harbor light: organizati~ on skid row today - OhioLINK ETD

harbor light: organizati~ on skid row today - OhioLINK ETD

HARBOR LIGHT: ORGANIZATI~ ON SKID ROW TODAY QY Alison Evelyn Woodward A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirement for the degree Mas...

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HARBOR LIGHT:

ORGANIZATI~

ON SKID ROW TODAY

QY

Alison Evelyn Woodward

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirement for the degree Master of Arts to the Department of Sociology of Oberlin College.

OBERLIN COLL1i:GE

Oberlin, Ohio 1973

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TABLE

QE CONTENTS.

Chapter I: Skid Rowand Its Man: an introduction

3

Chapter ill Literature and the Background of Skid Row

14

Chapter Ill: The Research Setting

43

Chveland I s Sld<:l Row

43

r~rbor Light Center

50

ChaptBr IV: Methods Used and Hethodological Considerations 57 Chapter V: Presentat:ion of HypothAses Chapter

70

vI: The NetwOrk of Agencies and Reputations

82

Chapter VII: HaJ7bor Light: A Portrait of .E ighty

107

Chapter VIII: VlOn and Mariagement i.n Interaction: The Center Organization · .

133

Nen liho Make It I

Chapter IX: Chapter X.l

Success Stories

'

Discussion and Conclusions

1~6

170

Al:'PENDIC:'<;S

A.

Questionnaires for : Wficers and Men

.0 •

Neasures Used

C.

Comparability of samples

D.

Agency Utilization

E.

Reco~~endations

i vi viii

for Harbor Light Policy

xxx xl

BIBL IOGRAPHY

1.

Books

II.

Articles f·

xl xliv

LIST .Q[ TABLES Harbor Light Occupational History J'ge at Leaving Home Importance of Religion in Life Self-estimate of Health 5. Percent Never Married 6. Glock & Stark Orthodoxy Measures 7. I Know GOd Exists and Have no Doubts About It 8. The Devil Actually Exists 9. Why did You come to Harbor Light 10.1"irst Stay and Longest Stay at One Time II. Lane Authoritarian ~cores, Longitudinal Consideration 1. 2. 3. 4.

page 109 110 112 114 115 119

120 120 129 134 164

ILLUSTRATIONS Harbor Light Administration (by Harbor Light) Skid Row Service Areas: Downtown (Wm. March)

frontispiece 46

Skid Row Service Areas: Near West Side (Wm. March)47

1"ois study of interaction Nas aided immeasurably by interaction with the supportive communities of Oberlin and Cleveland. Hajor support has come from the sociology.anthropologyfaculty of Oberlin COllege • . J. Milton Yinger origina.lly encouraged me to undertake this project. Be helped shape my ideas about the role of religion and served as a most inspiring professional role model.

Stephen Cutler, ever-responsive to my persistent pounding

on his ooor, served as the best of advisers.

His discipline and

rigor directed my formulation andex>ression of rambling and unfocused thoughts.

Without his firm support, this project

would never have reached completion.

Marc Bernstein· pointed



me down the trail of organizational literature, while Albert HcQueen left an imprint on the social-psychological aspects of the project.

Ny theoretical perspectives were powerfully molded

by the high teaching standards of the department. The support of Oberlin College and . the Committee on Graduate Studies made my off-campus research possible, as well as my oncampus survival. The social welfare community of Cleveland offered overwhelming cooperation.

Najar Bdward Dimond and Doug Hodges of the Salvation

Army are to be especially thanked for opening so many doors. appreciation goes to the men of Harbor Light and the staff who gavo willingly of their time to a "nosy researcher." " The many agencies who offered hospitality and information are heartily thanked. Planning helped people.

. Doug ~!cGraw of the Federation for Community

mightily: in introducing me to these generous

Ny

Finally thanks So

to the friends ' who put up with my

endless stories of interviewing and strange skid row experiences. Hr. William Harch, through his drafting skills, knowledge of Cleveland and continuing personal support, ranks first among them.

PRF.FACll:

The homeless man

been a visible portion of

h~s ~lways

.~erica's urb~n life, und a mos~ intriguing portion.

interest in the homeless

. beg~n

through historical

done on the rise of the American hobo in American life.

ci~y ,l~d •

J

My own

~ose~rch

the place of the

Through urban sociology 1 dev~loped

additional concerns · about the place of the skid row comnunity ' in the life of the central business districts of cities.

The place of the hOAT,eless moi;n raises questia,ls of both deviancy and social cc~trol. rehabilitate the homeiess

~d

The attempts of sOciety to the special intoraction of

society at large with tho mOre limited raw man through the rehabilitatiO'n

comrr~nity

ag~ncy

of the skid

serve as the focus

of this paper. 1 intrO'duce the wo~k in Chapter 1 with background information on the skid row ~rGa ~~d the hom~ss man.

~hapter

II,

a review of the litero;ture, follows this, including major I

theoretic:.l perspectives on the :.•problein.

It summarizes some

of the major quantitative st:"..ldies and ethnogrOlphies on the Qrec:a..

Subsequent sections deal with the research setting of the Cleveland skid row ~re~, ~~d the specific organiz.tional setting and its suitability to' my proposed research.

Chapter

0.£ the thesis deals with some speci.al methOdological consider-

~V

-2ations and the techniques used to investigate the problem. My hypotheses are applied to a specific study of problems presented at '.i.ho Harbor L.ight Canter in Cl,~velO'llld. an agency devoted to treatment of the skid row

~~.

and are presented

in the fifth Chapter.

'.i.he remainder of the w.:>rk is devoted to a presentation of the ro sul ts of the r'" search. an analysis of the

av~i!able

.I!'our chapters arfl deVOted to

soci~l

welfare services. of the

specific clientele using the Harbor Light Center, &.>.,d of the progr.am Qnd officers at the Harbor Light Center. i

of the thesis presents a

su~nary

Conclusion

of the results presented and

general discussion. with brief cvnsideration of the implicai

tions of the study for t:10 H.::rbor L.ight Center ~.nd for the field.

An

appendix presents specifics on measures used in the

study. compieta information on the social welfare agency interviews, .and copies of the two questionnaires, as well as follow-up lotters employed in thB l'il&il portion of the research.

,

-This thesis attempts to describe the interaction between the ,.nen · of Harbor Light and the management of that organiza1

tion, both in terms of the ecological setting of the city and the internal situation of the particular agency.

-3-

SKID ROW AND ITS MEN: AN INTRODUCTION

The skid rower does not b&the, eat regularly, dress respectably, marry or raise children, attend school, vote, o"m property or regul.u::ly live in the same place. .He does little work of any kind, and does not even steal. J.h" skid rower does nothing, he just is. H.. is ev .. rything all. the rest of us try not to be ••• and perhaps because the terms of his existence challenge our most basic values, we respond by callL~g him derelict and using other expressions of contempt. I.Wallace, 1965.p.144i

·.1he home Ie ss m:m is an outlander to tha stable social system of work, on skid rOw.

fa~ily,

commur,ity, and church.

rie

congreg~tes

Economicl:.lly at th~ bottom of the social order,

he is usually unemployed, and som.. times ·,living on welfare IIlnd disability payments.

He works only on a temporary or spot basis.

dis area =d his needs hav~ been .. chronic concern of cities. Sociologists of the Chic~go school, such as Nels Anderson l1923) were among the first to study these men who deviate from and reject the existing social order.

Uften these sociological

descriptions were colored with distaste.

'J.he skid row are .. has

t

always been the city's least desirable in terms of housing and population.

While the location is close to the center of town

and the major transpor.t ation lines, it is alWAYS to the side of the major business district, leering at the normal world. j

The skid row area h4s undergone major changes. .

.. ,

!n the

past the depre ssion . and economic cycle s chQnged skid row.

Today

urban renewal practices and improvements in the social welfare . . s~stem

(

have effects. r

~kid

row men have evolved from the returning

-4and unemployed veterans of the twenties, to the migranKand hobo of the thirties and forties, to the lost and aimless, disabled and disaffiliated who live there today.

While at first romanticized

as ~he home of the hobo and the radical intellectual . the row today is no longer a street of dreams and legends.

Nels Anderson

reported: The hobo belongs with the pre - Hollywood cowboys and the lumberjacks of the Paul Bunyan le g ends. He has a place tOOwith the prospec~or who used to roam the hills, leading a burrow and expecting always to strL~e a pick into a lode of rich ores. (.4.nderson,1.940, p.21) Just as the population has changed, so has the location and atmosphere.

Urban renewal has ripped cut whole blocks of old

hotels, and the skid rows simply relocate in nearby deterioratL1g neighborhoods. the same.

Yet even with change in the picture, much remains

A description of the population and the hQusing available

would be applicable w.ith few changes to a lmost every major city in the country. There . are few young on skid row other than crippled re,mants of war and the occasional drug addict.

The young labor force has

been replaced by t .h " · elderly disabled and the retired.

Stable

employment and the disappearance of seasonal labor opportunities have robbed the area of the younger migrant and steady, although occasional, worker. unskilled labor. ization.

The row no longer functions as a pool of

Those jobs are gone

~~ith

auto/nation and union-

Pension and relief benefits enable some to find other

housing than skid row, although many of the area regulars are pensioners.

'Lhe physical condition and size of skid row seems to

vary with the stability of' ·the nation I s economy and the social benefits available to the misfits of society.

Hhen welfare pays

,

'I

-5enough for better housing, many of the pensioners will leave the area. Several inEln ..

c.r' t: '.:'

chQracte~istics

are comnl0niy held by the skid row

Donald Bogue, who wrote a study on the Chicago skid ro.., • (Bogue, 1963) provid t3S the g=€.a,te st amount of quan tatative

inio.cmatiorl available slimple of 613 men.

0::

the skid rcv] man..

He '-1o;:ked with a

He noted that three conditions are held

commonly by the skid row man: They are first of all homeless, and c:-:e:n migrate betweer.. residences withL.1. a city and between cities.

S6 condly, the men are poor, working irregularly or at low rates of ?ay and subSisting on Welfa£e.

lnirdly, the men often have

social problems which the society at large does not share.

Dril. . . king,

marital difficulties; criminal backg roundS and assorted heal'cn pro1:>lams are all found i.-I surprising degrees on skid row.

Whether

it is these problems the.t bring men t o skid row or whether the problems are created later could be the subject of another thesis. L~deed,

much of the work on the area focuses on the motiVations

bringing a man to skid row life. \,hether the men com", to skid row because of economic considerations as Bogue suggests, or in search of complementary

CO(Ml-

unity, as Spradley suggests, (Spradley, 1971) when they arrive, they find a neighborhood and community life which parallels, if perverts, the neighborhood found for instance among Herbert Gans' Boston Italians.

(Gans, 1962 )i-fuch as the street serves

as a center of activity for other lower class groups, as those studied by Whyte and Liebow, is the center for life

Oi,

(Whyte, 1955; Liebow, 1967) so it

skid rot•• Anthropologists who have

-6studied the area, passing as members of the community note the public nature of interaction the.re. Skid row is a community, l.I tor no other reason than that life must go on even if one is on skid r~N .•• it is a distinct and recognizable way of life, a special c~nmunity with its ovm subculture that leads to the definition of the skid :::ower as a member of the skid row community .•• the institutional compLex--the low lodging housing, the itinerant laborers, the relief and welfare systems, and the law ••• (Wallace, 1965,p.142) are there, providing common situations from only regional variation.

c~ty

to city with

Tne street relationships are fairly

anonymous, usually only on a first name or nickname basis; but nonetheless provide a human interaction of regular sort. In most towns the men who really utilize the community's :::esources are the locals, who were called in the thirties, "home guard.

II

the

They now make up the majority of men utilizing

agencies on skid row. role he once did.

The transient no longer plays the large

The area has become more stable.

The skid row man and his community form a kind of eco-social system with the rest of the city.

As several researchers have

pointed out, both elements of the system need each other. l

The

skid row area provides anonymous drinking places for the rest of the city.

The skid row man and his comnunity provide clients

for the social welfare system.

lbe larger community, through

the social welfare systet!'. is often responsible for the skid row man ' s continued survivaL

The relationship is an interlocking one.

In the area where the larger society and the skid row community

1 H. Warren Dunham (1953) and Samuel E. \.Jallace (1965) are among the authors who have used a systems theory in describing skid row. There seems to be a continuin,e; and ongoing relationship which provides needs for both parties or elements in the system, thereby supporting this illterpreta.tion.

-7~ost

frequently interact, the social welfare agency . the system

is to b e seen most c l early.

While one might think that the

man reaped all the benefit of the association, in actuality, the agency depends on clients for survival. Skid row institutions have trouble because they are often dependent on the free labor offered by the men. An institution \~ithout clien ts would have to clc-se down. Institutions must maintain a certain client laad or budget allocations will be jeopordized. (tJisell'.an, 1970)t The relationship of the man and tho services of the city has best been studied by Shirley Wiseman, who described the pattern of ager.cy usage of · the skid row habitue', and ca:led it the "loop. " This paper \.ill investigate the relationship of the skid row man to his environment by an intensive study of men at one particular agency, and the interactions between the men and management at that agency which help to promote the survival of each.

Each member of the interaction between the agency and

man defines the situation, as ~l.

1. Thomas (1923) would

'say,

towards his own particular ends, and knows the proper manipulations to achieve his ends.

As in any systematic relationship,

there is a delicate balance present. participant will stand to gain.

At times one or the other

When an organization adds a new

staff member, for example, clients can exploit that new member's naivet~ and unfamiliarity with the rules for their own benefit.

Nany different sorts · of agenCies serve the area, varying from the national organizations eerving the homeless, such as the Salvation Army, to the local crop of variations on themes of treatment for the derelict.

The the or ie s of trea tmen tare

developed through analysis of the causation of homelessness.

For

-8-

example, a Christian mission organization might focus primarilyon Bible study classes for treatment, as it believes spiritual weruanessat the bottom of the problem, whereas a hospital believing in disease causation, would treat medically. While fulfilling the needs of the skid row man, the agencies also fulfill the needs of the larger society for charitable activity.

Each agency is supported by a shadowy gxoup of donors

who provide food and clothir.g. work and donations fo;:, on-going programs.

Host agencies have boa::ds of trustees lind ladies '

auxiliaries involved

~

securing this su?port.

Thus, by

J?rovidir.g opportuni tie s for cOl1l1n1L.'li ty service, the small coq-unu."lity within skid ro,·, becomes part of a larger social-ecological .(

system.

'1he agencies in turn contribute to the formation of the skid row , cO.mmunity.

Tne men in a city who habitually use

one .sgency Or another come to l;;r.ow each Other.

The agencies

may be seen as providing communication centers,

~lhere

get together to share information

on

men may

surviving both within this

organization and in others on skid row. Whereas relations on the street are numerous, they are also fairly an.o nymous, but once in a re.habilitation SOciety, he gets to know the other men

more . intimately, eating and working with them.

Mftn who are

encountered in agency situations . may become drinking companions. •

I

The men on skid row deviate from standard social goals and norms.

Separated ' from the larger society. the men create

a sub-culture, with values and norms in "opposition, if not OUtright rebellion to the society at large.

While their values

seem to retreat from normal society, rather than consistently

thereby

~~belling,

pl~cing

them midway on the continuum between

subculture and contracuiture (Yinger, 1960), many of their behavioral nOrms affront the society at large when visible, such as their public drinking habits.

As the skid rOw c041munity

becomes less transient, and its members more stably si·tuated L. tho

cou~nunity.

supportive.

the subculture becomes richer and

more

Wallace (1965), the best ethnographer of the

skid row "way of life" explains the necessity of an emergent life style in the ecological system of skid row. the

S.dnse

of

COJTh7.-i..1:Gity

idi;-"n1tity and

subcul~cural

~

sees

values arising

not only in reaction to society L'1 ,'!erton I s (:l.957) sense of retreatism 'and perhaps rebellion 1 ) but also thr~ugh the natUXQl processes of interaction withL'1 a

s,U&l~

and sharply defL.ed

area:

"Una effect of the se1.f- c.no c01Thnm1.i·ty-impos~d isolation

has been the emer3ence of a skid row subculture. ~kid rOwers share a siGlil",r problem of adjustment to their deviance and are h. effective interaction with each other. \Wallace, 1965, p. 149) lho C!\li.n defines

situ~t:ions

defensively on his own benalf.

J!'or the most part, the illan is al.are of the stigm&. associated with his status.

The rest of the ,community makes clear

his low status through various signs of distaste. (Gofffi'.&n, 1963) L~

receives pathological descriptions of his behavior at every

dOOr.

As Wiseman points out, most treatment facilities operate with a SOcial background of ("iddle class decency. Skid row is a prime manif"statian of social pathology--the physical area is called blighted, and the residents are seen as pathological. Professionals see life there from their own socidogical mirror, as having at'tenuated social .r;elations, and as boring and insecure Ivays of life. ~Wiseman, 1970, p.5)

The man realize s his society, and the agencies that serve him

-10-

are out of bounds for normal citizens. For instance, a man with a home could not tuC-O to the Men's Social Service Center for help.

The man feels the efforts of the groups who

aid him are at the same time admired and looked down upon for catering to hopeless caSAS. Their efforts on behalf of the skid row man are considered to be voluntary acts of pity above and beyond the cust~~ry call of social duty. (Bogue, 1963, p. 407) O,1P. of '1::he main ,~e.ys that the skid row «.an hilS contact with

outside society is

tr~ough panr~ndling.

The skid row man here

recieves messsges of dislike and distaste, even from "marks" who cooperatively give him his "soven cents to tpake up the cost of a beer.

II

The skid row panhandler sees himself in the illirrors

of other men, and modifies his perform&nces so that he can maintain his own life style with support from the outside co~~cnity.2 Every man on skid of life. row.

r~~

is aware that there' are other ways

No man starts life in the all-male society of skid

This consciousness of status loss does not ease the prob-

lems of adjustment.

Yet the atmosphere is warm there, and hos-

tile cO$nunityattitudes are neutralized by the men through rejection of social values and blatant use of social benefits, much es the juvenile delinquent neutralizes societal disapproval through appropriate group behavior (Sykes, and Matza,1957) i

To reject society, as Wallace points out,the men glorify ;

skid row.

When they contact outside agencies,they

\l~e

the

tactic of demand as right on every contact, so ' that the social agency from the established group is theoretically on the defense. 2The relationship involved in panhandling is subtle and highly depp.ndent on dramatic prBsentation. Interesting insights arB available in Gilmore, 1940; Goffman, 1959; and less directly, in Strauss, 1959.

-11i'Whether the agency is public .or private, the homeless man when appealing for aid, appears to expect it as a right." (Wallace, 1965, p. 149)

Like~"ise, when researchers or "tourists II visit

- the area, the skid rO\o1' man is pror.e

'(:0 exa -lt ~

his past. Spradley

(1971) and Straus (1948) have both devoted large portions of their work to describing intelligent guides to skid row who "bamb.oozle" the researcher in their glorification of past. 4 The skid row man cloaks his hostility toward his external

environment&~d

the beneficent nature of his social arena

through extolations of his existence and its peculiar customs ,

,

such ·as "great drunks " and easy " marks." ,-lays of cleverly "getting by" are the ideal on skid row. iI~tiOn

"Ge tting by" involve s the util-

of agencies for shelter and food ,,,ith minimal wor.k and

loss of .independence.

\
the maz

mus t maximize ' his appearance of cooperation so as · to extend his

,

welcome ?-tthe agency. skid

r~Y

Likewise involved in "getting byll qn

is the exploitation of skid row living situations. Hen

glorify clever ways of finding free shelter. i-

More than one type of skidrcw man utilizes the resources .

of

"

.'

thea~ea,

~"hich

is seldom clarifie d in the literature. Not

all who use skid row institutions are typical skid row residents. While Bogue (1963) emphasizes the individual differences, those )

who speak of skid row life styles often fail to point OUt that many are unfamiliar with ways of "getting by" ,surviving, and · 3 The chapter being taken in his problem is with the ' group

on methodology vlill consider '-1ays of aVOiding by self-glorifying respondents, although very difficult to totally avoid in research because of this subcultural norm.

