they are not "organized" in any real sense of the word, each does have his own territory, usually ono or both sides of the street, for one block, and is willing to protect it with his fists if necessary* These territorial rights are so well defined that they are salable for amounts sometimes running as high as several dollars for good blocks. The police seldom molest them except as part of periodical drives caused by stealing from parked cars. On these rare occasions they arc all chased out and it is necessary to reestablish the territories when the police zeal dies down. On Friday, Feb. 12, the surveyor counted 25 such n car v/ashers" in the survey territory. Intermittent Panhandlers. Several times in preceding pages we have referred to this section and prcmisod an explanation of the activities of the intermittent panhandlers. Eleven of the forty-four beggars upon which the surveyors made detailed reports wero in this group. None of them were seen more than once in the six week period of the survey and most of thorn ceased bogging immediately after receiving ono or two coins. They bog not as a means of earning an easy living, but to pick up 150 or 200 needed for spending money. It is a spasmodic and intermittent proceeding rather than a rogular profession. Reports from several of the records will illustrate 33. this point: Case No. 1 - "At 12th Street observed a tall* thin man, partially drunk, approaching everyone. In 2 blocks hG made about 15 approaches with no success. He then turned south and proceeded to Chestnut St. v/ith no further approaches.11 Case No. 2 - "A man about 40, very ragged and dirty approached a woman waiting for a street car at 8th and Olive. Upon receiving a coin, he also appeared to be waiting for a car, but after she boarded one he wont south to Market Street and entered a saloon •" Case No. 11 - "A man about 50, very neatly dressed* His mothod of approach is to ask for a cigarette and then follow with f could you spare a nickel for a cup of coffee?' He also approaches persons sitting in parked cars. Appears to be very successful, probably because of his good appearance.1* Case No. 17 - "A man about 40, very ragged and dirty. Ho v:as frantically approaching everyone and after many attempts received one coi*i» He immediately went south to MarkOt Stroot." Case No. 25 - "Man about 65, weight about 200. As I approached he asked several persons for coins but they did not stop. I gave him a nickel. After trying several others without success, ho went south on 8th to Chestnut and entered a restaurant. He drank a cup of coffco and thon proceeded to 8th and Market where he sat dov/n on the corner with several othor men.11 Case No« 4 - "Waiting on the corner, I watched one man about 50 yoars of age sitting with 4 other men jump up each time a 'prospect' appeared. He had 34. no success, much to the amusement of his friends»lf Those men spend most of their time on or near Market Street and mako that their base of operations. The most lucrative period for their style of panhandling is from about 10*00 to 11? 30 AM. During this time most of tho persons on the street arc shoppers and business men rather than employed workers, 'tfhen plying their trade-* they range north from Market Street, along Chestnut * Pine and Olj.ve Streets, seldom going cny farthor , north- After picking up their quota of 100 or 200, they go back to M^rkex Stroct and wait for the afternoon period vihich oxtends-ioughly from about 2;30 to 8:30 FM. Duriug the early part of this period they catch the seme typo of prospects.; shoppers and business men, as in the morning* After 5:30 ?M they catch tho group staying downtown for dinner and still later, the downtown theatre crowd* There are, of course, scattered panhandlers at other times and in other parts of the district, but these are tho periods of greatest concentration* The most popular of the two periods is the morning one and the concentration is greatest at this time, partly because of its popularity and partly because the working time is shorter« *n order to have a means of positive identification and also material for possible publicity uso later* a connuercial photographer with a "candid camera*1 was ernploved to photograph some of the regular beggars and typical intermittent panhandlers. These photographs are not only interesting for record purposes, but they show in dramatic fashion the type of persons begging on our streets. One set of two shows a blind pencil poddlor in his characteristic shuffle while on duty and stepping out in full stride v/hen heading for home* 35. Case Stories* The following case stories ore summaries of relief record information on some of the cases and quotations from the actual reports of the surveyors. Thoy give some interesting and informative sidelights on the appeals used and methods of operation. CASE NO, 3. A white nan, aged about 55 with both legs amputated above the knee. Travels by sitting on a small truck with three rollers* Carries a small box of shoe strings on his lap* "I observed this man on the south side of Olive between 8th and 9th and followed him very closely. Pedestrian traffic was heavy and he moved slowly to 7th and Olive, stopping about every fifteen or twenty feet with his back against the wall asking 'please buy a pencil?1 For two hours he moved up and down Olive be* tween 7th and 9th. During this two hour period, I saw him receive 13 coins. No one took pencils. From 2:30 to 3:30 he went south on 7th to Chestnut receiving 4 coins. He then closed his pencil box and started for home.