Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From the November 10, 1931 Minutes of the Home Association Monthly Meeting

Long before state or federal relief or welfare programs, Ypsilanti's Home Association--founded in 1857--provided food, fuel, and clothing to the needy in town. Some of the most prominent women in town were members. Their meeting-books with notes from the late 19th century up through the Depression are preserved in the Archives, and offer a rare glimpse of the juxtaposition of the upper and the lower classes in town.

Despite its best intentions, sometimes the H.A. could do only little.

"Mrs. Converse told a sad story of the unemployed--a man and family [with] 3 children who walked from Indiana hoping to receive help or work in Mich & was returning disappointed. Mrs. Converse's father fed them and Mrs. Converse gave them $3.00 [$43 in 2010 dollars] to buy more food."

"Them".....the children walked along as well. And all the way home again.

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