-12the afore(!1entioned "loop " . Some men, like those focused upon by Ylallace and Wisefl1'dn, are true habitue's of skid row. Others, however, are still adjusting to the life.

In this period of

adjustment, their utilization of resources is different than \-lhen .they are fully acclimated to the environment.

They

are less "cynical" in their usage, perhaps, than men who have been throug h the agencies many times, and know the procedures. Vliseman points ou ·t that the men on skid row have an ambivalent attitude about their situa.tion.

She describes the stages

of a.!:Cjuie~cerldetO the "seductive qualities of skid row." (Vliseman,. 1970, p. ':'3,i

<.e men who have recently come to the row are stil l

close enough to their old environment to remember what it was like.

Not having developed the support of the skid row sub-

cultural norms and the friendships necessary on skid row, they may have some desire to regain what was lost. However, their every contact with social welfare personnel makes them more aware of the easy alternatives in the skid row community.

If they

lose their independence, they may find it possible to pass on skid row, to become used to the way of life, r\mning for food and shelter, but somehow always "getting by." These men are the men still in a no-man's land between normal society and skid row.

Histdric.9.11y~ · . sk1.d r ·ow hasalways.·.had: ,its .res;idents • . They change and are in various stages of adjustment to the situation , but the environment remains the same.

It is a matter of

interpretation as to whether it is a place of dirt, blight, and filth as reported by Bogue, or one of rich social contacts and easy ways of living, as re ported by IHsernan and Wa llace.

There

are definite environmental interaction s that take place in this

-13setting , as two separate groups, the larger society represented by the social agency, and the subcultura l grouping me e t, each attempting to reach particular ends.

The social agency hopes

eventually to eradic,a te the skid row alcoholic.

The skid row man

seeks temporary shelter, food, and a possible few .. days of sobriety.; He has little thought of long-range reform, unless stil: a newcomer attached to his old social g oals.

It is this situation of

environmental interaction that will be examined in this paper, both on the microscopic level of an individual agency in the Cleveland area, and on the macroscopic level of other agencies in the environmen t providing varied alternatives for the skid row

man.

-14-

I

TWo major sociologicul qUestions b.re raised on any visit ;~hy

to the skid row environronnt. First-

does skid row exist?

Sc, cond- Is the skid row environmen.t a social or asocial environment? A third concern often raised is with treatment and rehabilitation

On skid row;

This ques ·i :ion is tied inextricably with the first.

Hhen one knows why the problem of skid row ":.
it:s Aradication

This is a forlU of a .m e1.iorative sociology, but

unfortunately, most of the theorists have been unable to propose a successful treatment program. There are several theoretical schools on the causation of s k i d row. Bi~;0

:: [1('

The first, which might be called the economic grouping)

appeared first historically.

The second may be callad

sociological group, c .! .aiming that under- or de-socialization

bd.ngs men to skid row.

A third group, often intermingled with

th" sociological group might be called psychological.

Conco"nrniCan t

to the last two groups is the alcoholism theory which posits that improper social uses of alcohol because of personality dAfects or lack of socialization brings men to skid row.

A brief review of

theRe major areas is helpful in understanding the professional perspective which many treatment agencies hold about skirJ row.

In the main, all these theories suggest that there

i~

a patho-

log ical nature to the existence of skid .row, althoup.h some of the theorists,

(Hallace, 1965; & Hiseman, 1970) are careful to

cloak this aspec-t of the ir approach. Bog ue is perhaps the major proponent of the economic theory

-'15-

today, althougn the work of !'linehan and Anderson in,"the late twenties (Mine han , 1934 a Anderson, 1923) also used variations on themes of economic privation t6 support their thoughts about skid existence.

As Bogue points cut,

almost 801. of the men interviel<1ed came to skid rOw under economic duress, with no mO.tive other than to get: a job, live in a cheap place or, to seek temporary help from a . mission, Vnly about 11% said the reason for coming was to drink with~~t the inhibiting influence of friends and relatives. As would be expected, almost all who came to skid rot. for this reason were ch.i:onic alcohoiics at the time of the interview. lBogue, 1963, p.308) During the depression men flocked to skid rOw as a center of casual labor employment, and there was a shelter for the Illdn who was a helpless victim of social circumstance.

'I n Minehan's

sample of 400 homeless children, 387 had left home because of , hard times.

(Minehsn, 1934, p.xiv) Another variation on the econ-

omic theme is that of

~,ham.

He presents

~.

ecological theory

that the low rent districts select: a certain popUlation through !

'J.herefore, skid rows appear because there are men who

economics.

cannot afford anything better. streets.

~hey

own no other home than the

Ihis theory is easily criticized in that other low rent

districts in the city do not necessarily become skid rows with a J

majority of homeless in their population. (See Dunham, 1953) 6uc h theories suggest that the skid row resident chooses skid rOw in a search for an affordable and congenial environment. ~'or

the Illost: part social and psychological theories WOrk not I

on this'premise of economic choice but rather suggest those on skid row seek shelter there because of abnormality. ,.

These

theories support the prevailing community attitudes that skid I

row men are

distu~bed

or ill.

I

'l'he men are assumed to be suffercing from personality disorganiz

-16ation,

~lhich

results from, for example, status loss.

The men

may betray a basic dependency pattern which is reflected in a refusal to accept responsibility.

They may be alienated from

society's basic values and thereby forced into either rebellion or retreat, as Herton suggests. (Herton, 1957,p.133) Finally, they inay lack social integration, as would seem to be the case in any examination of the life patterns of mobility and failure. O~a1iace, 1965"p.166)

, Demographic data seems to SUP?oJ.:"'unders'o cialization t!1eories '

"

which state that the men are undersocialized to normal ways of life and therefore seek an easier form of af!j-ustment through either alcohol or the skid row community, to the demands of everyday life. They have an uneven employment record, showing an inability to deal \vith the demands of job situations, or perhaps a lack of socialization to the Protestant work ethic.

Likewise, the

skid row men are either never married, or in some 'stage of marital disintegration, either divorce or sE':paration.

Th is could ind ica te

a lack of socialization to the ideal of the nuclear family, or an incapability to cope with the role demands on the American husband. They trade stability in society for freedom

fr~m

responsibility

and cares, those things which most people accept as inextricable parts of society.

This suggests that',the ' skid row man may be

a dependent sort, looking for the easy way out habitually.

Al-

cohol, as will be discussed later, is often an important part of this easy way out, as is the use of social welfare institutions, which encourage in their very treatment programs, an ongoing dependency on institutionalized care.

-17undersocialization of these men begins at an early age. .

,, 1

}f.any have l Ost parents in childhood. " Some have begun institutionalization after this loss.

lhese children were left without

equipment for establishing normal social relationships.

l"Jany are

also failures in school situations. 11anydrop out short of completing the educational ladder; missing graduation at one level or another.

For Pittmm1 and uordon, this indicates an inability to

finish things. (Pittman and Gordon, 1958, p.llD) The undersocialitheo~basical1y ~ssumes

zation

that the men are in some way infer-

ior to the rest of society before they reach skid row. ,

I

'. Lbeorists such as Wallacel.1965), .t\ocney\.196I), Wiseman(1970),



and ~bbington\.1958)sharply contes t the undersocialization theory.

They feel that certaL, people may be more likely than ;

",

others to live on skid row, such as mObile workers, welfa.re l

clients and those looking for an area congenial to the preservation of anonymity. tWallace, 1965, p.166)

Men are not under-

socialized, · according to this group, but rather , de socialized. They learn to function in their new environment by shedding the patterns that helped them l1>et along, however feebly, in the o!.d. NOt: everyone who has traits of the undersocialized man becomes s skid

l:'OW

resident.

a man on; skid

ro\~

According to the desocializaticn theory,

lOses socialization, patterns he once had.

1Vhile the undersocialization theory suggests the man has lacked ways of ,g etting along since childhood, desocializaticn says: r'rom the viewpoint of respectable society; the skid rOHet ' becomes 'de socialized, that is educated outside the mainstream of American society and unable to live Hithin it. <-nee he h{ls 1;>een l(lbeled a deviant, selt;:-awareness is forced upon the ~nd~vidual. He must face the tact that now he ,

!

ISome statistics on parental loss of skid row men are to be found ' in Minehan, 1934; Sutherland, 1936; :<'ittman and ljordon, 1958; ,Straus, 1946.

-18is indeed on skid row. The same label increases his separation from. the ,,,ider society and encourages him to enter into the ever-closer participation with those similarly isolated. Thus he is . pushe d s till further into de viance, additional arrests, workhouse socialization and complete iSOlation until he is finally a full and complete member of the deviant community. (hlallace, 1965, p. 174) i~o

arguments support the desocialization school.

First, not all

those undersociaiized end up on skid ro\". Se cond, undersocialization suggests that skid row society is lacking in complexity. The desocialization proponents demonstrate that many complex social. features. thus face social

stre~s

ski~

row has

An undersocialized person would

of a different sort in the skid row

<':nviron;nent, but nonetheless social situations would be present. By turning to skid row, a man is not escaping social relationships , but rathe::- dissolving old ones , and discovering that life on skid row is full of semi-organized and organized groups, stable friendships and satisfying social relationships.

The desocialization

process opens the option that some men are on skid row because they ·prefer to be there.

Not because they are economic, social,

or psychological misfits, but because they can find the companionship and interaction on skid row unavailable to them in other arenas of society.

The men on skid row are socialized to the extent

that they can enjoy and initiate meaningful personal interactions. Skills necessary for finding and holding employment are not unknown (as the undersocialization theory suggests,)but rather simply lost through lack of application. (Wallace, 1965, p. 164) Perhaps some synthesis of the two theories is possible,for surely the demographic data of the undersocialization group is hard to disprove • .However, the desocialization theory seems more compelling.

-19I would suggest an integrative theory.

Nany of the men on

skid row have the characteristics described in the undersocialization theory, characteristics that have made them lonely and unhappy in the larger society.

By choosing the society of skid

rOH, and picking up the ways of that corr..mimity, they no longer have

1:0

operate in a milieu

il'l

which they are uncomfortable.

Tnerefore, they drop the old habits, (as the desocialization school suggests) to pick

U)?

,t he nevI ones.,

They find a form

of anonymity and warm companionship unkno'tYn. to them before,

because of the easier social ways of the skid row group and the easing presence of alcohol. Another group of theorists posits that there are particular personality types on skid row.

Be c&use of their fall from

larger society, these men have a viavl of life shaped by their intal
a:

feeling of powerlessness

coupled with a sense of the need for guile in a hostile world, an ability to adjust to permanent impermanence, extreme indepen-, dence from others coupled with an ability to accept institutional dependency from time to time.

These several characteristics,

pro(;untod by Hi seman, and supported by \'allaceare psycholo:'5ica1. characteristics ferreted out by direct observation, but unvalidated by any axtensive formalized research. (Wiseman, p.5) Vanderpool likewise points out that while it is generally agreed that there is no "alcoholic personality per se" there is a general assertion that alcoholics feel inadequate, they lack, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-acceptance.

Vanderpool shows

that the alcoholic has even greater negative self,::ronception

-20while drinking than when not. (Vanderpool, 1969, p.60) For a man

(Ytl

skid row, t:he self-concept would be even lower than for

his middle class peers because all ordinary st:atus rights have been deprived of t:he

skidrot~

alcoholic.

All he has are the

new right:s conferred upon him by his drinking buddies, and ' long experience has

ShO~l

him th&t rhe only trust one

C&TI

have for

these 1;£rie1'1os" is while the bottle is still passing. (Interview with H8rbor

~ight

men, March, 1973)

None of the above

theo~ies

even begin to cope with the

problems of the ruea."lS of socia:;' adjustffient on skid row. prime elixir ' of life on skid row is alcohol,,) .

None

~f

The the above

accounts for the heavy use of alcohol on skid row, in deviant patterns, although some, such

~$

the desocialization approach,

are more frank in relating its importance than others, such as Bogue's work which seems calculated to show alCOhol's 1a.l:k of importance. Not every man drinks on skid rOw, but: those that do, do so in a public pattern that seems pathological to the rest of society.

It is often this pattern that provokes the established "

,

sOciety ,to step in and try to rehabilitate the men.

The lack

of social adjustment and lack of stable employment could be allowed 'to continue, but the public patterns of life and drinking make the men socially unacceptable, especially ~iven ' their visible position in the downtown area.

It is primarily because

of drinking that the skid rOw man and his society at large end up interacting.

-2iII \~hile

sOine, especially those such as Dunham and Hallace who "

propose ecological and desocialization theories for skid r.ow's existence, might feel that skid row witl never disappear·'" it is difficult to convince officials of this • . One researcher . suggested that vitamin pills and therapy be handed out with the drinks in the local tavern, as tr.eatment facilities are not the most popular areas of congregation on skid row.

( Dumont, 1967) Few public

officials would buy this encourage:nent of patterns :..: ,Mos ,t ·, feei public funds should continue to go to rehabilitation services , no matter how failure-ridden, rather than to ameliorative services in the neighborhoods themselves which might be used to a greater extent by the population affected.

I

Many non-professionals are convinced that skid row exists to support the poor drunks of the town.

A more reasonable explanation

for th8 use of alcohol on skid row is that it provides a pleasant and reliable form of social adjustment and is used in ritual reinforcement of personal relations, as for example in the bottle gang, so well described by Haliace. (1965, p.l86) Hhile Bogue, in his survey of Chicago, \vas convinced t hat only 10% of the residents were there ' because of alcoholism, many are nonetheless haavy drinkers, \vhether chronically alcoholic or not • . For Bogue there were also many teetotalers or highly moderate drinkers. Other studies hOlvever, demonstrate that alcohol is an important factor in skid row,

wheth~r

used by the chronic alcoholic or by

the steady excessive drinker.

Strauss, working from a Salvation

Army intake center, was able to classify 57.7% of his sample of

-22201 people as steady excessive drinkers.

2.0.9% were irregular

excessives, and 9.4% were unclassified excessive.

12% of his

sample however, even t ·hough taken from a group of drinkers, were

.moderate drinkers,

O~

known tq teetotal - .

not all drinkers were alcohol abusers.

Even in this sample,

(Straus . , 1946) Bogue

makes the. pOint that it is not correct to gene'ralize that all men are on skid row because of alcohol.

However, alcohol remains one

of the things that seems to tie the society together. experiences with

whisk~y

Stories about

an6 wine ;:'&nk next: to crime exploits

and women in popularity, accordin g to one Cleveland administrator who was formerly a skid row alcoholic.

(Stella Maris, rfurch 1973

interview. ) A study by Straus and McCarthY indicated that, \\fhile large proportions of home less men exhibit pathological drinking and r-esort to alcohol for the relief of severe discomforts arising from the social environment, psychological adjustments and physical condition, a significant segment of this population, perhaps half, dces not exhibit the ~riteria of alcohol addiction, such as insatiability. and lack of control over drinking. (Straus and l'!cCarthy, 1951, p. 604) There is a difference between the pathological' alcoholic and the heavy social drinker which skid row harbors.

The pathological drinker

is virtually an addict, see\
beve~ages.

The striving for' alcoholic

intoxication is insatiable, and the control of drinking leve l is lost to the true alcoholic. drin\< alone. prefer~nce

This alcoholic usually prefers to

Only 12% of those interviewed by Straus indicated

for drinking alone, while a sample of members of

Alcoho "\.ics Anonymous in d icated that 82% preferred solitary drinking. (Straus, 1946, p. 372) 1h6 addictive ' drinker does not look for participation in

drin~ing

groups, because he wants the whole bottle

-23to himself .

He needs to maintain a steady alcohol level in

his bloodstream. . The typical skid rm.1 drinker, on the other hand, according to

Str~us

and

~~certhy,

gOes on infrequent

bouts with the bottle. In an impressive number of cases, the pattern of drinking seemed relatively flexible and was determined primarily by the availability of fu."'1ds and their particular work": " ing conditions. Many reported th&t when working On jobs vhere they were paid every day, they drank to e~cess to the extent of funds every night. When paid less frequently, prolonged drinking with a certain degree of regulation was mora common th~n the &ll out bender. (Straus & 1'1c"arthy, 1951, p.60S)

Reasons for drinking on skid row are similar to those presented to explain skid row's existence.

Pittman and Gordon,

for example, suggest undersocializ&tion is the reason for heavy skid row drinking, as the situations of drinking 'on sltid row were less demanding of interpersonal skills. Alcohol depressed the &nxieties. Drinking situations fOr the future chronic inebriate were rewar.ding experiences in the emotional sense and at first in the psychological s~nse, but undem.anding in the social and :c ui tural realm. The drinking situation wa s one in which he could feel subjectively competent, skillful. and resourceful. (Pittman and Gordon, 1958, p.lOS) However, reasons for drinking given by the men themselves seldomsuggest personal maladjustment as

thecause~

For mOst men,

according to Bogue I s findings, drinkir.g is usedl to forge t troubles.

Making men at:

hom~

in social situations was seldom

given as a reason for excessive drinking, although it may be a latent function which is unrecognized by the men. t

Pro.moters of the desocialization school, :on the other hand, suggest l that drinking on skid row is not anti-social, as "the undersocialization hypothesis would have it.

.

has definite social functions. in the

.

.

str~ct

Rather, drinking

As the men .are 'not alcoholics

use of the term, alcohol must have another use

-24-

than simple anaesthetization.

As there are few places to gather

on skid row, given that the hotel lobbies are more conducive to rats than men, . most go to the neighborhood tavern.

Recrea-

tional facilities such as television, continual card games, pool, and pinball are usually present in the tavern. (Clinard,1962; Dumont, 1967) The tavern is the institutional center of skid rOw, and a social gathering place second only to. the street. If one lives on skid row and . wishes to associate with

othe~s,

it

is difficult not to use alcOhol. At all levels of society, alcohol is used to make situations smoother.

Its use on skid row is not unusual in its occurrence ,

but in its setting.

.rnereas most drinking among economically

secure groups occurs

,~ithin

private homes or . in restaurants

where food is an essential part of the entertainment, the skid row resident does not have a home to go to.

Alcohol must be

consumed s'ither in the street or in the bar. Because

drinkL~g

is conducted in a group competitive sit-

uation, the men on the row usually drink more than would be nor.mal.

They must overindulge to maintain their social stande

ing '.-and ' remain in the group.

Drink may not be the reason a

man ends up on skid row, but it definitely serves to make life l

more comfortable there, and perhaps serves to keep him there too.

III The larger society becomes concerned withl the skid row man because of his drinking style.

The agents of society explain

skid row in terms of alCOholic use. . The programs and pOlicie s of the society at large are aimed specifically' at the problems of alCOhOlism, with the ulterior motive of eliminating the row by'

-2 5rehabilitating the drunk. It is through the door of alcoholi.sm that the. second set of institutions enters the skid row environment.

Hhile the tavern

provides one sort of institutional setting for companionship, the rehabilitation institution servicing the area provides another. There are many sorts of treatment: agencies on skid row, but they share a common goal, to eliminste skid ro\. and the men on it:. They are generally motivated, or say t:hey are motiVated, ,by "A strong desire to help human beings to

IS

better way of life." (Salvation

Army, 1960, 7: 3: I) Suc" groups spend large

~;"oun t:s'

of money

on chronic care for men who are still physically able to take care of themselves. TWo sectors are

L~volved

in this care, the public and the {

private • . The average community has a duplication of services •

only to be matched by the bureaucracy of the government. •

By

any objective standard. such as percent of re-entrance into l'normal ll life, these treatment programs are failures.

The men

1

retuL~

again and again either to the original tfeatment facility ,

or to a duplicate service.

Many participate in a process de-

scribed :by Wiseman as making the "loop," utilizing almost all of the available services repeatedly. ("iseman, 1970, pp. 46-li2) However, the organizations do succeed in one way.