•••..he had difficulty getting up certain curbings so he unhitched his truck, v/alked on his stump pads across the street, carrying his truck in his hands and climbed the curb on the other side." He traveled 10 blocks going home. CASE NO, 5 A young couple, both aged about 26, with a baby, about 18 months. Their equipment consisted of a suitcase containing candy, and a camp chair. While the woman stood by the case calling her wares, the man took thebaby around the corner and sat down on a coping near where many office workers were congretated. "The baby was crying and while he asked for nothing, it was a scene to crea*te sympathy. Eight people walked over &nd gave him u. coin in the first 15 minutes. He remained there about 15 minutes longer until tho baby fell asleep and 36. CASE NO* 8. "Girl about 16 with small box containing razor blades and shoe laces. I bought a pair of shoe laces and asked why she was doing that kind of work* Sho at first tol«i me she was married and her husband was in Buffalo, N«Y», and this v/as the only way she could find to make a living* Later she admitted that her husband was here, that they recently arrived from Baltimore, Md* and that her husband, who is 29 years old, also sells razor blades, although with little success. It is hard for them to make more than $1 per day. They pay room rent of 750 per night and have no other source of income. She displayed a peddlerfs license." About throe woeks later, the following report was made on the same girl - "She was asking people to buy razor blades, pen* cils, and shoe laces. Made 3 sales and gave an article each time she received money. A man stopped and askod •why donft you try to get some other employment?1 She roplied that she had tried* She then left with this man and boarded a street car. Three hours later I saw her back at the same spot." CASE NO. 15. Negro man, aged 51, v/ith crippled foet. He was known to the Bureau as a professional beggar from March, 1929 until June, 1934. No relief was given during this time3 as he was always living with relatives who wore able to support him. The following record of arrests for begging are known to the Bureau: Date Disposition 3 12 29 Fined $100 -• paroled 10 11 30 Discharged 11 12 8 12 1 8 16 24 23 18 30 30 31 31 32 ti ii Fined $25 Discharged Fined $100 37. 2 6 9 12 1 2 5 6 6 8 8 8 12 6 1 32 10 32 4 32 23 32 9 33 9 33 16 33 10 33 13 33 11 33 21 33 31 33 20 33 16 34 Fined $300 » $100 " $250 Discharged Fined $250 - appealed Conviction sustained Fined $25 - paroled f t l l " Fined $100 * paroled Fined $200 - appealed Fined $100 - appealed Both convictions sustained Fined $100 - paroled Fined $100 - paroled & lectured This man was arrested 19 times, fined 13 times with 6 paroles and discharged 6 times* During the year from Juno, 1932 to June, 1933, ho was in court 7 times, 3 of them in a 27 day period • During the year 1933, he spent 8 of the 12 months in the workhouse* To our knowledge he was begging continuously during this five year period. During this survey, he was seen on tho streets begging practically ovory day and was classed by tho surveyors as tho city's n No. 1 Beggar11* The following sections of our survey give some idea of the methods he uses. "He received a coin from a Negro woman, putting on a good act of the 'shakes1 while sho was fumbling in her purso for the coin...He was standing crouched against the building with one hand outstretched and the other resting on his cane. He does not ask for help, but tho exprossion on his face and the quiver of his body seems to be his plea."Other aspects of his case have been quoted in previous soctions of the report* CASE HO* 16 Blind man, aged about 60, accompanied by a sighted man about 28 to 30, without a hat. The blind man wears 38. dark glasses, carries a white cane, and has a large cardboard sign on his hat v/ith the word "blind.11 One or the other of them also carries a small box with several pencils and shoe laces• Their procedure is as follows: "The two men stood side by side against tho building, the blind man to the right, the sighted man holding the box* As people dropped a coin iaato this box, ho would pick it up and hand it to the blind man who would feel it v/ith his right hand, evidently to determine its value, then drop it in his right hand overcoat pookot* Once he got a larger coin - probably a quarter - which he put in his vest pocket The blind man had his eyes fixed on the ground, the sighted man made his eyes look peculiar at tines and on several occasions he would look east and west as if looking for someone. At first 1 thought he was blind also, but when a bus pulled up to the curb and someone threw a cigarette out, he went over, picked it up and returned to his post and started to smoke." When they started home "they entered & Five and Ton Cent Store. As they entered the store the blind man removed his sign. They purchased 100 worth of candy and they proceded toward home." These men lived 14 blocks away and apparently always walked to and from their work. A druggist near their home gave the following information - "he said the men beg on the street v/ith a few pencils. He also informed me they make more than he does. He knows this because they come in with their nickels, dimes, and quarters for him "c change into paper money." The blind man