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Hoovervilles

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by

Katie Beckwith

on 23 March 2011

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Transcript of Hoovervilles

Hoovervilles by Katie Beckwith Hooverville is the popular name for shantytowns built by homeless people during the Great Depression. What is a Hooverville? People made huts from any materials the could find. How Hoovervilles Began How The Name "Hooverville" Was Created Life In A Hooverville The economic downturns of the 1930s left many people unable to pay their mortgages and caused many families to be left homeless. The families were left to desperate measures of building shelter out of any materials they could find. These shantytowns developed near charity soup kitchens, or on vacant land on the outskirts of cities Some authorities did not officially recognize the hoovervilles and forcibly removed the people for trespassing on private properties. Some authorities would even burn the shantytowns. The economic strife of the inhabitants of the hoovervilles was blamed on President Herbert Hoover's inaction allowing the country to slide into the depression. The name of Hooverville held a negative connotation for Hoover as the impoverished tent cities were named "in his honor". However, many government officials ignored or tolerated these tent cities because the inhabitants had nowhere else to go. Lack of Food Filth Disease Unemployment Hoovervilles lacked sanitation. They also didn't have garbage removal. While most men tried to keep their shacks clean, it was difficult to keep the camps clean. Rat ran wild all over the shantytowns. Unemployment rates of the Great Depression reached as high as 40%. They built shacks and had no steady income. Some men were lucky to work rare odd jobs. Others began micro-businesses where they sold scrap in the shantytown. Lack of sanitation, food, and water caused diseases in hoovervilles to spread rapidly. People in hoovervilles had to beg for food to avoid starving. Some knew how to fish and hunt.
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