By failing

I

to, solve the problem, or to reach their goals, their

o~vn

con-

tinued existence, feeding off the problem, will' be assured. Despite the seeming failure of so many Of: these

endeav~rs,

most have had fairly long lives, and are finding: that ' with increasing \ . governmen tal interest in the problems of urpan renewal and alooi

,

,

holism • . tha t funding is available for the continuation and improve-

-26ment of their programs.

'J.his fun
aesthetic purposes of cleaning up the city and for humanitarian purposes of rehabilitation.

While it is not plentiful, it

is enough to fun101>;Y are applicable here.

As J.D.

'l'hompson points out, ('l'homps(-n, 1967, p.26-29),

every organization must establish what can be termed

ijij

Ii

domsin

..

f

Hithin its environment, an area ,.hich it Sl'>rvices as its own. i

TI"lose' areas of th.. largAr environir.ant '''hich arA relevant to achiev<'lment of goals may be ,called the task envirO'ament, and include clients,' agency competitors""

and funding sources. 'Ihe organiza-

tion and task environment are in continual interaction and exchange, resting upon consrmsus with the la,l-ger environmfOlnt as to th'" dXtent of the organization's domain. What has occurred "'ithin the skid row comwunity is that domain has chan<;ea "'''-,th changing population,and changing treatment modes.

'£0 survive, an or:-

ganization must develop in reaction to change in its environment.

A~ '£hompson and "lcEwen point out, each organization must have & succession of goals: As each goal is achieved, or subsumed in the environ'ment, ,the organization must change its goals in k""pin(,; with.the environment. (Thompson and McEwen, 1958, p.26)

An

organization that survives uses bargaining, cooptation, co-

lilition" and competition in the environment to achieve continued survival.

'lhe older fOrms of missions were unable to

-27set new and different types of goals and means for survival. Lhey lacked sUfficient environmental support both from cliente~

and funders to continue.

New organizations adopt their rhe-

toric to governmental goals, and thus have gotten support for their programs by setting goals and methods in coordination with the funding available, and popular secular treatment plans. Lhe treat~~nt used in skid row rehabilitation pro~rams has three main types.

'lhera are programs ;of·'feir-ing rehabilitation

through physiological and psychological

tr~a~ment.

as

thos~

in

medical facilities do; those which offer work and spiritual thorapy, as missions and halfway houses; and those that offer containment and criminal correction, as in jails. a man may be filtered

thr~ugh

.',.,

-heoretically,

a screening mechanism to the type

of treatment most suitable for his case.

However, as Wiseman

(1970, 153) points out in San/Francisco, if the lack of even moderate degreas of success and the massive rQtes of red.divism are any indication, there is a duplication of services and

,

effOrt on a wide scale.

'lhe loop she describes so well is thus

accomplished only informally, rather than as the fOrmsl and structured prOcess it might be.

While

she suggests that the

agpncios thems",lves are responsible fOr much referral work, J. think that

that the informal comtr,unity also shares respon-

sibility for the

recyclin~

of the men.

The men' on the ro.,

suggest-the most suitable agencies to their friends.

There is

"complicated inter-institutional lin.king through informal interaction. U(Wis",man. 1970, p. 57 i fittman and Gordon (19~8) have also described the ph~n. ca 11'l.ng 1.. t t h e omen on or- ar,ency re -use.

Ii

. lVl.ng ' d oor;." revo

Both observers point to cQ;.1t:inual revisltation of; agencies, with continual lack of success for the agency.

The men may feel

they are passive actors in the rehabilitation rag, and the agencies are forced to set lower goals internally to ease staff frustration, while r.laintaining to the supporting external environment that the goal , remains total rehabilitation. As agencies and men interect, there is af mutual process of judgment that occurs.

An

agency judges a man as potential for

successful rshabilitc;tion under happens to employ.

\~hutev~r

ori~nt:<;tion

The men rate the insti.t:utions on

that liigency Ii

sc&le

of preference based . o~ the conver.ience of and treatment avaiI.&ble at a

p~rticular

stop.

They are often forced to utilize agencies -·t"·-

because of public laws or private necessities, and therefore judge rehabilitation not on its success as rehabilitation, but on its success in housing and feeding. havior which will earn them a more

The men are aw&re of be-

comfort~ble

stay, end use

different behavior according to'different agencies.

Their atti-

cude toward agencies as presented to peers is far different from that presented to the agency involved.

The agency is considered

as "outsider" to the subcultural world ' of skid row.

~ch

like·

the deviants described by Backer (1963), the men have a different way when dealing with those outside their oWn special world, a way of presenting themselves which will be most beneficial to

thei~

own particular ends, while maintaining' status within

their peer group. The institutions which rate highest in the eyes of .the homeless are, th,?se in the therapeutic mode, such as:hospitals with specialized alCOholism wards, according to Wiserllan. (1970, p.59)

-29;"

These groups are at least theoretically interested in the problema of the skid row ma..."l, and the re is usually sufficien t staff to give the man individualized attention. is treated as a sick patient, himself •

~"ldnot

Additionally, the client expected to wOrk to support

The staff is often young, and specialists in alcohol.

The attitude of the professionals in these places is usually more considerate than that to be found in the jails and the life is often easier.

Experimental programs are frequently developed'

for the men in these programs, making them feel important or significant.

In San Francisco, Wiseman found the state mental

facility Offered pretty nurses, young professionals, and federal money to make such a milieu attractive.

In Cleveland, the same

sort of atmosphere is to be found dt the Veteran's Administration Hospital and at .E xodus Hall.

Sometilr.es, it is these therapeutic

milieu which seem to have the highest rate of success.

However,

the clientele served must be carefully examined before claims for success can be verified.

The more sophisticated treatment

facilities often include the middle class man with family in their target populations.

.lith these men included, the success

rate naturally rises, for this group has family support after it leuves the hospital setting. Few treatment centers of any sophistication serve solely the homeless. This would frustrate the staffs of trained ogists and social workers.

~sychol­

The low rate of success with the

homeless encourages the institution

~o

increase its task environ-

ment to include other sectors of alcoholics, or men with personalityproblems.

As Thompson expresses it,

-30The organization facing so many constrCiints, and unable to achieve po\~er in other sectors of its tas~ environment will seek to change and enlarge that task environment. (Thompson, 1967, p. 37) Organizations totally devoted to skid row have few trained socia l and psychological workers, not from lack of desire for these workers, but: from lack of money. Hany therapy clinics, when frustrated by the recidivism of the chronic drinkers on skid row, therefore, expand either into drug rehabilitation, or work with the middle class.

Orgarl.ize..tions hopin,?:; co ;::'Bh.:4bilitat(l.; skid row

alcoholics to the middle class facB a difficult task, as most skid row alcoholics have never been in the middle class. Hiseman cites the case of a jail clinic set' up specifically to work with skid row alcoholics which soon widened its scope to include other cases more amenable to treatment.

Likewise in

Cleveland, the Center on Alcoholism changed its name to the Center on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and sees no skid row alcoholics Emy ," mo.=-a •

Interestingly, most of the literature demonstrates that whi.le sophisticated treatment is available to 'the homeless.,'man,and appreciated by him, he seldom uses it.

When treatment is attractive

but involves effort to partake of it, few do.

When centers

are geographically far froin skid row, for example, few men avail themselves of their services. Straus, in his work at the Salvation

Army~

often encouraged

respondents to use the Yale Plan Clinic, yet out of fifty offered the service, only ten were sufficiently interested to make the first visit, and none continued long enough to allow for effective diagnosis and treatment. (Straus and Bacon, 1951, p.237) Out-patient

-31-

clinics seem virtually out of th'" question for the skid rOt' resident. !..ess popular "'ith the skid ro'7 at''' the halfway

hous(~s,

and the agenc~es which promise ,~ork therapy •.For many of th .. se agencies, the problem of staying afloat financially while prOviding service is foremost.,

'l"nis type of treatmen t is not ana-

lyzed by Wiseman or any other author except through the example of the Salvation Army i>16n's Socia::' Sel7vic<'l Center (Wis"tn=. 1970;

:.1946), which is a cross between a sheltered work-

and Struass,

shop and a mission

treatflOl~nt.

Many halfway houses

hav~

only a minimal work schedule,

but often they are used by men who are nowhere near half-way down the road to recovery.

lhe treatment in these

settin~s

ranges from professionally oriented to therapeutic housing. i

Uften funded with welfare moneys or private grants, the houses ~.

1 •

\

make up costs in maintenance by having the men work on janitorial services in the griise of work therapy.

1"or some of the men,

this is helpful, as it keeps them busy. Others feel exploitAd, and would, if they 'could, live in .1lUch shapbier, independent f lophcusos.

vf. course, '"elfare mi!';ht not pay for that (form

of rehabilitation. Ihe least popular agency form is the mission.

This rani!:es

from the clean and desirable settings of the Salvation Army to the less desi~able all-night-flops offl5red by the i lndepend~nt missions.

This form of rehabilitation has a'spiritual emphasis • I

.

.J

Other agencies only discuss spiritual matters under the guise of Alcoholics Anonymous, exhorting the man to put: his faith in a ppwer greater than himself. '" .

Generally, the labor aspect of

.... .Ji.-

missions is promoted to the point that some practices are slavelike.

In certain of these spiritual settings, the men must "take

a dive" in order to find acceptance.

This means that the client

must claim to h&ve been saved by the Lord, thereby listing himself on the reports to the mission auxiliary as a "saved soul." V~n

who consistently usa missions and stand up at testi-

many ceremonies are said to become mission stiffs, and occupy the lowest rung on the skid row ladder. (Wallace, 1965) Evidentally, the Salvation Army is not considered a mission, per se. Neither I-.'iseman (1970) nor my inform:;:nts (l"retests, Jan. 1973) not~cl any d6r~gatory connotations to using the S6lvation Army. 2 The last type of therapy, '''hich is often an element in treatment programs, is Alcoholics Anonymous.

AA members, in

a secular evangelistic fashion, seek to help all other alcoholics, &nd participate actively in most of the skid row service centers, running meetings at least Once a weel, in many treatment facilities, I

and at times providing a buddy sponsorship for individual cOunselling and care. ,

~~e

lwelve Step program of AA is designed

to reach the addictive drinker, and may have a middle class bias, aI.though Bogue (1963, p. 297) indicates that Alcoholics I

Anonymous has helped many qlen achievesobritty. !

An AA meeting is directed by a lead (speaker) who talks

• about his alcoholism, and how he fights it through AA. 1

Often

these leads have had experiences which are not comparable to the skid' row expei':l!ence.

,

As only the most verbal are qualified

to make leads, they are often

dra~m

from a more ieducated group. l

2 Althoug.h, of course a group using the Salvation Army is S'llf-selected, and might not ",ish t o think of themselves c1crogstoril'y.

-33As one man said, "Why should 1 have to listen to SOme other guy's troubles1 I got enough of my own.

II

(Harbor Light, 1973)

Mos t of the skid row men are too independent to deve lop the camaraderie necessary in a successful AA group) Like.dse, mOst of the men come from lower social groups less likely to be active participants in voluntary associations.

Participation

in formal organized groups is one aspect of society probably left behind in the move to skid row.

AA provides no substitute

for Ellcohol except the Elssociation of eh.. i'dry drunk" or tho "AA virgin." Sometim.,s these people make a man feel more like 1

having a drink tr~ walking past a bar would. (Bales, 1962,p.575) Likewise, AA meetings outside of the rehabilitation agency lack the fellcmship of the people the man knows, row community. "

peo~le

of th.. skid

Artonding an AA meeting in a non-skid row commI

I ,

unity makes a man conspicuous.

Fe\-l' skid row men achieve AA mem-

.~

bership.

A new AA member theorotically attends meetings several I

nights a week. ;,~

A skid row

~~

without transportation becomes

I,

totally dependent on his sponsor, and this total dependence makes ,some of the men shrink from the

relations~ip.

Still, AA

is a prevalent form of therapy, and , has respect: from most of the men of skid row.

Even while they reveal it has not been

effective for them. they can cite cases of friends .rho hav/l succeeded. All fou: types of treatment are available in Cleveland, I

1

some in ithe skid row area, and others in outlyibg districts. 1

Ihe focus of this study will be on the mission type. 3rt is unfortunate that there is not more literature available on AA as III social movement. It has quasi-religious elements in its Twe lve steps somewhat comparable to the ten commandmen t s and its 'evangelical tone. Some. studies on social status and AA have 'been done by'Loffland (1970) and Trice (1957, 1959).

-34IV There is a limited amount of literature on 1:he role of the spiritual corrc.runity of therapy on skid row.

Some of it

has been nritten by the miss.ion people thelnselves, and less by the sociological community.

!·jallace (196,)) and \~is"man (1970)

both had members of their resee
Perhaps the institutions have been uncooperative

becausf'l of fear of e:'posure to the public m",dia, or perhaps the more sophisticated treatment centers are most appeaiing to the researcher, but only the Salvation Army 1'["n's Social C'nters have seen significant outside research. 1"1
~lith

It is

homeless men,

taking from its founder. Booth, the commandment to "love the un10yed."

Pidely imitated, the Army has eldsted for over

a century, "bile many of its imitators have fallen appart.

In

the t',,'enties, itinerant missions such as the Christia.."l Army, the Samaritan Army, the Saved Army, and the Volunteer Rescue .Army appeared. (Dees, 1948, p. 4h) Another competitor '"'hieh has endured longer is the Volunteers of America, founded by a close relation to the Salvation Army founders. The Salvation Army managed to make a successful transition from its rather sect-like origins to one of church-like soliarity and establishment:.

It is an almost perfect example of

the Weber-Troeltsch ideal type. (Clark, 1948;

Changing from

a struggling and highly evangelistic sect it became an institution

-35in the community. Their missionary work with the homeless is strongly supported by firm congregations.

Other missions lacked

this sort of support, which has helped the Army to survive over the years,

in an era when spiritual treatment ' of alcoholism

seems anachronistic. The Army shares the sense of mission of other such rehabilitation In

agencies, with a decidedly salvationist cast in philosophy. the words of General Booth, the founder, Seeing that neither governm9nts nor society have stood forward to undertake what God nas madei:o us to appear so vita lly important a work, and as he has given us the I-Tillingness and in ,'llany import:ant senses, the ability, we are prepared to make a determined effort not only to undertake, but to carry it forward to a triumphant success. (Search, p. l67~ 1956)

For almost all its hist:ory, the Salvation Army has been known as a haven for the homeless.

The Hen's Social Service Centers,

in all cities of any size, and the Harbor Lights, serving skid row areas almost exclusivelY,':>oth work with homeless men.

In

«

these centers, reclamation is the major task, and the early days saw heavy emphasis on the spiritual aspect. The purpose of these centers is the reh/ibil'itation of men, spirituatly, physically, and menCal.'i.y. These are not residential hotels or jobs, but treatment centers for men. Physical relief is just one of the minor considerations, although an import:ant one. He look upon our job as the salvaging of wrecked humanity. Just as we pick up old \~recked stoves and furniture 'and shoes, and rebuild them into articles once more usable, so we pick up wrecked, discarded men, and recondition them so that they may once more become useful, happy members of society. Above all we try to save their souls. (Chesham, ,' 1965, p. 128) With their evangelical approach and good food, the Army earned a highly respected reputation among the community.

It drew

wide support from both the skid row community and the outside >

community.

Donations at Christmas and Easter, ..•. as well as con-

-36tributions of food, and furniture have always been high.

As

I

Anderson pointed out in 1923, Tne Salvation Army does more good for the hobo than any o ·ther agency. In every city or town of the country, it is the good samaritan for the down and outs. Not only is it interested in the hearts of men, but it seeks to . help people to walk alone. ( {.ncerson, 1923, p.180) The ultimate goal of all Salvation Army soul saving is not the creation of another snivelling "mission stiff," but rather a good,

middle~class,

church-going ffiar., returned to his

f~mily.

The evangelical cast: has left momy of theJ\rmy faciU.ties. However, Harbor Lights and Social

Se~vice

influenced by the officers-in-charge.

Centers are much

Sorr~

officers recommended

with seriousness at a recent conference on Harbor Light treatment thaI: the Army is at its most successful when saving souls by pulling them in from the streets. was urged.

A return to street:"preaching

(November 1972 Eastern Territory Harbor Light Conference.)

Obviously, those centers with evangelically oriented officersin-charge will have that aura about: their rehabilitation

pro~rams.

Today, the Salvation Army is not really in the forefront of treatment institutions. ·~th

Approach varies from officer to officer,

some favoring a more secular approach than others. Most are

hampe re d by a lack of re source s.

lbey run full scale hotels-cum

employment bureaus-cum rehabilitation agencies on slender training and even more slender resources.

Some of the major cities feature

gleaming Harbor Lights in fancy establishments.

Others have

little more than storefronts with officers offering counselling and sympathy.

An expert on alcoholic rehabilitation has

that the effectiveness of the Salvation Army

c~umenten

-37is difficult to evaluate because th~re are striking differences of approach due to personality of officers in-charge. Despite the militc:ry and hierarchical structure of the Army, some officers have remarkable success. Conceptions of alcoholism within :the Army range from the moralism of the mi&sion-type to an attitude of e nlightenment which regards alcoholism as a sickness. (C1inebel1,1956, p. 86) Alcoholism is regarded as a sin by officers in the Army, who neither smoke nor drink.

But many do not have a naive sense

of sin that: blames it on the personal failura of the indivic;ual alcohOlic.

~here is a definite fall from grace doctrine which

is hela by Salvation Army officers, who are also ordained ministers.

One of the eleven tenets of Salvation Army doctrine

is:

V. He believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedi~nce they lost thf!ir purity and happiness; and that in consequence , of their fall, all men h~ve become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God. (Chesham, 1965, p. 267) ':the fall from grace doctrine provides an alternative excuse for the high failure rates unavailable to the secular institution.

The Salvation Army can allow recidivism with this fa11-

from-grace philosophy.

Backsliding is seen as almost inevitable

and endless compassion is the goal of the officer, who knows that to ""'rr is human, " whil", to forgive emulates the divine. This outlOOk, available to missions, may in part explain their continued willingness to work with the homeless as contrasted to the ways of their secular

bro~hers.

'This outlook on morality. combined with some rather sophisticated social and psychological thought on the nature of the homeless as promulgated in the Hen's Socia.l Service Handbook (1960) (which suggest s that the homeless man is a dependent personality

and is under-socialized) creates an interesting treatment environmen t. The Salvation Army offers an exceedingiy structured and sheltered environment, protecting the man from the outside ~rld.

\.,rhile in comparison to the secular institution, they

offer a benevolent and to the

traditio~

authorit&ri~~

approach; compared

mission, most programs are progressive.

Part of the structure and authoritarianisQ in the Salva1ion Army r&sidencf1s is bolster"d by strict rule .. and rel;u1 .. tiona. As the Salvation Army was modelled on the military, this

.

rogLnentation is to be expected. ,

alCOholic .I(lniffer'.' or other

Most centers employ an ex-

precautions at the door to check

1

incoming inmates for the smell of alcohol which could end his residencY there.

p~

may have to leave the program entirely, t

if caught drinking, or take severe cutb$cks in uity rates'1 (pay). in some centers.

,

'his "grat-

Room and locker inspections are frequent Like""ise, physictLls, haircuts, etc., are

prOvided in the building.

Some men become institutional

dependemtswith this type of"shelter" provided by the agency. I

The similarities between such a facility, and mental hospitals and army, training base camps are readily apparent. system

~s

complete within the

build4~g,

uons as ·to access to the outside.

The support'

and there are regula-

It forms an example of

Goffman'.s total ' institution, although, since it t is voluntary, escape from total loss of identity is possible. '(Goffman, 1961) A man sheds his identity as a skid row regular when he enters t he program, to take on the character of thl!' institutional beneI

iiciary, grateful and ""illing to work for his keep.

Hours

of waking and sleeping, as well as entering and'leaving are

-39-

regula te d.

Of course, a man may check ' out at any time, and many

take this option within the first two weeks.

The man who can

stand this institutionalization loses a ll independence and becomes "shelterized."