was alfo ways accompanied by his partner, but on several occasions the sighted man was seen begging alone* CASE NO. 19 Man about 35 to 38 who has been reported to the Bureau several times in recent months for begging. He 39. has been reported as far b ack as June, 1936, as a safety pin salesman at department store dcors end also r s a flow. er salesman in the theatre district at night. "From his stooped position against the door, ho would appear to be a much older man. He was holding 3 cards of safety pins and in a pitiful sing-song voice crying '0, lady, won't you please stop and buy some pins* please buy some pins.1 He had his head down and shook it from side to side as if crying* During 30 minutes he attracted a great deal of attention and received 6 coins* No one took the merchandise and he made no attempt to offer it. At the end of this time, he put his safety pins in his pocket, straightened up, and from an apparently old man became the young man he really is* He walked across the street to a corner drugstore and bought a package of cigarettes then stopped at the corner newsstand to smoke. He borborwed a paper to read and v/hile reading, I noticed that he was particularly keen and alert. He then returned to his post at the department store and went through the same motions.11 CASE NO* 24 A legless Negro woman always seen sitting on a small roller frame in front of a cheap hotel* She carries a box of pencils and most of her gifts seem to come from Negroes who apparently know her. "At 11:30 AM the front door of the hotel v/as opened by a Negro man, the woman rolled out and took up her regular post* I watched her for 3 hours and she received 20 coins. On 2 occasions people took pencils At this hour the front door of the hotel was opened and the woman moved in.11 CASE NO. 30 Small Negro man* apparently blind, years, neatly dressed. His overcoat is and he v/ears a cross which hangs from a neck said hangs on his chest. The cross aged about 38 always unbuttoned cord around his is large - about 40. 5 x 3 - and is prominently displayed. He also carries a small box of pencils. His usual plea is ffplease buy a pencil.1* He was watched for 40 minutes and received 6 coins. At 4:40 he started for home walking so fast it was difficult for the surveyor to keep up with him. He walked 26 blocks to his home. CASE NO, 32 Blind man about 38 years old, playing a guitar with cup attached to handle. He was accQmpajiied by a woman about 24 years old. "Observed him for tv/o hours and during this period he received 21 coins. He movos along very slowly while playing and singing. The womr.n leads him across the street, sees that he has a clear place to start. She tells him the distance to the building and then leaves him, to go window shopping, occasionally looking to see how he is .getting along. She then takes his arm and leads him to another spot farther up the street.11 When this couple wore ready to go home* they boarded a service car, which would bo a fare of 150 each, and rode to their home in the west end* CASE NO. 39 Tall man, about 50, blind, accompanied by a woman. He plays an accordion. She leads him by the arm, walking on the inside, and holds a cup in her hand* Sho extends the cup as her silent plea. "I saw this couple coming out of the hotel at 10:30 and followed them one hour and they received 13 coins. At ls30 PM I again picked them up and followed them over different streets for one hour during which time they received 12 coins* At 4:15 they returned to their hotel....As they v/ent up Olive to 11th, I observed them for 20 minutes and they received 7 coins After each piece he plays, he takes out his handkerchief and wipes his eyes, which seem to be running all the time....At 9:30 this couple 41. came out of the hotel, without tho accordion, end spent 20 minutes walking around while the woman looked into various store windows. At 9:50 they returned to the hotel. " Recapitulation* In order to emphasize the high lights of this portion of the survey, we recapitulate here the chief points that have been brought out. 1) Not more than 11 beggars were found at any one time. 2) Only 12 regular, full-tim© beggars were found• 3) A total of 44 different beggars were reported. This included the 12 "regulars", 9 frequent, and 23 intermittent beggars. 4) 10 of tho beggars wore blind and 11 were deformed or crippled. 5) The normal v/orking day of the regular beggar was found to be 7 hours. 6) The average °wagof! of a full-time beggar was found to be about $3.70. Some were observed to take in as much as 95£ in one hour. 7) The police seldom interfered with the activities of the beggars. 8) 58 different vendors were counted on the streets in one day. 25 Negro "car washers11 v/erc counted on another day. 42. 