The Cleveland l".en's Social Service Center, for

example, has several men who have not left the building in many years. (lfi"en's Social Service Staff interviews, Jan., 1973) Shelter in the Salvation Army holds the potential of a bland and boring oblivion, and for some men on skid row, this oblivion is the only escape possible from dea::h by alcohol. The skid row man values 'the wa:::rr.th a nd securi::y offered him by the Salvation Army, and yet resents the rules that attend it. Clinebell sees the pivota;' conflict in the chronic inebriate of the need for and resentment of

dep~ndency

as central in mission-

type therapy. It would seem to be a safe assumption that a high percentage of converts are never assimilated into normal social living. ~~ny of these remain institutionalized, living at the mission and doing its work. They have capitulated to the dependent relationship •• ,others slip back into the mal'llstrom of skid row. If the individual succeeds in leaving the bOwf;:ry and making the difficult break from homele3sness, the mission has no structure for continuing the group support he will need. (elinebell, 1956, p. 82) In the ' Salvation Army Centers, typically the man will find

a COmfilUrlity of mcr., all

theore~ic<y

dedicated to maintaining

sobriety (although this is highly theoretical in some settings). When he leaves, he loses the support of this group, support which is sometimes the prime treatment element, and there is usually little substitution made for it. Because of the structure, rules, and regulations of the Salvation Army program, only the most weakened of men can survive in the powerless s ituation created within the Lnstitution.

-40Some mission workers admit there is little they can do to help an alcoholic until he has hit bottom and is desperate enough fora cbange •.• and at this point, anyone of a number of programs might be. effective. (Bogue, ' 1963,p.422) The Army itself realizes that the only'men who can truly accept their help are those who

ar~

low enough to be almost totally

broken. (Officer, interview November, 1972) However, they continue to

re&ccep~

men, even though they are aware of their high rate

of failure, because 'they hope at will reach the bottom.

SOfl16

point each of these , men

The dtaff s",t5 "scaled down and in';;:e.:::-

mediate goals of success." (Wiserr.an, 1970, p. 185) and through this and theology, reconciles continual objective failure. For instance, the agency is well aware of the existence of recidivism.

It is estimated in some parts of the country that 40% of the applications for admission are by men who have previously been in the same center. They present a problem for which there is no quick and easy SOlution. He may be using the center ••• so that the center becomes merely the instrument for the perpetuation of his irresponsible and shiftless habits. (Salvaticn Army, 1960,

p.7:5:5) '' tet they are capable of dealing with i":: because of the ir philosophy of hope, and short range feeling that any maintained sobriety is worthwhile, no matter how short:"lived. There are scores of instances in which men have left and returned three and four times and sometimes more, and then suddenly have found themselves and become splendid Christims and staunch citizens. (Salvatbn Army, 1960, p. 7 :5:5) The Salvation Army has its own particular ways of eradicating hamelessness through spiritual, physical, and social-psychologica l reclamation.

It has its means of reaching those goals through

a well-established organizational hierarchy which in its own rigid structure acts as much upon the individual officers as

the

-41-

tOtal institution acts upon the client.

Because so much of

each individual Harbor Light and Social Service Center program is the responsiblityof the individual officer, their personal~.

ities are

importantelementto consider in evaluating a program.

The Salvation Army officer group is almost a family in its ciosl!!ness.

Chesham (1965, p. 11) r"ports that in ten years'

prior to her history, that: more tha... 51% of the officer trainees I"el.~e

children of Salvationists.

Those men do not have to go

to collage, but are accepted follcwing high school graduation in officer trGining comparable to a seminary experience.

Officers

are encouraged to take post-training study, if they have time. ,

The

officers who endure training end learn all the doctrine of the Salvation Army Church show a phenomenally low attrition rata of between two and three percent: :'irn:ermationally.

It is the

personalities of these men that: ;;:i,ves:eaeh center its atmosphere. Officers are subject to transfer at the whim of the parent organization, and change:,"frequently·,:between:posts.

It is un-

I

common for an ambitious officer to remain in one city fOr long i

periods of years.

Likewise, because of this policy, men often

enter commands for

~.hich

they are little prepared :by train in!'; ,

such as the administration of programs directed at the alcoholic. lhis may create. a certain amount of· insecurity, as the management of such a center requires

Ii

b.;>ttery of msnagerial skills as well

as knowledge of therapeutic treatment.

The only training SOme

of these officers have is of a theOlogical

nature~ I

Harbor Light and other such institutions offer a sheltered and structured environment of varying degrees of therapeutic eff'!!'.ctivenesEl.

Primarily, a Salvation Army facility provides "

a place where sobriety is strictly enforced and the man is protected from the temptations of skid row and from the necessity to scrounge to get by in his daily life.

Under the proper

administration, the Salvation Army can offer much more within its structural limitations.

A true .Salvation Army experience

must share with other mission approaches a spiritual basis, and the' spiritual basis of the Army is corr.mon knowledge on skid row.

However, it is also known that "One does not have to take

1Ia dive U to got tho shalt.c>r

ar. d

p.::otoctiOll of -cho Army.

If

one is properly cooperative, one Can "get by" even with the Salvation Army.

THE RESEARCH SBTTING:

CLllVBLAND'S SKID RO\,T

R6search supporting the hypoth..,ses ·\,oJhich ducted in the Gleve und arMi.

\~hile lackin~

follo~'

'·'as con-

a concen tra ted skid

row section such as thOse described by J:)OgU6 (1963) in Chicago, and Wallace (1965) in Minn&apolis, thi} charact!tristics of skid row are present in two separate sections of the city; one bordering on the

south~ast

segment of ths dOwntown area, and the

other directly across the bridge from downtown, in an area called the Near West Side.

In these two areas can be found

the cheap rooming hotels, the barber

coll~ges,

the

tav~rns

and

the beer and winp stores characteristic of skid rows ar.ross the nation.

mark~d

In the maps that follow, buildings

as rooming,

tavern, barbp.r collegp., spot l&bor and r!!lhabilitation farilities are noted.

It can be seen that . the rudiments O.f a skid

rOw support system are prespnt in both districts • . The character

0'

skid row areas has changed over the years

(icconiing to thos'" who hav" liw,d in the areas. (ll1terviel>'s at Salvation 4rmy MP-n1s Social Service Center and Cleveland City Planning,1973).

lhe N"ar West Side, which had once been almost

totally white, nOW serve s . Puerto Ricans and Negros as ,ve 11 as the homeless man.

.

The eastern sector of the

southward under the threat of urban

ren~wal

t.

.

ro"," has shifted

and university

expansion, and now includes many X-rated movie theaters and adult book s tores.

lhe public

usin~ thes6 areas are vari~d ann

ar .. not only s"arching for alcohol, hut oth .. r mor" various forms of "nt"rtainm"nt. 'I'h.. ski("l rOl,) arpa of Cl"v.. lan("l is sca ttf' r" d, an("l not at.l the s"rvirps n .. cessary to survival ar .. right ,"'ithin '·)alking distancp., ar,; thp.r",

to the .. xtp.nt they are in Bogue's Chicago.

The facilities.

hut one has to hp. kno",lF"lJ?;f'able to expkit thpm, as

thp.y arp. not as cp.ntrally iocated. Sevp.ral major af':pnclp.s ""votP.r1 to hp.lping thp singlp. homelp.ss man ar" closp. to thp. arpa,

though.

Thoy provi("l" roo.minr; sprvic .. ",. :'..ik" the hot .. 1.s, but ar" 1.'i'!Il",.11v of hetter quality and l .. sser cost.

Of roursp.;

thesp agen"iPR r p -

quir .. that a man submit to treatm .. nt in or("ler to partak.. of thp. housing.

Among the agenci .. s locate("l V"ry n"ar th .. skid

ro,-" ar"as ar" Stella "Jaris, th" Harbor Light Cpnt"r, l1ission, an("l the Volunt',,'rs of America. on the maps.)

th" City

(all mark"o ··iiI'·reO'.F

Thes" offer overnight lo("lging in th" agency, and

extp.nr1,,,; can' in a rehabilitation community

or

sorts.

Thlo

hospitals ",,,rvp. th" arAa population ,,,ithineypensiv,, car". Cl""",lan("l Psychiatric InstitutA, the stat" mental health fa"ility, inclu("l"s ski("l ro,,, in its "atchment area. The housing in the area outsidp. the ag"nry se tting iR f'hara-

include hp.avy commprcial ("leve 10plllP.n t,

th"r" is mUf'h roomin.p: ahoy "

Rtor"s an("l taVl"rnR, and th" rents ar" "urprisinglv ,..hpap. In addition ther" arA cheap hot"l" ,,'hich ran",,, from third rat" transi"nt faciliti"s to flophouses. The Rkid rOl-1 r'listricts of to,.,1Jj a1"" notic"ahly Sf>e("ly visihly <:iiff"rant.

an<:i

The housing is run ("lmm, an("l "Vf'n if the

I?ltt"riors Rho,,,, no visiblf> housing cod" violations, the int"riors

- 45 arl'! of tAn '~arrens of roac-,hes, rats, and 'suhrlivision. A walking tour of the area sho",s the most vi",ihle inhabitants to he males, ' Over 30 y~ars of age, in va rious stag"s of nis,hevplm"nt in dress ano disablAmFlnt in body.

Manv c,'f thesp mAn ar" not

rlrinkers, as pointFlo out hy Bogue ( 191)3, p. '48), hut rath"r on nisability pensions of some sort.

Skirl rO,,' dOA'" provine

c-,hAap, if unattractivA housing, ann pla ces men rlosp. to thp. mArlieal anrl puhlic care they need.

Very few family groups are to

of ehp. Ohio Riv<'r Vallp.v al)out the ir longin?,s to go back homp where the air is clean and a man can hunt ann fish.

I,hat fp.w wom"n

fllmilips, or arp thp. forlorn eldp.r'ly, carrying shoppin?, ha,l!;s fu.i.l of thpir dparAst possessicrs.

The streets are not cro'"ded, but

tM"re are more' sp"ctators anri eonvprsatiDnal groupinl':s than could be found in a mirloie class arpa of similar population dAnsity.

An Observer ran finri,

if looking sharply, small rDnp.r"gstions

of mFln participating in the ritual of thp hottlA gang, passing tM" hot-

t1,,- back ann forth ,,,ith their storiFls.

Other men sit on the

front: steps ano '''atch the passing ' groups. ~3turipnts .

loea 1.

p

from

th~

On the eallt Ilio" arA

nparby university. .

thni(' papula tion

US"

s the ar"li on the ir way to thA ('en tra1

outnOOr mark"t. t. sense of ('ofl'lulUnity is prp.s'mt "'ithin the most anonymous sA('tion of to'm, the central business oistrict.

Many

of the mAn knol.1 "aeh other or rp.cognizp. " aen other from hottle p,ang eneoumters or from the various hotels ano sO('ia1 agp.ncip.s sArving the , arAa.

V~st

of tMA men arA not transiFlnts.

of thA mip;ra tory skid ro", is p;one.

The oav

Thes" men 1ivp. anrl tr"at the

4o

~~r~ 3J

00

...•

f-

;1 ~

0

1 '~

0

0

D~

I

l



,

s

.~1 00

~

!?!7;;k '0

~~

2..8 ~

:g

\Q)

roo'fY"~

hOLl'i>Bo:;,.

Ioar-;,j-Laverns

0

ba'iber Cot\~

5f?'l labor

a
• •

-47-

.\i'l}JOI- c,tores

*

roor"It'I~

hov<.es

baY'sjtaverV\5



0

barbel'" c.oIlege& &f'Clt

labor ac:!e.YIc;leG

rehab h·,st,-tutions







-48area as their neighborhood.

I, fOr one, '

','8S

used to finding

the walk clo,·m Euclid Avenue , ,tbe main s tr" et of town, very anonymous.

Near the completion of chp. int"rvie"dnp;,

encounterp.d familiar faces.

I

inrr-'asingly

The men use the area heavily, and '~ors"

ti,""ll eOl
than the strAp.t.

They look fOl" companionship and frienrls on the streets of downtown just as a mid,H.e class sl1burbanite might look for friends at the local supp.rmarket.

the l"p.st of the community in '''hich hp. livAs.

$urrounrlp.d by the

cen 'tral husin"ss district, "'ith peopJ.e drp.ssed for ,",ork in whit"e' rollar occupa tions, and dirty.

the skid ro.·' hahi tu: is usua:i..l.y ta tt"re"

His ,·'ays of living diff,,!'. Ethnographers report he

conrlucts his lif" ,.ith a puhlic front unseen amonp, the midrlte class anrl the achievement oriented blue-collar groups. (I,Tal1ace, , '

196~)

The rest of the downtown area sees the man as the most deviant in the community. Thus, the skid rOHer creates a community of his o,m, without <>omp.n p.xcept those to be found in taverns, without kin; he maintains an isolated status, and yet enjoys the amenities of a higbly The socie ty of skin rov cifers companionship, ann the support of a special milieu,

including

service aR"ncip.s and commp.rcial facilities "specially dp.signed to serve their ne"ds.

The ski'n ro", man may be isolatpd in tbp.

sense that hp. lacks kin, hut hp. finds more frienr:lship acquaintancp.ships than

many.

,~ ho

in

Anonymity is present in skid rov,

but there is also superficial friendship. c ity,

~roups

A newcomer to the

for instance chp.cks into ;-Iarbor Light finds a ell"clp. o f

he ,.ill kno." them ",hen .of! SI'les them on t.of! outside, and feel frp.p. to borro,., ·monp.y from thp.m

Or

bum drinks.

(Observation at Harbor Light,1973)

i'.'Ien on skid ro'(", espp-ciall.y in thA tavern ann bortle ftang rontp.xt

provinp, a kind of

HAlcom~

va.?0n.

LiRht iounrl out about its sArvic~s ff'om n!"'inkinR \'oropanionR On Yet these

a~quaintancp.s

a~:"p.

not: rlp.ep,

an~

most' of

t.of! m"n do not fAel rlrinkir,g companions are rf!a1 friAnrls.

(Data

in :-i.:::.rhor Light samplp.'j :'973, qUAstion 11 63r.;)

Eere is or:1A plare wherp. ~vP,r.y m"tnls past is his o'(,,;rn se rret. Only in the casp. of the very olrl or th~ very younp.; is there any attempt to :'i.ea.rn SOffiAthin,e; of inrlivirlual's past. They livA closed livAs, and grant np.'''comers th'" same privilep:e. (Anderson, 1923, p. 20)

an

',hen & man runs out of money, or sobriety, onA of the must ;Jot'ular free housing a,gBncies on skid row is PlB.rbor Light.

facilities there are rr,uch better than those at ~.:;;o

oth~r

Thf!

instituti('lilS

lucClted closA to the ar"&, &s Poach man has a r
,,[tera period of rerloyment, if capabl",

ar.n is a11_01""('I to hold Outsin",

7his f ar.i:i ty is app"al ing to the

skin ro.. man bp.caur
Ii

weel< to r"st an('l g",t Ovp.r his rirunl<,

att.rar.tion, bASidAS rf'!st ann

housin~t

i.s

rela1:iv~ly

pleasCint

"atinl>, conditions, and 'che comp;;:nicnship of others in the sam" situation.

Harbor Light is also app",aling to the rp.search"'r, as it is

,.,orkin~

to develop

homelp. ss inehriate.

np.w '.Jays of comhatting the chronic

TEl' RBS8ARCH SRTTING:

mr.: HARBOR LIGHT Cr.:NTBR

Salvation Army Harbor Lights started in Detroit around th~ turn of the century, and are devoted to the men of skid ro,,,. as they are loca.ted right on rhe rOT", and immediately a,",cessihle to those it serves.

The original Harbor Light program had a

definite evangelistic cast to it, with recruitment made by officers going out on the streets andasking men services and participate in the fr",e meals.

to come to the

Pr"s'lnrly th"re are

sorile seventeen Harbor Light Centers in the United States, and sev"'ral more in Canada.•

These ranf!;e in sophistication from a

program inclUding vocational and psychiatric counselling in San Francisco, to drop-in-day care lounges with referrals for overnight housing, in Pittshurgh.

In t:leveland, the Harhor Light

Cent"r has b"en established for about 25 years. in an old building at Ninth Street and Bagl""

Originally located

it included both

a hotel and a rudimentary alCOholic rehabilitation program.

In

1969 it moved to a new building at Eighteenth Street and PJ::ospect i Located betlween an x-rated movie theater and a flea-bag bar and f!.rill,

the Harbor Light Center looks like a dark stone fortress.

The eight story building's doors are kept locked all day and night. A guard admits people to the building, checking for drinking upon entrance.

The building is virtually in th" center of the eastern

skid row area. The new building is a source of great pride to the staff, as it inclUdes room for private housing as well as sports facilities and c lassrooms.

HOT,ever, the building also has sF!rved

a burden, as it is much larger than the old facility, and makes much greater maintenance demands.

The hoped for increase in 'mrolless

in the program has not yet been sufficient to entirely cover the

-51 costs of the facility.

Thus the

mana~p.ffient

of the agency is

continually pressed to find ways to help the building survive financially, through increased enrollment in programs, restaurant facilities and other money-making schemes.

This financial

pressure occasionally can affect the program, as will be discussed lat"r. Given its virtually open admission policy and its location in the skid row area, Harbor Light is one of the most likelv places for a skid rrn. alCOholic to turn in search of help.

Thus,

for any re searcher concerned ""i th this c lientele" , it pr.ovid" s a rich setting.

About ten to thir te en men a weel< seek to ent"r.

Not all men' who come in are severely intoxicated, but a great percentap;p. of them are sick from the effects of over-indulgence.

, The men are encouraged to participate in a 'rehabilitation pror,ram .."hich is currently undergoing changes and redesign.

Pr"sently the

men pass through stal';es as they continue in the program, callecl classes, and somewhat analogous to class"s in a high school.

A

man stays in the freshman stage fOr on" month, the sophomore stage for two months, the junior stap,e for thr ee months, , and the senior stage for three months, ,,'ith a three month holrting periocl hefoH' he is consirlp.r,"''! a graduat" of the program, ..,ith S

year's continuous

r~sinence.

Durinr>; his stav in the huildinl':

the man may participate in a variety of ",ork-therapy prop,rams vhich are designed not only for th"rapeutic purposes; hut also to absorb som" of the , cOst of the man ' s room and board, if he is not providing welfare paym"nts. Besides public relief, there are 3 type s of work programs available.

The m"n may be sent out on spot typ" labor, wher"

they are p,iven $2.50 an hour.

According to the length of stay in

the program and staff evaluation, a certain amount is deducted

from this take-home pay for thp. man ' s support. .to keep'the rest.

He is a110,",,,,d

These spot labor jobs are generally yard

Hork and house wOrk for families in the area.

The

~ call

for

spot labor is generally less in th" winter than in th" sU:ll1JllP.r; but generally, the man doing this sort of "70rk can "arn abOut as much as h"

~"ants.

Only the most relia1:>l", :Il1"n ar", gen"rally

call"d ior spot labor, as th", employer pays the man directly, and sam<> lTlp.n <10 not come back to the building after being paid. Only a fllnall minority of tho 'm
p.ur."ti~ipat:p

in the spot jobs. I,nother .sore of work assignment available to the· men is work in the building. hourly.

Pay on this wode is someh'hat lower, and again

According to the type of job, and again,

stay in the program, the pay is alloted.

the length of

The re is mar'" re s'm tm"n t

about the pay scale in the building than on spot johs, as it is so .. much low"r, and thp. pressure from internal pOlitics is so much greater. Hen work in the buildings as kitch"'n and maintenance workers.

Also included in building work are staff johs,

such as admissions clerks, security m'm, counselors, social and chaplain duties, and cooks.

Personnel on the payroll are

not necessarily men in the program, but can be. About threefourths of the staff jabs are taken by pro,gram or program graduate· men. These job s in the building are the source of much friction .and unhappine ss.