9) The ordinary panhandler seems to bo interested only in getting 15£ or 200 • As soon as this is received, he quits work* 43. CHAPTER 3 THE SURVEY OF BEGGING IN NEIGHBORHOODS General statement* The original plan for the neighborhood portion of the survey called for interviews with approximately 50 housev/ives in each of 10 different neighborhoods of the city and suburban communities. We were not able to complete this many interviews, however, during the time of the study and have not been able to arrange any method of completing it since that time* Three neighborhood were covered with a total of 109 housewives interviewed* We realize this is a very small number from which to draw conclusions or make generalizations and this section of the survey might consequently be criticized. However, we must recognize the fact that these neighborhood reports are not the result of actual counts made by the housav/ives but are estimates made on a moment's notice at the request of the interviewer andy as these estimates were quite uniform, with few exceptions, in all 3 districts, we believe that v e are fairly safe in / using them. It is hoped at a later date to complete the Survey with several hundred more interviews from other districts, but as we v/ere unable to do that for inclusion in this report, we believe the present material is too valuable to omit. We report the following results then* fully realizing that it may be necessary to revise them when extended over a larger number of interviews. Method Used. The method used was to have the surveyor personally interview each housewife and fill out the desired information on each interview card. He introduced himself by presenting a typed and signed introduction card from the Secretary of the Bureau, stating 44. that the bearer was conducting a house-to-house survey of beggars and peddlers and that any courtesy shown him would be appreciated. This v/as generally sufficient introduction and he reported that his reception was in most cases cordial and that most persons were v/illing to give the desired information. He did not, of course, carry any cards or notebooks in his hands when approaching the door. The following 3 x 5 card v/as used to record interviews, a separate card being used for each one. It is so arranged that a check can be used as an answer to most questions, thus saving as much time as possible. This is especially important on a midwinter survey, as most persons are reluctant to invite the surveyor into the house and also object to holding tho door opon for too long a period. Any comments of the housewife were written on the reverse side of the card. NEIGHBORHOOD SURVEY OF BEGGING - BHM - 1936 Street ] Blk. (APT)(F1) (SmHs) (La.Hs) BEGGARS- No. Per WK (M)_(W ^Regulars? Ask for (Y/ork) (Money) (Clo) (Food) „ How Give (Never) (Seldom) (Often)(Al\vays) What Give (Work) (Money) (Clo)(Food) (Reg) Att. of Beg. PEDDLERS. No -Per WK (M) (W) Regulars? 3 el line;? W O * .-.l.»..»».».» ........... ... t. . . . . . Buying (Nover)(Seldom)(Often)(Always) Appeal used? . „ .„ . „ Att* of Ped. CHILDREN. No.Por Y l (B) (G) Regulars? fC Begging? OT Soiling? What? Buy or Give (Nover)(Seldom)(Often)(Always) AppOdl USGd Att. of Ch. . „ „. 45. Territory Covered* As previously mentioned, three districts wero covered with a total of 109 interviews. There were 47 interviews in the West End district comprising the 5600, 5700, and 5800 blocks on Cates, Clemens and Enright Avenues; 42 interviews in the South Side district comprised of the 3700 and 3800 blocks on Humphrey, Connecticut, and Juniata Avenues; and 20 in the North Side district comprised of the 4700 and 4800 blocks on Farlin and Anderson. Most of the interviews were in small or large houses* While there were some apartments in each district, we found that most of these did not allow beggars or peddlers* BEGGARS The Number of Beggars* Of the 109 housewives inter--" viewed, 69 or 63^ reported some beggars each week and 40, or 37$, reported that they had no beggars. Breaking down the 63$ who reported some, we find that 41$ (of the total number of housewives) reported an average of one beggar each week, 19$ reported 2 a week and the other 3$ reported that they had 3 or more* The West End district was the only one reporting a regular beggar. This was a Negro woman who carried a basket and begged food from door-to-door and from neighborhood grocery stores* No one could give any details regarding her as none had inquired- This woman was also the only woman beggar reported in the survey. The average number of beggars per week was slightly less than one for all housewives interviewed, and about !§• for those reporting some beggars* The following table, giving the percentages in the three districts reporting beggars, is given to show the uniformity of the reports, a uniformity which was present in practically all phases of the survey, and which leads us to believe that additional interviews would show the same result • 46. TABLE NO. 7 THE NUMBER OF BEGGARS (Shown as Percent of Housewives Interviewed) to. of 3eKEars None 1 2 3 Totals Totals West 37 % 41 19 3 100 36 32 26 6 100 D i s t r i c t North South 36 48 16 0 100 40 50 10 0 100 Requests. The beggars who called at the door made requests for different things. The housewives reported that 93$ of them asked for food or a "handout11, 16$ asked for cast-off clothing, and 4$ asked for money* Only 57$, however, asked for work or offered to work in exchange for anything given* Frequency of Giving» Only 2/5, or 40$, of the 69 housewives report that they "often" give to beggars, of the other 60$, 51$ seldom give, and 9$ will nover give under any circumstances• None reported that they always give. The West End is most "hard-boiled" on this, as the percent who never give is highest there and lowest on the South Side. The converse is also true, that the percent who often give is lowest in the West End* From the above figures, the beggar1s chances of obtraining a contribution in answer to his request, would seem to be only 2 in 5# V/hen we consider the answers to the next question, however, we see that he actually has better odds than this, for 98$ of the housewives (not considering those who report that they never give) are willing to give a beggar a "handout" if they have any left-over food available. 