Because the nature of the program engenders

quick turnover, often men Hho ha·v e bp.en trained to do jobs, for example, in the kitchen, leave. the program, such as the food,

Thel-efore, .elp.mp.nts of

suffer while replacemp.nts are being

found.

Sin"e the builoing is runnin g unde'r full capacity,

some time s eminently unqualifie 0 personne 1 are so pla"ed in oesperation.

Additional tension develop 's bettJeen the salarip,c1

staff and the ir "employees", sincA thAY are all "drunks" in thA first place.

J"alou'sy :a:rdi 'backbiting develop' aS' a " 'reSULt:"

of this situation. 'The thinl source of Hork therapy i s through an outside job.

Hany o f the men' 5 regular employers knoHtha t the mAn use

Harbor Light as a sort of halfway or

roomin~

hous".

~Om.A

0:

these employers accept the man back, e ve n if he slips off the wagon, as long as he returns to

Ha~bor

Light.

The se men pay

room and board from their paychecks, and often can eat in a restaurant fac:ility <>ithin the huilding if they prefer. There are soml;! ,,,ho bec:ause of disabilities and Helfare elb;ihility are not required to parti"ipate in the ",ork program. The Soldier' s and Sailor's Relief comnission pays for room and board for the men as an alCOholic rehabilitation program. At prAsent the County t';elfan' will only pay for lopging thl;!J:e if the man has a mAdical disability, or is there for emergency lodging. Some of the men have other sorts of relief payments ,which help cl"fray the costs of keeping thpm. ~o

;,r.. n ",ho 00 not quit" comp. up

the total cost of room ann boarn must try to contribut" in

labor what"ver they lack in ,,'elfare paym'mts. In aorlition to the various Torms of toJork th"rapy, the Harhor Light program off"rs a class rOOm thP.rapy program which is presently only fully formulated on paper. various

IIclasse,,~"

At night men in th"

are expected to attend sessions on music

therapy, social adjustment, Bible study, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

The"e sessions vary in ' quality and popularity, as well as Ho~]ever,

utility to the men.

the activities give them so,ne-

thin/'; to do, and thus, .arF) " ,"ay of prevF)nting drinking. '

As a man progresses throug h the program, he is given a cp.rtificatF) for each grade completed. hetter and bettp.r rooming situations.

Leng th of stay en"ures Various floors ar"

set aside fo r each grade, and some rooms are more comfortahle than others.

High seniority in the program g ive s the man a

choice of a hetter room. Uhil" the man is in the in tako can tAr, h" has the care of a porJiatric clinic. ' Nurse's services are availahle about once a WAeK.

Also the man may h" transported to a hospital in the

area for help.

There is no other source of medical care.

in the appendb: can he found a diagram of an idealized picture of Harhor

Li~ ht

services.

In addition to the alCOholic

unit are facilities for the elderly, sl"ionming for community groups and a hotel for graduates of thl'! rehabilitation program.

The

staff in chargf! try to Sf!" the facility as a multi-service unit in an "ffort to support their program financially. are trying to diversify to hring in diffl'!rent sprvice recip.ients, sinCl'! the alcoholic client group has not increased sufficiently. The re search ,"as conducted primarily on the sixth floor of thA hui1rJin g "h"re new men ar" admitted to the prog ram.

NeH men

are ·con f inpd herp sO that they will. not distract more successful men in the program

I~ hile

they may be ohserved. for meals or ,vork.

coming off their drunks, and so that

The men are allowed off the floor only

While in intake, the men are theoretically

recovering from the effects of alCOhol.

HOl'J'lver, sometimes they

-.55-

ar'" .o; iv,m ,,'or1< assignm" nts b"caus"! of th" I';reat maint",nanc" n",eds of the building. As there is little programming in intal<,,; many of thA men are eagp.r for such "'ark assignmf.lnts to keep busy.

1 had to catch men after they had sobered up enough to ["el comfortahle for an hour at a rLT,e, and l,efore th"y'. "re f.';iv"n a .,ork assignJnent.

rhere is no medical care for

f rom alcohol on the in take floor.

":"np.rally prpsp.nt: anrl keeping

&,1.

~Jithdra','a l

ene or tHO staff m"ml:>p.rs ar" "ye on t:hings to assure that

AlTtp.rg pncies do not occur" althoug h

t~1ey

are not present all

the time. In th f' intake .office, exceptionally de tail"d records are kept on the clien ts, and this enhancJ'>d the re search se tting.

Bval-

uation forms ar" kept each time a man use s the pr.ogram, an" aoditionally, a detailed p"rsonal history is kept on each man in the prop; r.am.

These ,,'''re invaluablp. in cross-checkinl?; information.

l'''rhaps one of thA most interAstinr. things abOut this particular sAtting vas its ongoing change.

Orp.;anizations that arA

involved in t'Ahabilitation "'ith this group face a ph'momenal failure rate, ano oft"n must n.SAt thflir goals to maintain stability.

(See ChaPter · li~o forri!lfer ... nces to J,D.

Thompson, 19';7 )

ThE'! l-:arbol- Light is not riiffp.rent in finding that it must SAt hoth short

An n long ran p, e (1:oals, the long range goals for the

puhlic at .laro; e. and t he s hort ran.?:e on es satisfying the internal ner>rls of the organization.

HoweVer, ev",n achi"vement

of a short range goal. of p('rhaps onA or t'"o months of sobriptv seems

riiffi~ul

t in this SA t·ting.

The organ 17: a tion is untlergoing

continuous pro.g ram rAvision and restructuring in an att'lmpt to

increas~

Th~

its success.

agency has hiren an applied

sociolOgist ",ho ,,,,orks ",irh the staff in evaluating and making program change s.

The staff of the' center is unusual in its

openness to sl1!,; gestions and to rl;!sp.arch; and ",elcomed my presp.ncp..

opening its

fil~s

ann environment to observation

villingly. I was

allow~d

to serve as a mp.mber of the intake staff to takin~

a limitArj I;!xtent, Often

I,

information on , the client for "

the Salva tion Army file

IS

.'hile COl.rlu",ein.c; my

I) wn

in 1:ervl.",,,, Fly

,,'arking closely "rith the staff, it '''as possil-,lp. to sel;! tM" problems they faced, but as I was not officially connActer:\ ,,, ith the Army, it . ,as also possible to obtain a relativl;!ly obj"",tivA analysis of the program from the cli,mts, ,"·hen they I,'ere assured of anonymity. Harbor , Light provided one of the more advanced programs dealing 'exclusive ly with skid row men in tl?e Cleve land arAa'. the m'ln that entered the program , Here by in large

WhilA

s~lf-s~lected,

they also seemed to bl;! fairly representative of the skid row alcoholic '< as described in several other works, so that some generalization from the population t>as possible. Harbor Light provid'ld size suitabl'l for completion of data collection ,,,ithin a short time, a program of sufficient con t'm t to provide material for with the rl;!searcher.

analy~is,

and a staff willing to cooperatl;!

Additionally, because of its til;!s .>ith a

national network of Harbor Lights,itI
HETHODS USED AND HETHODOLOGICAL CONSIDH:RATIONS

Any exploration of a I"ide organizational environmt'!n t and intensive

inv~stigation

within a single

a~ency

nt'!cessitates

the consider,ation of se rveral re search ml'! thods to attain a fully dimensional picture. 1 I studi6d the social welfare environment of skid row

throu~h

rather informal research t6chni-

ques, and utilized more formal me&, s in the investigation of th .. Harbor Light facility itself.

Among th .. methods utilized

were informal walking tours and observer-participation on skid rOly; formal intervieving both by mail and directly, and participant Observation in the setting itsAlf., Initial exploration of the agencies and services of skid row '.ras undertaken in 1972.

I lived for tlvO weeks on lil&st

18th Street, and through cqnversations with the men who ,

live~

in the same buildin", and observati.on, began formulation of thA project. walkin~

During the course of the research, I made sevl'!ral tours of the arC-l a, ann

1"1'15

aided in thl'! mapping of ser-

vices through thA ClevA land city planning offices, the hl'!a1th department and the FI'!deration for Community Planning, a w... lfare coordination agency.

At this point I narrowed my focus to the

Harbor Light center and the agencies that competed and' complementl'!d it in its environment. 1 lior thorough discussions of considerations in organizational resl'!arch, please see Iv-ork by JJenzin, 1970, .pp. 297-313; lilarnl'!s, 1967, pp. 57-113; and ' the work of Peter Blau, 1967, pp.18-'i8.

The key information for this thesis is derived from formal l interviews with the clients of Harbor Light.

They served as

chief informants on the agencies or Cleveland, and also provided th,g information necessary to

.

,t;,8 tS,1l

'tr,y ,nypotbe:se,$

abOut agency

selectivity and an informal reputational network.

An interview

schedule was used to gather this information. The schedule was developed both, from measures used in existing studies, and from questions designed especially for this project,

ana is reprinted in full in the Appendix. It was the

~~n's

prAtestA~

at

Social Sarvice Center in Cleveland, another Salvation

Army agency dealing with men roughly comparable to those entering Harbor Light.

Tne eligibility regulations are virtually the same

at the two agencies.

The men at Men's Social Service were, like

those at Harbor Light, both homeless and jobless, although they were less likely to admit an alcohol problem.

ApproxL~tely

23 pretests were completed, ' each taking about an hour and fifteen minutes. The men were told that 'I

WI!:S

conduct,ing an L"ldependent

research project, and that all information

~"ould

be considered

If they had additional questions, I explained

confidential.

simply the nature of my project and purposes. Several questions were eliminated as a result of the pretest, as they seemed irrelevant to the study as a whole, or improperly engineered. At Harbor Light, a total of eighty interviews

I~ere

completAd.

One r"espoi1dimt"1
The men were

interviewAd soon after they had entered intake, and it was explained to them that I was collecting additional statistical information.

Again, if they had further ,quest'ions, 1 explained

,-

-59-

the project to them. ~ecause

I had no refusals from the

group.Hc:~wAver,

the research was geared to talking to the men as they

entered the program, I occasionally missed men.

They did not

llnter the situation steadiiy, but came in groups.

Often a large

group woulcl come in over the week-end and leave on Monday. EVen though. I was working on Saturduy, s ome of these men were too sick to be interviewed. all who entered were

Even with diligent efforts, not

cov~d~d~.

Other intake data that the

However, . in comparison with

,~rbor

Light has gathere6, it S6ems that

the sample drawn is fairly representative of those that use the Harbor Light Center. (Appendix, pro C)

Also excluded from

interviewing were men from the seventh flOor geriatric residence who were sometimes interred on six after drinking episodes.

As

these men never participated in the program, they wer.e not interviewed. While approximately ten to thirteen men entered the center during a given week, by the middle of the research, repeaters l1ad begun to appear who were of course, ineligibl.e.

The research

took eleven weeks in this phase. A second group of men was chosen from the first sample.

All

those who remained in the program for thirty days or longer were re~nterviewed

with a shortened schedule, but a more intensive

informal conversation about the problems and atmosphere of the program.

These interviews took about 45 minutes each as opposed

to the more lengthy initial interviews which lasted an average of an hour and a half. The interviews were generally well-accepted, although the length received a lot of complaints. The schedules consisted of

-6utwo sections: a personal history data, which of my

0\4n

\4aS

fo~n

to gather demographic

provided by the Salvation Army, and a schedule

design. The 'personal history form provides z:elevant

information on marriages, education, nationality, occupational history, and alcoholic history.

I occasionally administered this

sect:ion for tha Salvation Army by making carbon copies of my information, but fOr the most part conducted my interviewing separate from their procedures.

Therefore, 1 usually omitted

questions dealing with names; wa~BS, an~ finQncial obli3Qtions which I felt would je.;q>ordize the comfort of ' 'the interviewing situatioil.(Omitted questions are starred in the Appendix) The

L~formation

gathered on occup&'tion inclUded the last job

held of any sort, as well as jobs held for langer than one month in the pist to provide some information on mObility.

Jobs were

cOded as being White Collar Managerial and Professional, White Collar-Clerical and Sales, Blue Collar-Skilled, foreman; Blue CollarSkilled, Blue Collar-Unskilled, and Spot Labor. These designations ,.ere aided

by classifications by Hatt, and Reiss, ( 1961 ).

The interview was conducted by subject area, and therefore, my questions were interspersed ,.ith those of the personal history form.

' I chose my measures, .(which are described in ,detail in

the appendix on measures) according to the following criteria. Conscious of the educational level, andphysicaL"spate of the clientele. 1 designed and simplicity.

an

interview with an eye towards brevity

Many men came to the interview in stages of

withdrawal from alcohol, and found it difficult to concentrate for the length of the interview.

Additionally. comprehension

was especially row among some respondents.

Two choice, rather

sections: a personal history form to gather demographic

t~10

data, which ~...as provided by the Salv.&tion Army, and a schedule of my

o~m

design. The 'personal history form provides x:'elevant

information on marriages, education, nationality, occupational history, and alcoholic history.

I occasionally administered this

section fOr the Salvation Army by making carbon copies of my information, but fOr the most part conducted my interviewing separate from their procedures.

Therefore, I usually omitted

questions dealing with names, wages, 3n~ finanoial obli~~tiona which I felt would jeppordize the comfort of the interviewing situation.

(Omitt~d

questions are starred in the Appendix)

The information gathered on occupation included the last job held of any sort, as well as jobs held for lon.o ;er than one month in the past to provide some information on mobility. cOded as being White Collar Managerial and

Jobs were

Pro~essional,

White

Collar-Clerical and Sales, Blue CQllar-Skilled, foreman; Blue CollarSkilled, Blue Collar-Unskilled. and Spot Labor." These designations were aided

by classifications by Hatt, and Reiss, (1961 ).

The interview was conducted by subject area, and therefore, my questions were interspersed with those of the personal history form.

I chOse my measures, .(which are described in detail in

the appendix on measures) according to the

follot~ing

criteria.

Conscious of the educational level. and ,physicaL's/;ate of the clientele. I designed an and simplicity.

V~ny

interview

~Iith

an eye towards brevity

men came to the interview in stages of

withdrawal from alcohol, and found it difficult to concentrate for the length of the interview.

Additionally, comprehension

was especially l ow among some respondent s.

TWo choioe, rather

than four choice and Likert-style items were therefore preferable. They had trouble conceptualizing abstractions and degrees as is necessary with the 'use of scalar ite'ms.

Only in phrasings

using time. such as "most of the time" and 'hot too often" could this groupsurvi,ve difficulty

~dth

a:

one-to-five scale.

An example of this

abstractions may be s'e en in the use of the

Butler-Haigh Q-sort

techniqu~,

which I was planning to use as a

cross check on information gathered on self-concept.

Involving

a task of sorting cards with personality characteristics on iii

scale ranging from "Most Like 1".e Ii to "Least Like Me ", and

then on a scale ranging from "Most: Like my Ideal Self" to "Least Like My Ideal Self", the

~-sort

is a

~ddely

used technique.

However, even with coaching and interminable explanations, many of the men were almost incapable of coping with this task. It was excluded after about the thirtieth interview. Not only did the men have trouble with the five place scale, but also with !

the conception of the Ideal Self, and words such as "tolerant. II Thus only short item scales I.ith a minitnum Of, questions were chOsen to ~t-~.!s:t :hYpo,1;he:s:P.;s ,s~Ch ' -
While those chosAn may not be the

most sophisticated and effective ways of measuring the concepts, they were the most preferable for this particular interviewing situation. )The early and Objective sections of the interview went quickly. I, '

seems appropriate at this point to discuss the most widely known quantat:ative study done on skid row, that of Donald Bogue, (1963). I must raise one major methodological question about his stUdy. He maintains his average interview was 2.5 hours in len~th. y512) If this is so, I doubt his coverage of the skid row hab~tu~, for generalLY, an hour and a half was the outside limit of their concentration, even in an interview situation of semiofficial constraint. ~It

Later sections were more conversational.

EspeciallY well-liked

and provocative were the sections on the evaluation of area agencies and evaluation of Harbor Light Centers.

I often

probed intensively to gather longer anst'l7ers, which were docu-' mented as open-ended comments. Another sectiOn that went parti cularly well was the section on drinking history.

Contrary to

expectations that the men might be ashamed of, or unwilling to talk about their drinking patterns, most were very open. they likewise

demonstr~ted

HQ~1ever,

that they had [email protected] little thought

to the problem previously. Few of the men had encountered similar research situations and questionnaires, so most were quite cooperative.

In addition

they were flattered by my presence as a female researcher in the traditionally all-male floor. This leads me to a discussion of my status as a researcher in the environment. As Wiseman points out, Vlhile there were a great many scenes I could observe, it became apparent that as a woman, or as a researcher, access was denied to some areas of the loop. (Wiseman, 1970, p.276) She solved her observational problems by hiring participant observe'rs who lived in the situations.

Since such resources

were unavailable to me, I anticipated some difficulties. wa~!lfter

This

all, an all-male community, the members of which had

either severed or never initiated ties with females.

I fs.ced

the problem of interviewer-interviewee anxiety about e stablishing rapport, expecting that as an"butsic:kr'not only to the world of alcoholism, but also to skid row, I would have trouble getting "honest" answers.

However, as Arlene Kaplan Daniels pasc··demon-

-63strated, (1971) asa "High caste" stranger to the group and an obvious outsider, the .men were more open about some things than they might have been with others of their Own sex.

While

there were occasions when the men would attempt to exaggerate their backgrounds or histories for my benefit, for the most part they seemed to look upon me as a sympathetic

observ~r,

and were

more willing to confide in me than they were iIi : the!-,s'taff interviewers who were all ex-alcoholics. The men would pull me aside to tell me stories about their lives on skid row for

m~

"book".

Eecause of the necessity to

explain subcultural details to me, the information gathered in conversations at the dinner table and in the coffe6 lounge was very rich.

While I know I lost certain pers'p ectivespresent

in .the s'ituation, such as an insight into the all.-male bull

session, I feel I also gained certain other information which might have been privileged to a male outsider. Perhaps competition and pride prevented the men from giving good answers to the male interviewing staff, as well as fear of exposure of details of their life, and the desire for anonymity which, as previously

state~

is & part of skid row life. Generally,

'Salvation Army staff personal histories were composed of vague and general answers and they often commented on the difficulties of getting the men to talk.

~xperience

as an interviewer, as

well perhaps, as my role as an outsider, enabled me to gather richer data. There are many problems inherent in the role of the female researcher in an all-male setting which it is not the role of this thesis to examine,

- iJ '+- -

d "cause i t "as i mpossl."bl"to

II

pass ,a or b a com..

a ,","rtain amount of information

'.78S

I.

one of th" i?uys,

ne,~"ssa.t:ily

10lSt.

II

Ho""v..,r,

1 beli.we that a female research,,!: is able to gain som~ infor-' mation '"hich may be privileged to a male outsider, or even insid .. r. "n additional consideration in the resear;chwas that of role

e~pectations.

Precis"ly oecaus", I "'as iemale, thl!!re """re

certain things I was expected to conform to.

l..anguage on the

floor was notably ·, tcned do.'In when it was known tha t ar ound. and I was l~ ot expe c ta d to s"'ear mys e if •

I vIas

Ad d i 1;'iona 11y.

I found it '''as necessary to be "f"minine" in dress and action. After Hearing pants on one work day, I Has told by several staff members that the men had commented unfavorably on it. I alloHed them to open doors for me, and to take my tray back because non-cooperation in these small matters 1'oUld have endang"red my s tan. ding and pel:ce iVl!!d place in

t~e .

se ttinl':. By

behaving in the traditional and expected manner, 1 was able I

to reassure the men in their conception of my

rol~,

and take

some threat out of th" intervievl situation • . ;

'Inother methodological · cons idera tion that the se tting provok"c1was the question of respondent honesty". As previously mentioned, 1 be'came at times aware of embroidering and gJ..orification during the c cur s" . of the intervie,",

It was necessary

that I not imperil the man's self-es1;'p.em, but still gain truthful respOnses.