14$ will try to find a job for him or will require him to work for anything he 47. receives, while 6% will give him any cast-off clothing that happens to be handy. Attitude of Beggars. The attitude of the beggars was uniformly reported as "good". A few reported that the beggars were "appreciative,11 but in every case these were persons who also stated that they generally gave* Some also reported that the attitude of the beggars was "not very good11 or "surly11, but these were persons who never gave to beggars and who also seemed to be very indignant about the nuisance of continually answering the door bell# PEDDLERS The Number of peddlers. Every housev/ife interviewed reported that she had some peddlers each week. In getting an estimate of number, we asked that she not include legitimate salesmen, such as brush salesmen, vacuum cleaner men, and magazine solicitors, but only peddlers of more or less unsalable novelties, shoe laces and notions. It was, of course, very difficult to draw an accurate dividing line but we did the best we could. It was apparent from most of the answers that this estimate of the number of peddlers represents the housewife's opinion of a "nuisance" rather than a division between peddlers and salesmen. As mentioned before, every housev/ife reported some peddlers each week* The lowest estimate received was 5, two women reporting this number* The highest was "18 or 20", although we are inclined to doubt this figure as it does not fit the reports from the other houses in the block. One woman, who was interviev/ed late in the afternoon, reported 5 by actual count that day. The average for the entire survey was 10, district averages being 9 in the West End, 10 on the South side, and 11 on the North side. The following table 48. shows the number actually reported. j I TABLE NO. 8 THE NUMBER OF PEDDLERS INo. of .Peddlers i 5 ! Percent Reporting 2 1 7 8 9 10 12 or more 20 12 43 22 Sex. 93$ of the housewives reported some women each week, the average being 2 in each of the 3 districts* The average number of men reported v/as 8 per week, or approximately 4/5 of the number of peddlers. Regulars«. 88$ reported "some" regulars each week, although none of them were willing to estimate what proportions * They merely remembered "seeing the same faces*1* The percent reporting regulars was highest on the North Side and lowest in the West End* Willingness to Buy* When asked if they ever buy from peddlers, Yl% of the housewives responded with an emphatic "noi" 13$ often buy and 70$ seldom do so# We find here again that the West End is the most "hardboiled" section, as it has the highest percentage of those who never buy. One curious fact wives seem tc be more gars than to buy from ports that 87$ seldom in this connection is that housewilling to give outright to begpeddlers, as evidenced by the reor never buy from peddlers while 49. only 60fo have this attitude toward beggars. Our only explanation of this is that it may be another evidence of the "nuisance value" of the peddler - there are so many peddlers calling at the door that their very numbers have built up a feeling of resentment against the entire group• Children. No child beggars or peddlers were reported in any part of the city* We were rather surprised at this, as we had expected to find almost as many children as women peddling novelties from door-to-door• Comments of Housewives* The surveyor was instructed to write OK the reverse side of the interview card any comments made by the housewives that would show their attitude toward beggars and peddlers• This was done on about one-half the interviews. Reading these comments, three attitudes seem to stnnd out as typical - (1) The woman has a sentimental sympathy for all "those people1* and is "always willing to give them something to eat or to buy something," (2) she is incensed and resentful of the continual nuisance of answering the door; or (3) she cannot understand why the government does net take care of them. The following comments are typical: "This woman is dways willing to give the men a meal because she knows they are hungry. Believes she is a 'marked house' but does not care." "Will not give than a hearing. Merely closes the door." "It is a nuisance, but not as bad as last year." (This is a frequent comment.) ••Will not give them anything when she sees they 50. are selling something/1 "Believes with all the money the government is spending there should be a place for zhese people.'1 "Why can't these people be taken care of by relief with all the money that is given?" "Wishes something would be done to stop these people from ringing her door bell.11 "Cannot understand what reiief is for if it does not help these people. It is a nuisance answering the door." "Closes the door as soon es she discovers therru She "knows they con get work or help if they deserve it." "Always gives them something to eat and usually a nickel or dime to peddlers, without taking the article." In practically no instance did we discover any intelligent understanding of the social problems involved in begging. This indicates the tremendous job of interpretation and education that needs to be done if the giving public is to become informed on social and welfare matters.