I u~ed attitudes of frie:t)dly disbeli ... f

and display of kno"'ledg*bility about skid row to dispel this. Mi n or errors in chronology and jOb

hi." tory 1·' ere corrected by

I

checking ~ith Army ' files and t~en approaching the man and telling him that there seemed to b" a mistake in our

re~ord-

keeping.

HOHever, if massive lying on the part of a neHcomer

to Hathor Light occured, there was little way to check against, it.

I feel quite

confi~ent

from the quality and atmosphere

of the interviews, as well as the strong correlation with past records, that the majority of the interviews were sincere. Besides the formal interviewing situation with ' the men, which engenders the above considerations, more informal observations and conversations Here also conducted.

Many of these encounters

and the events that prompted them were recorded in a

r~search

notebook, which I ke,pt spor..dica!.ly o\:
The second portion of the research concerned observation of the interaction between the men and the officers and staff in the setting.

The mOst important part of this section of the

research was accomplished through participation-observation. As a "pseudo.,staff" member, I was able to attend staff meetings and classe,S with the men, as well as to initiate evaluative conversations with all the staff.

Again, I used the research

notebook to keep records of these interactions. A second tool was also utilized to give background to the place of the Salvation Army officer in such a setting.

I sent

a mail questionnaire to Ha:bor Light officers in the United States.

This instrument was pretested with officers in Clevel&nd,

who helped immeasurably in refining the questions.

The religious

section was pruned somewhat because of their reactions to what they considered to be overly simplistic statements.

Four and

five item scalers were 'Used as anst",ers to most of the objecf,ive

questions, as the officers raised objections to forced answers. The mail questionnaire was less successful than the persona l interviews as many of the questions were left unanwered. A copy of the questionnaire is included in the Appendix.

A total

of eighteen of the 25 sUrveys distributed were returned. One set of follow-up letters was issued abOut three weeks after the surveys were distributed, and several personal follow-ups were conducted by Salvation Army officers.

Los Angeles and

New York both failed to return infort1lation, which slants the information in the. direction of the smaller citiAs •

.

The sketchiness of the returned forms and 'the low percrmtage of. return may indicate in part the heavy administrative duties of the group. In fairness, many of the questionnaires returned were quite excellent, and included appended information,' hOwever not enough were of that quality to provide information fOr more than backgrounn t:6stii'l'g of hypotheses about the officers in charge of the facilities •. Of those who responded to the survey, most were

favorably~mpressed

with i t .

Some however, completed

the hour survey in less than 35 minute s.

Therefore, the overall

quality of the return is not necessarily reflected in the quantity • •lhile a number of scale items similar to those included in the Men's questionnaire were included in the officer version, the main focus of this questionnaire was in the items dealing with professional plans, and policies at their individual centers. This information was gathered in open-ended forms, although a few questions about different types of treatment were presented with scales.

Again, criteria in designing the questionnaire

'inc"iuded a necessity for easy to answe r questitms and brevity to

-67ensure high returns. -lII-

The third element examine0 in this study was the socialwelfare community.

This was accomplished both through evalu-

stive questions in the interviews with the men and also throu.o;h interviews and tours at the agencies themselves.

This had

the advantage of providing the user' s perspective, as well as the management's on the

s~ttings.

usually took about half the day.

The agency interviews

Not every agency which

worked with the homeless was included, as many vIera not welle stablished at the ,time of study, or vlorked with such a small percentage in their total clientele that they had littie expertise in the field.

Two major agencies excluded were the

West Side community service c~nter ~md Orca House, a grOUp !

working primarily with Blacks.

Also excluded was a facility

which had just bagun to operate as a half-way home for WOmel"l with alcohol problems.

lhese three agl!ncies were started rec"nt1.y,

and , l was referred to them as the study was nearing completion. A total of fifteen diffllrent agency interviews was completed.

One and sometimes two administrators were contacted in

each setting. view

t~as

Basically an informal and conversational inter-

conduct,e d, although it was structured with an outline

of questions geared to gather the facual data presented in the appendix.

rly primary intersts were in the agency atti-

tudes tot.ard skid row, and their eligibility requirements. 1'Iost i of the interviews included tours of facilities and contact with the men , and other stafI personneL

'Lhese elements were

excluded in the mental facilities and at the jail setting. At most of the agencies, my reception ~ias very warm.

The agencies seemed flattered that someone was studying them. They were also aware of the wide lack of coordination and information between agencies, and were grateful for anything which provided information about their "competition."

They were

willing to converse on a professional and open l.,vel about the problems faced in their particularly failure-prone

s~rvic".

\. ' ,

{

One of the most interesting facets of this particular portion of the research was the contrast in perceptions of s.,rvices between the agencies and the men. Several of the agencies 8gem,,,l to

presen'~

Ii

paper version of their program.

With the insights

of the users, a more realistic perspective could be gained. I-Ihile the agency intervip.ws intendp.d to portray the eligibility spectrum in treatment programs in Cleveland, they also provided information on available resources, available treatment philosophies and success ratios. Through the se inl:erviews, seen.

l~ise
s treatment loop was

Many of the administrators mentione'd

the "repeater,a or the "rounder".

the problem of

Several even mentionned

the same man, whom the interviewer had seen, a.s a typical example of this.

t
purpose of the interviewing, it was one of the fringe benefits of the

e~perienco.

The agency interviews provided rich background on the environmental "cpn text of skid row.

t.Jhile each interview was brief,

thereby limiting profound insights into the various agencies, t , .\ ."

basic data on target popUlation and treatment philospby wete ' gather"d.

IV The battery of methods used was intended to aid in

~etting

a multi-faceted picture of the nature of the inter-action between the men of skid row and the agencies that served I was continually total

verst~hen

a,~are

Althoug h

the~.

that no single researcher could attain

of such a large picture, an attempt was made

to gain as deep an understanding of the amount of time made possible.

s~tuation

as the limited

The six month period between

initial contact with the agency and completion Of intervikWA with the men was much tOO short to deveiop a

compl~tA

picture

of an agency that had been in existence for 25 years. TherefOre this study is very time- specific. Light was undergoing at the

tirr~

The ch,mges that Harbor of Observation in staff

and program may well be resolved by the time of ·oomple.tri.On ·;;. HowEov.. r, the problems the observed changes . and interactions raised seem typical of any organization attempting to survive in a hostile task .. nvironment.

will serve to highlight

t~e

Hopefully, the choAen methods

problems and naturY'

:of

this par-

ticular organizational interaction. An attempt". was made to ga:l.n the perspect"ives of both the client and the administrative staff, as well as to investigate the atmosphere and organizational structure in which these two participants interacted.

How successful

"

this attempt is rests not only upon thA limitations of even the most widely chosen of methodologies, but also upon t"he limitations of a single observ_r among one hundred fifty people.

-70-

PRESBNTATION OF HYPOTHESES

This research concerns a group of excessive drinkers phosp. shelter or health situations have brought them to the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center.

Their choice of this institution

and their life within it will be se"n in the context of thl! Cle·veland social Nelfare environment.

This orgsnil!laeion serves

the skid roy, area, and competes to some extent for clientele with other organi"'ations providing similar services.

.'j,berefore •

. the inter-relationships within the setting must be seen in terms of the Harbor Light i s organizational survival--both in its task environ«rents locally, and at the national level.

The relationshi?s

IVithin the internal environment contribute greatly to this 11: pill be seen that it I selects clients by presenting an image of its services to the

organization's success or failure;

co,lItlIunity it serves.

'J.herefore, it sets up t.hat Thompsonl.19n7,

p.27 )ca.lls"domain" by attracting clients suitable for its treatment.

However, once the treatment phase begins, the ac-

. '.

complishment of long-range goals is not achieved.

lherefore,

intermediate goals and services are created so that the organi:>.:ation can continue

t~ithout

staff demorali:>.:ation.

With constant

changes both in program offered, and emphasis on particular elemnts of programming, the organi.?:ation can cover i·ts to successfully rehabilitate men. earned with matters of

fa~lure

The staff remains mor~ con-

organi?-ationa~

procedure than with the

.

I

'

-71-

client himself, as ~tudying

~dll

be shown by description of the program.

this organization from the perspectives of both

management and clie::t: will help explain hO<" each, throu gh his otm special interpretation or definition of situation, is able to SlJ:'vive in vlhat must be objectively seen as a "'frustrating situation.

For the client, he must live in an authoritarian

and restricting environment.

'4h .. Jl".&nagement ,is -fac"d

rehabilitation of an unresponsive clientele.

lhe men who tun1 for help are by no of skid row residents.

~' ith

lAt tn" relationsn ip

me~,s

in the

maj~rity

, Clearly, any study of men within insti-

tut:l.ons is not dea11...,g with a subsamp,l e of the homeless on

.

sk.idrow, but with a selectively chosen group wl'1'O have entered , "the agencY' by choice. agencies.

Very f ew enter from referrals by other

Most find out about a gencies like Harbor Light

from their friends and companions. !I'or this study, the following hypotheses &bout the relationi

ships within and without the Harbor Light setting are proposed:

.L. An organization attempting to be successful limits its domain : az'ld ':c lier.te Ie to.'ar.;as : in which it can achieve success; through both formal and informal methods.

A formal

screening process andL,formal reputational networks influenced , , . by a gency services serve to screen skid row men to certain agt

encies treating alcoholics.

More formal, insti tutionally .'

initiated s creening methOds inclUde location, eligibility criterion, and costs.

The informal reputational .network is

created ; by the dients themselves, to inform the' community of I

-72available and preferilble treatment settings. Rough informe.tion is passed evaluating services and accomodations, and serves as an informal map to Wisema.-:I' s (1970) aloop " as it exists in Cleveland. ~ .J;,Q.

tttt Bynotbesis 1. : An examination of different agencies

used by the skid row men will demonstrate that these agencies have the potential to be client specific, even though no central referral system exists. to those whicn

o~ch

Criteria'of eligibility limit clients

agency feels best prepared to serve.

An

informal reputational rating system which is influenced by these formal methods will be shewn to exist: among the men who use Harbor Light by analysis of their answers to questions of evaluation on area agencies.

II,

The Harbor Light agency has created its own reputa-

tion on skid row as an agency which provide!!! services of clean shelter, foo.d and varied working opportunities.

Through this

reputation, 'it attracts a group of men to the service because it meets their particular needs.

Their own personal status

at the time of admission is an element in their choice, as is their knowledge that services offered will be available to them. Data .t.9. test Hypothesis

1.1.: Men's reasonr. , for coming

to narbor Light will be examined to demonstrate that their )

are specific factors of Harbor Light services known to users I

before they are oriented to these services, demonstrating reputation as a factor in their choice.

IIA: of the

user~

A local referral system is responsible for most at Harbor Light, as the majority of men using

the service are local, and became aware of s"'rvices from ac-

-73quaintances rather than from agencies or the uelfare system.

111l:..

MP-n of Harbor Light are not typical of skid ro,,1

men as a I"hole, a.s· they are in better health than those from skid rOt,1 at large.

This may be because Harbor Light

has a reputation as a pork place

~'.here

work is ha.rd but

pay is slightly higher than at. the sheltered ,,'orkshops.

i'lany

of the men ,,'ho CCl.'1le to Harbor Light choose it as a shelter vlhere they can use their able bodie s to earn and keep more of their money. ~

.tQ l l l l Hypothl'!sis IlB:

Brief comparison ",111 be

made between the data gathered by Bogue on health,and that gathered at Harbor Light.

Information from open-ended

and occupational questions will be used to demonstrate that work conditions "ere a factor in choice of Harbor Light for some.

lIe. A high proportion of those ."ho C;Ome to l'farbor'-Lir,ht are single; either through divorce, '''ido.,ho!,d, or permanent bacherlorhood.

They are used to survival without women, and

adapt to the all-male institutional environment with only limited. complaint.

Again, the men coming tb Harbor Light

are well-suited to treatment offered. I

.Ll D. Among the men ,.ho choose Harbor Light are a core I

of regulars ,,]ho use the agency as a residence center and form \ a reliable clientele who can be counted on to return again and agein.

These men, especially, are attracted by .'hat they

kna.> about Harbor Light and feel it meets their n"eds ,,,,,,11·· enough to re-use the institution. bone of· the

organi~ation,

This group forms the back-

and the staff count on their reap-

-i4 -

pearance to fill certain responsible jobs.

lla..ti.l..

t",st 11. 12.:

.tQ.

A high proportion of those intervie.7ed

,vere repeaters and >a special open-ended > c onversation about changes needed and likes and dislikes of the agency was conducted with each in addition to the regular interview.

ll,E.

Some of the men who come to

l~bor

Light are

a£t~ac­

ted by the religious nature of the services, and have strong feelings about the importance of religion and private devo'Cions :,

Army theological interpretation. ~



~

lIE:

While there is little comparative

information available on non-church members,

som~

national

\

material exists

in a sample taken by Glock and Stark in 1964.

The Glock and §tark index of orthodoxy, discussed in detail in Appendix B, was used with both a national sample of officers ,, and wi th the men of Harbor Light to compare the men t·· to the officers and to the nation at large, in orthodoxy, found to be the fundamental dimension .of religious faith by Glock and Stark{l966J. 'lhe private dimension of religion, which was examined since so few of the men participated in public church

; ~ituals,

was measured through the King-Hunt series

(19~9)

to demonstrate the degree of commitment to personal devotion as compared to the officers of the center. A 'series of questions taken from the Dynes (19 S 5) church1

I

sect

,~ork

was used as a short form means of measuring severa l

tsues of religious orientation, and was used for comparison dth the officers in charge . } lSee appendix B for additional note s on all ~easures cited herein.

-75-

l.ll:..:.. Most of the men "ho check into Harbor Light are recovering from a recent bout with .alcohol; and may i .. ".l at a 1o,,, ebr.> of p
as there is no higher level mirror to

bacl< a depressing picture.

r~flect

If, as Head and Cooley, and symbolic

iriteractionism suggests. mU.ch of msn's self opinion is what he sees reflected of himself by others, then the group of drunks admitted to Harbor Light send back a picture of the man vlhich includes, if flot elements of a.pproval, at least, acceptance. A response which the

ff~

would not expect from his old reference

groups or sO'cbty at large would' bo this one of approval. I

Tnus,through providing

a

po~ive

mirror of

companion~

1

ship, the center can serve to raise, or at' least stablilizEI (

a man1s self-esteem. The community of Harbor Light fosters a I

i

bravura as many of the men kno,,, each other from the outside • . lhe group at Harbor Light is often an important reason in

..

a man j s , choice, fOr he knows that 'ihis poers will raise his " confidence. I

~ .tQ.

-

.t:.ut. Hypothesis IIF: The Rosenberg (1965) Scale

1

,

of S"lf-esteem, designed for use with high school students is employed here as a measure of self-esteem.

Data from a follow-

up of ten interviews will be used to show the pOWer of Harbor Light to raise self-esteem.

Information from interviews \

will show that the peer group is an important reason in choosing Harbor Light.

-76II G.

The recent bout with alcoholism and failure that

brings a man to Harbor Light may leave him with a low sense of the future, and of efficacy in dealing with his world. He turns to Harbor Light to shift his responsibility for tomorrow temporarily to the management, and easily accepts ihstitutionalization while it suits his needs.

He sees things

in the perspective of':now' and "tOday" much like his lower class compatriots (Rainwater,1959 ; and Lewis, 1961; Bittner, 1967).

This ~

~~

t2

worries

~

~nly

minimally &bout tomorrow.

Hypothesis IIG:

The competency sc&le used I

by Angus' Campbell (1960) was used to measure personal efficacy because the nature of the .questions touched on the now orientation, as well as on powerlessness, and competence. The direction of scalability demonstrates the lack of future surety among the men that come to Harbor Light. ,.' .

. •

The questions

0.. , .

themselves were especially suitable to the criteria of shortness and simplicity~

SUMHARY OJ> HYPOTHESIS II:

The men who use Harbor Light are 'I

specific to the agency, a large proportion havtng been attracted by a reP1+tation promis':crgservices that would satisfy certain of their needs, such as the need for a peer group, shelter, Ind religiOUS comfort.

They are suited to take advantage of

l

these services because of characteristic demographic factors such as health and marital status. III.

For an organization to survive successfully in

a , competitive environment, it must present an image of successful ' attainment of goals to its reference groups in the task , I environmen t upon whom it is dependent for support and resources. I

-/'7-

Harbor Light must respond to pressures from elements in its task environm~nt, including other competing and cooperating agencies, its parerit organization, and community and governmental fund SOurces.

Tnis need for response results in the . ~,

following actions: The organization spends. much of its time in

lILA.

attempting to reach its stated goal of the rehabilitation· of the alCOholic homeless man through manipul ation and discussion of the program intended to accomplish that

go~l.

:t."1. addition

the organization has a sub-goal of financial stability, and other orgilIlizational resources are devoted to the accomp,l ishment of this goal. ~

tQ

~

Hvpotheris III A:

Observation at staff . !

mee tins·sand of staff act:hrftie s a'ld actions indicated that l

much of .the time of the organization wo::s entering into !

manipulation of programming <· procedures essentially directed at increasing

organizat~al

success at its two main goals.

In addition to attempting to reach its stated

III B.

goals, the organization will attemp t to define new goals, including both functions which it is achieving success in at the time, as well as the · addition of new functiQls. It will therefore legitimize short term actions, such as detoxification, and add new long term goals such as half-way housing. Ju·s t as the organization itself must respond to pressures

,

in its task environmett, so must the administrative staff answer to pressures in their situation. The Salvation Army officer is already equipped when he comes beliefs and a vocation to serve. 1

0

with strong religious These help mitigate some of

the pressures from '{ both the parent organization and elements of his task environment, as perception of his role.

\~ell

other

as shaping his

Additionally, the officers demonstrate

authoritarian responses in some cases, which well equip him to operate within the hierarchically structured setting of the Harbor Light cOiMlaIld post. , This quality of authorii:arianism Ii1IlY increase in the officer over time, or he .nay cotne to tho service with this quality, but no longitudi.,al d& ta was available for comparison. ~

In response to pressures from cUnpeting agencies

1

in their task environment as well a s ina search fOr funds and referrals, the officer perceive s his role as professional, i

and takes action to attai., this standing ,:. in the. eyes ' of his community, and to

c~nmand

moce successfully in his

environ~~nt.

IVA. The officers see their place as professional, with a strong component of counselling, even if in actual practice much of their time must pe ,spent in administ,ration.

The

parent organization encourages this orientation to ministering, even if in actual fact the officer has little time for it. j

t.

~ ~ ~ Hypothesis

IVA: Officer's testimony

as to the percentage of timl!l spent in counselling, as

~7ell

as their :opinion as to their most important task ' will be used to te'st ,>.the hypothesis.

~;vidence that the officers may not I

have much time to spend in this area of their role is taken from the •men's opinion of Officer's duties, and encounters with officers in IV B.

c~unselling

Situation~.

In response to pressures from other agencies

in thei'r environment to use secular methods in treating alcoholics, .. , c,· -

-79-

as well as response to situations within the institution which call for

additional~aining,

the officer will attempt

to gain further professional training of a non-ecc:;lesiastical sort.

l.ll...Q. Again, in worki..g in his community, 'the officer may find it necessary to increase his professional stature by joining various

professi~aal

groups.

These groups not:

only provide,,' the officer with treatment ideas, but also involve him in sharing with oth£ragencios involved in the same sort of work, and help him spread his agency's professionai :ceputation

.J.t..D..

The officer mayw'ish ,t o experiment with his pro-

gram to serve unmet needs within the community he serves.

rne

parent organization is flexible on this point so that the officer can experiemnt and attain funding for secular as well as sacred aspects of programming unprovided by other co,1'.muni tygroups.

SUMMARY OF HYPOTHESIS IV:

The officer as well as organization

must adapt his behavior to achieve success in his particular ' Manyoffic~rs

environm"'nt.

seem to find professionalizatiOI:!

I

a useful response to the , pressures to achieve within their community, and also helpful to them in administering the agency under their charge. The major intent of th;i.s thesis is ' the demonstration of

-

the necessity ,of adaptive behavior and organization in this i

"

instit;utional setting. skid ,

ro\~

.... .

The devel.opment of a program of

,treatment Occurs through the interaction of client

and olficer.

,

~lhile

,

,

there are several different elements in

the client group with differing motivations in seeking treatment, common methods of cooperation with the institutional regulations and attitudes of gratitude develop, changing their behavior from their skid row drunkenne ss to

ins~itu-

tional dependence for short periods of time. Lhe men change theirbehavio~ and chose an institution which suits their particular needs at a given time. While officially, the center provides alcoholic rehabilitation, it is known in the community as a gOod place to find sholter. The men "who come to Harbor Light are professing to seek sobriety, , but this is a temporary goal, if at all. Each cOmes with )

an awareness that Harbor Light offers certain services and has certain requirements for thOse who wish to use the service I

including' a' loss of independence. The men give up the inde1

pendence and strive to fulfill the requirements as , long as [

they need the s,e rvice.

Some have goals which require service i

1

longer than others; and they stay over thirty days. These men , ,

have begun to achieve success in terms of length of stay. ; V....

r

Men who have goals ~~hich require ' long-term service s

of the institution, are able to define the situation within the institution to fit their own particular needs. By staying

.,

for long periods of time, they both gain pre stige within the ,

organization and attain their goals, as well as; serving the organization by providing "success-stories."

'LA.

Successful men adapt their behavior to the

institutional setting, cooperating ,.,rith the group norms I

and .regulations, and thereby insuring 't heir survival within I

the walls.

-81~.

Successful men will have longer range goals than

thOse who stay for short periods of time, and will have an orientation to their future.

lheir express purposes in using

Harbor Light. either as a permanent employer, or as a safe haven while awaiting external rewards demonstrate that

th~ir

goals are often dependent upon remaining within the shelter. Benefits at this agency accrue after longer stays, making the lOng-term stay more reward~.

YQ. Those who stay for long periods of time will show some personal changes over time, such as improved personal esteem and religiousity in

so~e

cases, indicating , that the

organization is not totally inaffective in promoting rehabiliI

tation. ~ .t2 tt.:1t. Hyptotheses l.Y..a,-;~, ~.8.

Follow-up I

material was gathered from those who had stayed over thirty I

days, replicating some of the "arlier interview, and asking questions about what .nade men drop out, and how new men differed from old. This study intends to offer perspectives on the inter1

1

action wi thin one particular skid row se tting, which is religious in its approach to treatment, but changes in reaction to changing situations in its environment.

The clientele . using

Harbor Light has changed over the years, and sO 'have other ,

available social services.

If it is to survive,' it must change

also, or' face the fate of the wild-cat missions :of the thirties, extinction.

CHAPTER

Yl.

THE NETWORK OF AGENCIES Al'lD REPUTATIONS

'!his chapte~ ~r~sents rGs~lts tost~B tho first hypothasis, that &gencios,through formal and informal screenii.'lg mechani _ms, attsmpt to limit their clientele to those the:! can best serve. 'Their effectiveness at this task is examined througharLanalysis'of ',the reputational natwork seen in the ~urbor Light users. 1nos<'l agencies which are best known turn out to be those who are also mast willing to serve the skid row man. Additionally, this chapter serves to portray the social Helfare community which benefits the homeless man, and which provides the setting for Harbor Light. Harbor Light, a work therapy organization, is excluded from this section, although obviously also a part of this network,,, known to all respondents.

-82:-·

THE NE'Ii-lORK OF AGENCIES AND REPUTATIONS Ther~

are six different types of welfare services available

to skid row alcoholics in the Cleveland area.

These are: welfare

administration, hospital agencies, medical and psychological treatment facilities,

half-\~ay

and P.lcoholics;l\nonymous.

houses,

\~ork

therapy operations,

"hese tr
out-patient care to intensive medical programs. All of

cornpl ,~ tfl

thos~

investigated were theoretically open to the skid row man, but various formal and informal screens often :imited the number of skid row men partaking of treatments . . These screens included cost, initial intervielving, te!lting of cli"nt sincerity, geographical location either far from the skid row area, or ,in dangerous neighborhoods, and rules on recidivism.

These screens serve to limit clientell" to those

who are willing to make a strong commitment to 'the treatment. The least client-specific and least sophisticated of the he Iping agencies are those in wi;lf are administration.

The skid

row alcoholic is just one small part of their case-load, and while, as a single person,' tl16 man 'receives specialized treatment, his alCOholism gains him

f~w

special favors.

A man in

Cl~veland

who has lived in the county long enough to establish eligibility may receive relief either from the county or from the Soldiers ' and Sailors Relief commission, if h" is a veteran. Ihis relief is usually given in the form of room and board checks.

Aman

may receive emergency relief from the county for only one month,

-83and must have a medical disability to qualify for ,further aid, or be .over age 65. There are some specific services for the skid row alcoholic. \"hile the room and bOard system, by :virtue of their low amount, encourage sojourns at the least expensive hotels in town , welfare will on occasion pay for alcoholic rehabilitation services.

County

Welfare approves three such services, "'hile Soldl-ers' and Sailors ' apprOves four, including Harbor Light.

While $93 is the maximum

monthly paymetnt a man can Pi"t for r.oom ana board, as high

;!II'!

$145

is paid to a rehabilitation agency to meet their costs in keeping

a

man. The county service also has a second aid for the alcoholic;

the Cuyahoga County Alcoholic Rehabilitation Unit.

Tne unit

provides educational introductions to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Only

a small percentage who seek this counselling service are skid row alcoholics.

Most have a family to return to ,' and are using

thet service fOr advice and an introduction to Ah.

The unit is

locat6d stweral blocks away from the Salvation Army Hen's Social Service, but far from skid row, and is in close association with the Fresh Start

hal~ay

house programs.

Another general service which also tr .. ats the man a ,s a part of a general caS6 lOad is the hospital serviC6.

Both Cleveland

Hetropolitan General Hospital and St. Vincent's Charity Hospital see alCOholic s in emerg6ncy cases of withdrawal, Or as a result of violence in the streets.

Hany of these men have received

treatment from the hospitals fOr falls, fights, and D.T.'s with no charge. I

The skid row men are not the most popular patients, as they

-84-

are unreliable about showing up for treatment, and often ungrateful. (Harbor Light, Conference, Nov. 1972)

Nonetheless,

the city hospitals are the only medical facilities available. Health care is one of the more serious problems the skid row man faces, and a s the most sophisticated alcoholic treatment facilities are generally closed to him becau.se ' of cost or location, h& .o::aceives the limited care available as he can get it.

The skid row

man faces, with , other indigent patients, the problems of evecexpanding needs for heE>ith care versus ever-expanding costs to the hospital.

8mergency situations such as coronary attacks

are well-handled by the hospitals.

One man from Harbor Light spent

several weeks in an intensive coronary care unit in thl! l'letropolita.n Hospital.

However, mor" routine cuts, scrapes, bruises and dental

care are handled less compentently because of thl! prl!ss of econo-' mics and staffing.

The skid row men are not persuasive enough,

or reliable enough to have their needs for care effectively met., They compete with oeher needy people for a

limited amount of

,\

available services.

Most of the residential centers which are

available to the homeless have no

rr~dical

staff, and therefore

medical care is handled on an ad-boc end impersonal basis io 'che city' smel'1:i.cal facilities.

Likewise, psychological care for the skid row alcoholic is handled non-specifically,

Neither of the two mental facilities

investigated had sophisticated and special programs for alcoholics. Both housed alcoholics on the same ward with other patients, and only offered one or twO hours per week of specialized care in group therapy settings for the patient with alCOholic problems.

-o:r Again. these facilities did not specialize in the homeless, although the homeless. as residents of the county wer.e eligible to enter the facility.

Because the programs were not specifically designed

for slcoholics. but rather for mental patients with alcoholic problems; there was again. as in the hospital facilities. SO,lIe staff hostility towards the alcoholic.

As the director of one

ward reported. under these conditions. the staff doesn ' t like working with alcoholics. These are unfavor~ble conditions to work with ' the problelTl, becc.us
~ix

months or so •. but this rsther high rate

of success should be regarded in light of a rather inefficient follow-up program. and the fact that involuntary admissions are excluded.

Additionally, the hospitals serve a catchment area

which includes people with families and other support.

Many of

the skid rOw men who come to the facilities enter involuntarily, and leave within a few days. '

It is not these men that the state

mental facilities have success with. The hospitals and the welfare services are generally available

-86to all members of the comrr~ity, whether alcoholic or not.

However,

the other 'services are more and mOre specifically oriented to"7ard treatment of the alcoholic and the skid rO\.. man.

Orienterl most

specifically ,to the alcoholic, although not necessarily dealing I ..

ith the problem of ho,nelessness, are the agericies ''''hich offer soph-

isticated medical and psychological troatment facilities.

Among

these in Oleve1and are Rosary Hall, ,E xodus Hall, Serenity Hall and the Brecksville Veteran

~-s

" ..

Administration Hospital.

Both Rosary

Hall and Serenity Hall have high rates of admission, and thus their cOsts s .. rve as effective screens against' the skid row man.

Therefore,

when a man has utilized these services, he hat), usually been in
'; higher status in life,

surance.

~ith

,steady employment and health in-

Both Ro'saryand Se,renity are 10ceted within larger

hospital facilities,but ofrer a specialized ward for alcoholics with an average stay of from 8 to 14 days, including treatment and alCOholic education.

Exodus Hall, which is connected with th ..

Workhouse, inc1ud",s a thirty day stay if one volunteers from the outside community for the service.

Workhouse men may also partici-

pate in the ' facility, but their stay is often governed by their length of sentence.

A11madica1 and ~psychiatric treatment

is provided by the workhouse.

Tne Voteran's Administration fa-

cility has access to the reSOurces of the entire complex.

There~

fore, all these facilities have the capacity to deal with alcoholism on a medical basis.

HoweVer, these facilities have

eral sc.reening mechinisms, such as

~ocation

program which reduce , skid row use. Light, only eight had been to

~odus

SAV-

and strenuousness of

Of the eighty men at Harbor

Hall, only eleven to Brecks-

-87ville, and only seventeen to

l~sary ~ll.

Rosary Hall is more

familiar and better used because of its long establishment. Even though there is little skid row usage of the facility, s ome of the men did utilize the facility before coming to skid row. 'J.bese facilities are all professionally ' committed to achieving SObriety for the patient.

d gOOd deal of work is demanded

of the patient in terms of class and therapy attendance.

Only

a man who is fair ly sincere about his goals of beating alcoholism

of the places

ar~

made quite clear to the client upon entranco.

The personnel are professional, and a wide socio-economic group of clients utilize these four

s~rvices.

the facilities most open to the men, EXOdus

Additionally,

P~ll,

and the Veterans '

facility are located far from skid row environment.

Rosa,r y '

nall, located on skid rot. &nd established for over twenty yttars

,

is much better known to the men 't han Exodus Hall. The Veterans ' I

hospital, Hhich has bean established for msny years, but is also far away, was also unfamiliar.

Thus a place where ,most

j

of the men were ineligible for treatment , was as well kno,m or better known as a place where most of them were

eligi ~ le,

pri-

marily because of len~th of foundation and location on skid row. Obviously, then, time in operation and locational familiarity 1

contribute to whether an agency appears in the skid row reputational network system.

f'3:f.ty-fciuz''' 'perc'en:t ' OI "the; me'rC ~

knew ll.osary hall, but only l6i. kne,. of the Exodus facility becausp. 'of these factors.

Eligibility seems to'be , a lesser

factor in familiarity than these other screening elements.

As

previously pointed out, Wiseman demonstrated that the sophisti,

-88cated aLcoholic treatment centers were most popular with the men.

However, even though they may be popular, these agencies

are under-utilized in Cleve Landt even where the men are eligible because of the additional factors of unfamiliarity and locational ~accessability.

Less sophisticated agencies, such as thOse

to be studied later are far mor.e familiar and more widely used than thOse agencies that rely on psychological therapy and sophisticated medical techniques to reach the skid row man.

he may worry abOut the othor clients of higher pocial

status, Or about unfamiliar and sophisticated trllatments, so that even while the situation of no work is appealing, there \

ara drawbacks to these agencies for him.

'rhe agencies thPlmselVt'.s

J

believe that the man dOes not come to their facility because (

he is unwiiiing to put forth the effort for a complete) cure:

T~e average guy living under bridges is there by his

o\~

choice. This is the lif" style he is lused to. We only get 10-20~ from the flophouse type environment, an.d thOse who see how much WOrk this is ate of.ten amazed and want to leave. {ExOdus Hall, April, 1973) !

('lost also feel their length of stay is too short to really reach tho skid row man.

"They are hopelessly pst.hetic about

themselves, about recovery, and about life. -

1"

1 don't feel that

you can turn him upside down and around in 12 or 30 days. "(Exodus ,

I

Hall, 1973) The men ~artly agree with this.

Une, commenting I

on Rosary : Hall said, "I feel it could help a skid row alCOholic,

,

)

but twelve days is tOO short. It takes six months'. "(Interview 20) Even at the Exodus program, which allows extended stays, 1

the staff believes t:hat: its program is t:oo short ~to really help the skid row man.

The se agencies are aware hi t:he need fOr

restructuring the man ts life style in order

to coinbat the problem

of alcohol.

"You must first restore his sense of ' worth and be-

longing. II (V.A., April, 1973) J;lesides insufficient times of stay, the treatment at these facilities foster social skills which the skid rOV1 man may have dropped.

lhe Veteran's Administration, for example, offers

self-government to all patients in the progra,it. The patient:s are responsible for all affairs which affect them, including disciplinary matters. They even handle. a good deal of the clerical

although g'uided by the staff. A group made up totally of skid 1

row men would not have had the needed interpersonal skills to handle this sOrt of responsibility effectively, although at laas.t partial responsibility might be better than the total dependency fostered at the other agencie s. 'l'he men occasionally indicate why they shy away from these sophisticated facilities, even , when like Wiseman, they give them high reputational ratings. he

f~1t

Une

man

commented that

Offended by the intensive group therapy sessions which

compelled men to discuss their drinking problems and confess 1

their fsults .in front of their peers (thereby viOlating what Wallace has described as a code of personal anonymity of the streets.) The skid row man is not ready yet to let his guard down totally, especially before middle class others who are sharing the facility with him. Some men evaluate the service s materialistically, balancing costs to themselves against their benefits. They are concerned about the actual value of the treatment they < receive. .

Une

respondent, commenting on a hospital treatment he had taken, said,

-901 didn't like it because I was p~etty sick, and thev made me wait four hours between d~inks, and there are three meetings a day and a lot of lip service. The bill is preposterous for I.hat you get, it's just al.fuI. You ge t two bottles of whiskey and a lot of talk. (In terview 38) Thus, several sophisticated facilities are available to the alcoholic in the Cleveland Area.

1\.,0, Rosary Hall, and Ser"nity

Hall, may have been utilized by skid row men in their dOI.rn07ard careers, but are not now available to them because of the ir prohibitive costs.

~'o,

located far from skid row, are open to

almost all m"n; but because of -::heir n .. wness, and their unfamiliarity on the grape vine of skid row, and atso bec&use of their location and sophisticated programs, ar" under-utilized by a cli.mtel'/!' they could well serve. Another

under~utilized

group of services open to the skid row

man is the half-way house group.

Fresh-Start, Matt Talbott, and

Now House are examples of these facilities, but again through a scre'llling mechanism of location and admission proc",dure s, skid row use is limited.

The

av~"ed

aim of

th~se

houses is to achieve

SObriety through a peaceful, alcohol-free and home-likeatmosphp.re. The iltJTipsphere is butre6sed with one and often two or more Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week.

Welfare, and Soldiers' and SailorS'

Relief 'p;er,ertiily pick up th>! tabs for these agency servic"s. fore there is rio cost for these agency services.

Intensive

screening limits the number of inhabitants to six through twentyfive men at each facility.

At Fresh Start a potential client

must pass the director's scrutiny for evidence of sincerity.

At

Matt Talbott, a priest at the workhous" ' provides 85% of the accepted clien ts through referral.

NOI,1 House also has a dirllctor

who examines each man as to his sincerity in the search for

sobriety.

Now House is the only

tru~

half-way house, as a man

must work, at an outside job there, to pay his fifteen dollar weekly rent. Stays at these facilities

gen~ral1y

are about thirty days

or longer, perhaps because of the scrutinization for sincerity, as well as the strict rules about recidivism.

Fr~sh

Start dOes

not allow a repeater until a year has elapsed, and Matt Talbott limits repeaters to 6 months turn-around time.

Even so, Matt

Talbott finds that 50% of its clients are repeaters.

The succe s s

rate seems lower at these agencies than at the sophisticated hospital facilities, perhaps in part the clients are homeless.

bec~use

the majority of

Again, reliability of success rates

is low because of the lack of any sophisticated follow-up procedure.

Nost agencies count their successes by the number of

clients who return to the former residence still in a state of ,

sobriety. (Nonetheless, few agencies were reticent ; about success rates, and the appendix includes nota ': :io:os on succoss for each) The ,m ain problem these agencies face is their location in , undesirable neighborhoods, where it is impossible for the man to

,

l.eave at night.

Ctie client said, •• 1 don't

it's like walking into a d"ath trap. ,. (58)

li~e

the neighborhood,

The administrator!!

are aware of the men's fears, and one talks of opening a facility in the country and using the city houses only for men who have employment in town.

A second Fresh Start has opened

in the skid row ne ighbOrhood .. which may make the half. -wsy type facility more accessible and better-known to the skid row clientelle. Generally, at present, the halfway facilities were unknown to the men of Harbor Light.

All have been established within the

-n last five years, whereas places such as the Salvation Army have .'

been in existence for over fifty. unable to evaluate Fresh Start. opinion on Matt Talbott Inn. gave high ones, however.

Fully 71% of the men were AnOther 66% could give no

Those who did make evaluations

Of the twenty-six Gvaluating

only two gave it an average or lower evaluation.

~~tt

Talbott,

In the case of

Fresh Start, sixteen of twenty-two evaluators rated it above .

1

average. De spi te high recomrr.Qnda 1:.ions fClw··m 6D had · t:·c tuo:rlly. 'iut·U .. iied' ,.i

either service.

a

Only nine had been a~ Matt l lbott, ana seven

had been at Fresh Start.

Thus, while the half-way facilities

offer residence fOr the homeless, and home-like treatment, few of the Harbor Light users were familiar with the Lservices, and fewer had utilized them.

The reputation of the groups was

high among those who had heard of them.

Again, location out

of the skid row environment as well as recp.ncy of foundation and specificity of screening procedures to eliminate ir.sincerity seems . to limit in part the usage by skid rO," men. Thus, two of the six welfare services available most specifically for alcoholics are under utilized by the clients of Harbor Light . ·he men are more knowledgable and utilize more universally a fourth group of agencies.

These agencies are d irectly on skid ro.' or

within easy . travelling distance of the area, and offer work and spiritual therapy programs.

Bmployed and lower and middle

class clients with families .are not included in their clientele ', 1 Now House began housL~gmen in November, and had no full-time staff, so was not included in ratings in the questionnaire.

-93-

The target population is specifically the skid row alcoholic. Not only is the skid row homeless man eligible for the program, but he is basically the only element of the popuLation to be aigible.

To participate in these services, a man need

only be homeless and profess to be in need of help.

Cooperation

.with the work or spiritual program is required for shelter and services to continue. Not only are the skid row men more familiar with these services. they are also quicker to critici?:e thorn; Wherea:;; the hospitals and half-way houses reGuire little work for their treatment • . the skid row agency requires the man to work to earn his room and board.

Therefore, the man can accuse them of mer-

In agencies such as Exodus

cenary ai0s.

I~ll.

the patients were

responsible for some routine maintenance and their own se1iIn Stella Maris

governance.

the man is not

on~y

Or

the 11en's Social Service Center.

responsible for the maintenance of living

facilities, · but also must ilut in a forty hOUr or longer week in SOme form of "work therapy." of

t~

This work is paid at the hvel

state sheltered workshop scale or lower.

If it is paid

at the shelter ... d workshop scale, then room and board are subtracted from the amount paid.

Men in such programs, including

Harbor Light are lucky to have ten dollars in their pOckets at the end of a work week. There are five agencies which specifically fit this category in Cleveland.

They include: The Salvation Army Menls Social

Service Center, The Volunteers of America, City Mission, Stella Maris, and P.arbor Light. l.

All have some religious orientation, )\

although this feature is strongest at City Mission. ",'

:'

"

As discussed

-94-

earlier, the religious orientation is helpful in operating in this field of failure, as there is an explanation provided for failure in the inherent fallibility of man. The treatment facility blames the man, not the treatment, in failures. Unlike the more sophisticated treatment facilities, there are no monetary costs to the man for participation in the services. Therefore,' ;'1rno1ever, there are limits to the sophistication of ' ,

treatment given the man.

Most of the facilities offer one or more

church serviC68 a week for tho man, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and the work therapy program as their treatment package.

II man who is using tho facility primarily for shelter

does not have to worry sbout groups of meetings devoted to probing his persol1ality and his alcoholic history.

The treatment

at these agencies is often so rudimentary as to be a:most nonexistent.

Many of the , facilities are quitl. frank in admitting that

they provide more shelter than treatment for the man.

One has

gone so far as to provide hbusing for transients five nights "

a month, and a separate residency program, with more extensive counselling.

Other agencies are aware that many men will

only use the program for shelter for two weeks or less.

The

agencies do not actively discourage these users, so long as they participate in the' work phase of the program. Since all the agencies professed to me that they were interested in phS' rehabilitation of alcoholics, I was interested in seeing how the men perce ived the se claims.

,

About the same

percentage of men had used the four agencies (excluding Harbor Light), Between fifty and sixty percent had been at each agency, and another 20-30% was willing to evaluate the agency without having been actually present at it.

While all four

ag~ncies evaluated presented similar pictures of both treatment

and success to me, they ,.ere not so similarly evaluated by the l1lIen.

Volunteers of America, and City !1ission were criticized

by clients because of their insincerity and hypocrisy. Vlhile "no drinking" is the ground rule at all agencies, both '; ," .. " .... Volunteers and the. Mission seemed to allow drinking on the premises. I saw men intoxicated on the grounds and in the doorways of the Volunteer s premises, which underlined the truth of what the men said.

The men frowned upon a program which professes

to help the alcoholic, bat is not herd

en

drinking.

Th"y also

felt that the Volunteers program was mercenary-minded, and that the Mission was hypocritical.

My Jinterview time at Volunteers \

was indeed more business-priented than at othar facilities. Likewise, the interview at the Mission was full of sanctimoaious success stories of'typical' clients who had been salvaged through religion. Yet the presentatiQl.s ·:' tif,q~hl!k, i;;d1rd.l"l:i;s't:iil'at:iOll's , in no way hh'lted i\

at the far-ranging criticisms oitha men they had served. or" the " Bl men who had used Volimteer's services, 97% rated it as average or below. And of those who had not bean there, another 31 cases, 90% rated it

.'lS n""rM~e Ii , ,~ -'

or below in helping

the alCOholic. There was thuzs. ve·.t"y isrea·~ <1greement botween the users and the non-users as to the worth of the services there. The comments that probing elicited about the agency indicated that the drinking on . the premises, and the mercenary natue of the program were at the seat of the clients' dislike. One man, when asked if they allowed drinking at Volunteers. had this to say: It's a hell hole over there. They allow drinking, they right;: upstairs in . the dorms. Bottles are allover. That's a lie that they don't allow drinking. She's got a

d.rinl~

-96-

busine ss to run. She don't care if they drink, as lonlr, as they do a job. They got a q,unch of regulars over there. ~Interview 18) Another commented: If you don't drink '''hen you go ove r the re, you will when you g~t Out--tpey want their men to drink, as long as they make money. (In tervie,~ 14) While the administrator 8o·t Volu."'1teers ,had stated that they allowed a man re-entrance after "little slips", J.. was unprepared for the tales of massive drinking the men returned. lhey were indeed, as th~ administrator ;'le.d said, "a little mOre lenient in this than many organizations. fl

'

l.ikewise unfavorable were the reports on the shelter and treatment offered by the City Mission ani skid row men down on their luck.

pro~ram

to both transients

While the mission felt

t

tla t they "were "fulfilling Cleve land i s Christian re sponsibili ty

of providing a last chance to its share of the

5~

million on

skid.row tOday;" the men felt th£.t it was not much of a chance •

.

City Mission, that'·s . about on the same level as 21st ' and Payne (City Jail). it was dirty and an all-arOUnd hole. 'J.he other folks and the sheets were dirty. When it is freezing outside, and you are broke; though, anything is gOOd that has a roof. (interview 38) Another man explained, It's dirty, and the food is poor, and you have to go through a ,,,hol,,, process to get a bed (meaning church services and delousing) and I might as well sleep under a 'bridge to get peace of mind. (Interview i40) As a final disparaging comment, one man complained, You can hit the lice with a whip there. +t's disastrOUs and the director has a mean, mercenary attitude. (Interview 41) . lhat these comments are not isolated resentmentsls reflecte'd in evaluation figures.

Of the men who had

st~yeq

in the

I

facility. ,

90~· ' felt

that it was average or below in services, Of those

who evaluated it on reputation alone, 89% felt it was average or below.

Further, fully 25% of the men felt the services

there were Very Poor, the lowest rating available. Yet despite this low estimation of the services offered, City Mission was the mOst widely utilized of any of the agencies evaluated.

So even if the quality is low, its completely open

admission, and service of teQPonary and

~ommitment-free

housing

is attractive to the men, and provide' s' . ~ n!'cessary service. ' The other agenci"s utili:"ing "'0::1< therapy and

reli~ioU$

progr&lls, Stella Maris and Men's SOcial Service seem to be b .. ,t rter managed than the above.

Like VOlunteers of America, both ' offer

furniture salvage operations as the bais of their wOrk therapy. The men sleep in dormitory facilities at the centers.

However,

the agencies are much strict.e r in terms of drinking than either Volunteers Or City Mission.

Additionally,

Ste~la

Maris and

Hen's Social Service have a group of regulars :who promote a ·.particular type of· agency community feeling 't hat is appreciated and known by the other men.

Of the men who evaluated Stella

Maris, over 80% said it was above average in services.

While

31 men gave Volunteers a very poor rating, no one gave Stella

11aris that low an evaluation.

Social Service faired less well,

with those using it giving it lower ratings than those who had never used it.

While 71% of the man who evaluated the ser""

vice on reputation alone gave it an above average rating, only 53% of those who had used the service gave it - that high a rating. Host.however, who gave it another rating, gave it an average, rather than poor or very poor. This indicates, perhaps, that , the high national reputation of the Salvation"Army may offset a particular local agenc~s failings with skid row men. Actual

-98-

','..xperience in the setting can ) itno:ck ttlhl! lI1a!t:;ms's .a'own. " Perhaps part of the reason for the Social Service's

~popu­

larity among users may be in its size. While Stella Maris provides housing for about 40-45 men, the Social Service Center carries between 100 and 130 men.

The building is large and institutional

and the directors are far from the mono

While the administrators

at S=ella Maris know most of the cli6nts by their names, this is seldom the case c:: Men's Social Service. Despite the fact that Stella

~~ris

has

~,

evident mercenary

orientation, running a private alcoholic clinic in addition to the salvage

oper~tion

to stay afloat financially, the facility

enjoys a much higher estimation , than the Salvation Arcr.y. 1he mercenary charge was raised frequently against the Army, but not against Stella Maris.

The wages are higher at Stella Maris,

which may partially explain this phenomenon. vice, the

m~n

At Men's Social Ser-

are "aske d to repay what: they go t, ,\ 'and

are then given a IIgratuity, which we ,think of as a gift," for use in the snack bar.

This ranges' from three to twelve dollars a we .. k

depending on the length of a man's stay.

"

nowever, whenever a man

steps ou 'c of line, aven slightly, his gratuity is docked again. At Stella Maris, on the other hand, the men are paid under the sheltered workshOp provisions of the state of Ohio. earning sixtyseven cents an hour for the first one hundred forty hours of work, and then eighty cents an hour, I.hich rises to a dollar an hour.

Additionally, Stella Maris encourages a ,search for

outside employment, whereas Men's Social makes it difficult, if not

i~possible

to make a smooth transition to the outside world.

Time off to find outside employment is virtually unheard of. A man may continue in residence at Stella .'Iaris for a short time after finding outside employment, but such an option is not really avaihble at Men's Social.

As one counselor explained,

"that problem doesn't really arise." (Men's Social Service, Nov. 1972) One of the men commented on the employment pOlicies at Men's Social Service when explai.ning his low estimation of their services, saying, Th>lY have nothing bl-It slave labor out theL'/). They repf'lHle d the fourteenth amendment. 1hat: gratuity is too 10\., and there is no possible way to get off the treadmill. (Int~rvieH 37) The only reason another liked Men's Social was because, "the guys get to steal good clothes off t\1e trucks. "(Interview 39) Most of the COJTlE.'Ients, however, were fairly neutral, or refl"cted liking fOr the place.

One. man preferred it next to

f~rbor

Light,

1 liked it when 1 was there. It's probably the best place in town other than this. There's more activity there. You get lots of work and play; (Interview 43) Interestingly, 'the ·piCture presented of ~"'n's Social virtually mirrors the picture of the Christian Missionaries drawn by Shirley Wiseman, (1970).

Evidentally, the program is much the same across

the cQU."ltry. The work program at Stella Maris and the therapy offered, as we ll as living facilities are comparable. to those at Social S~rvice,

yet the program has a much higher evaluation.

The main

element of the program which received comment from respond:..nts was the unmeasurable thing, the atmpsph"re.

The regular clients

and the general conditions were much better at Stella Maris than at the

ot~er

three services • . •

"A man is trusted there, and· it is a 1Ule place to stay, as they treat you with respect and feed you welL IO/hat

-100-

more could you Wlnt? (Interview; 49) While clients are aware of the mercenary aspects of the operation, they dismiss these aspects with greater charity than they do for the Salvation Army or Volunteers.

As one man put it,

The people that run it are sincere. They are there to make money, but they want to help you on the side. (Interview 78) Perhaps this sincerity is communicated because all of the administrators of Stella Yl8ris are ex-alcoholics. of any of the other facilities. severe abOut drinking.

This is not true

They are also exceptionally

"You have to come in sober, th .. t1s 'foi:

sure, or they would -throw you out on the street, no matter how bad the "'eather was." (Interview 26) These facilities all offer free housing and food to the man, for nOthing more than forty hours of labor a week.

The men know

more about these four groups than sny other facility, ana utilize them widely.

However, ju's t because they utilize an age,n cy, they

do not necessarily develop gratitude towards the agency.

The men

vlho use 't hese agencies are connoisseurs, and very sensitive to the attitudes with which help is given.

They rate these agencies

and these ratings are shared by their peers.

Ratings given

-by users are virtual mirrors for ratings given by non-users, indicating that the reput.s.l10nal network about agencies on skid row is wide and well-established, especially for those agencies where men are both eligible and ;ible to easily reach them.

However ,

the reputational net does not seem to stretch to agencies which are not close to skid row. Both the sophisticated agencies and the half-way hOUses described above are only loosely COVered by the reputational net.

-10:"Th~

sixth element involved in treatment of skid row

alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous .

Almost every agency',

except City Hission, uses ALcoholics AnonYmous programming.

Some,

such as Matt Talbott and Fresh Start, emphasize it more than others such as the Salvation Army, Nonetheless, AA is avery prevalent part of skid

rm~

treatment

p~ograms.

Therefore, I in-

eluded a section on AA evaluation in my questionnaire. As AA people themselves point out, skid row drunks form only three percant of all alCOholics in tb\!l United States.

MoBt:

literature . as mention'e-d;\ previously, demonstrates that alcoholics on skid row are frequently excessive rather than addictive drinkers. Still, AA feels it has a definite place on skid row, and the members provide free services and programming for almost all the agencies on skid rOw.

Only two men in the sample had never

heard of AA, and only one man had it he was unable to evaluate it.

so little information about Almost two-thirds had at least

attendlld meetings, and another twrmty-nine percent claimed that they had at one time been members of AA.

Thus ALCOholics

Anonymous is we il-known to the men of skid

who utilize

rOt~ ,

Harbor Light. Not only is ALCOholics Anonymous well-known, but it is widely respected by the men.

On~y

thirteen of the seventy-seven

who rated the service rated it as below average in services to help the alCOholic. many.

Most of the men agreed that AA helped

However; an interesting phenomenon occured, for

l~hile

the

men formally rated AA as good or excellent, and claimed that it helped many, most of them also claimed that it did not work for them personally.

-102Perhaps foremost in the reasons for M'.s failur .. with th.. se ;

men is the inability of th.. men to identify with the speakers and programs that AA provides.

To b .. come a member of , AA, one "must

devote six months to a year just going to meetings. most important job you have to do.

This is the

Everyone can't make AA, and

most of them don't,"(Interview, Cuyahoga County Welfare Unit,March, ' 73) Few of the men who utilize Harbor Light are stable enough in employ and family situation to devote themselves to such a program. While thore ia a plethora of meetings . at all area, as John

I..ofl~l'I:d

ti[IIOS

~n

the. Clevo .:'"mo

has demar.strated, these meetings are

class stratified; and most of the Harbor Light derelicts would be most uncomfortable

,~alking

into a higher class meeting. (Lof[and,

1970, p. 109) To travel to compatible meetings might be difficult within the context of the skid row man's limited transportation and unstable employment situation.

As one man said about the

AA groups, No, I've never really used their methods for myself. Th"y are different people than me', and I feel they are better than me. The leads (speakers) are boring, and besides, I don't like to be reminded about drinking. (Interview 60) Be side s, wh .. n you have to work at seven A. H., it's tough to stay out all night going to meetings. (Int .. rview 40) The men who lead AA meetings, gen"rally, are capable sp"akers, and therefore better educated at times than the men they speak to.

Often their experiences are not as harrowing as those the

skid row man has been through.

"They don't tell me nothing I don't

know. They can't t .. ll you nothing you haven't done. It's only once in a while you run into a.good one.Ii(Int.. rvi .. w 41) Thus, for the men at Harbor Light, avoidance of AA comes because of the strain hf class and experience differA~ces, as well as an

-103-

inability to make the kind of commitment that AA membership Y~st

requires.

of ~hem are just not willing to listen to

"depressing stories."

They find "It just doesn it help me to

go to those meetings.

They can't tell you anything new. The

only advantages is that from the time you go to the time you get back, you are not in a bar."(Interview 43) There seems to be room on skid row for treat:ment 'Jhich does not push AA as a requirement.

l-Iost of the men who have rejected All agreo

that "theydo gOOd for the ones that be;'ieve in it. "(Interviow 25) The institutional

AA

meeting that the man is forced to attend

makes the men feel that they try to push it as J.! l.t was a religion, and make us attend. If it was voluntary at these places it might be better. (Interview 6.5)· . While

th~re

is no class difference in the institutional meeting,

except that between the lead and th3 group, 't he cover of anonymity which is available at outside All meetings is withdrawn within the institution.

This has the consequence that the freedom

of personal exposure which anonymity provides is withdrawn in the institution, as all the men are known to one anOther. The men at institutional All meetings see each other all day long. at:

Y~n

Harbor Light who had used All previously said that if the men

could attend outside meetings it might be better 'than the institutional and compulsory meetings offered within the setting. !

AA remains the only national organizaticn with a h'i gh rate of successful treatment. in reaching the usage.

alcoho~ic.

No other method has · matched

AA~. s

power

This accounts for its ' widespread

However, it is clear from these findings that simply ;

because All has had a high success rate does not mean that it 1

is the most successful treatment to be used with all skid row men.

-104The men themseves recognize AA as an excellent and sincere organization,

b~t

realize that it cannot work for a man who

either dOe s not want it, or dOes not feel comfortable in its meetings. The meetings or- AA provl.'de only temporary shelter for the skid row man.

~vhile

a middle class or working class man

might return to home and family after a meeting, the skid row «.an finds that lloutside AA you return to the same jungle." (Interview 57)

Pern~ps

the group feeling

th~t

AA promotes

CG~

be used in the skid row setting, but if so, it must be done carefully, s o that its status specificity and middle class I

origins do not color presentations made ,to the men. Presently ,

AA in ll1sitituional settings is not reaching the men of

Harbor Light • .l.t is proper to conclUde tilissurvey of the six tyj!)elS of agency services I·,ith a quick summary of th" I

forp.~oinp;.

.

In demonstrating that as stated in Hypothesis one, agencies limit their client"l" to those they can best serve, a number of formal and informal screening mechanisms '·lere Observed. Une of the most important of the informal screeriing ,," mechanisms is the reputational netl-lork that develops action of the m"n and the agencies.

throu~h

the

int~r­

'lhp. men bAcome awar" of

both the sp.rvices offerp.d and the eligibility

'~ oriteria

anci othp.r

formal factors which might limit their access to these agencies, and this reputational netl,70rk matches men and services together in the absence of any formalized referral service.

whil" this

sort of netl,ork has been suggested in the literature, especially

-:;.05by I·Jiseman (1970),

,nowhere has the congruence be tween thos ..

'-'ho have used agencies, and those ",'ho knov' it only by reputation Op.en pointed out • . This net,.,ork indicates the need for an institution serving this function.

In terms of larger society,

the developmAnt of this nAtwork to serve a need informally where it is not being met by the formal super-structun!l is much like for example the developmAnt of ad-hoc and experimental courses in an educational situation where the established institution is no lnngAr fulfilling the ne"d~ of its clients. ~nother

,.

implication of this reputatipnal network is for

policy as a whole in this , area. Clearly, many of the men could bemit from some of the more sophisticated treatm"nt facilities avail.able for the alCOholic , and the se facilities are Nell respected by the mAn.

HOI"ever, because only the informal

l",eferral ne670rk exists, it tends to have a conservative effect, directing men only tOlo'ard the traditional and convenl'mtly I

lo:ated facilities.

'.Lhis reputational netwOrk speaks dir .. ctly

to the orientation of the skid row subculture.

A social welfare

system aimed at rehabilitating this group would attempt to !

formally c·ompet.. ",iththis reputational network, by making the I .

mas .. sophisticated facilities easily accessible through trans, p,o rtation and encouraging th";ir use. Pres .. ntly, it seems that the sophisticated facilities wouldpr .. fer to avoid heightened J skid row usage. !n addition to the reputational

screenin~

network, the

agencies also have other screening', .. mechanisms, such as the ecological screening mechanism which lorationally puts somA sArvices ,out of the skid rON man ' s reach,; or desir ...

-106";

Economic s('reening sys tems I'rl1ich price the facility out of the skid rov] man's realm, and motivational screening systems Hhich through intervie~dng limit the number of skid row men. 'J.hose organiiations ,.hich claim a high rat ... of success ~1ith alcoholics g enerally have one or more of these formal screening mechanisms (V/hich of course int"luence the mor ... informal ones) operating to limit the number of skid

ro~,

cases they deal l.dth.

Thus, the organizations atte(llpt both formally, and through the aid of the informal rllput .. tiona.l

net:t~ork,

those clients to those ",ho it can best serve.

to limit:

Thes ... oth"'r

organizations are competitors Dor clients ",he·

are served by

Harbor Light, and form a significant element of ,Harbor Light' s . task environment.

acces~ible

By making their services more

to skid rOl" men, they dra'" clients from Harbor Light; by screening skid row men, they may increase their

01Nn

successes

(

v"hile sending the unrehabilitatable to less sophisticated 1

services such as City Mission and the Salvation Army.

,

Barbor Light is also an organization covered by the reputational netVlork, although it l"as not l.nclud"d in this s"ction as obviously all respondents had already chosen it.

Clients

using the reputational network have taken information about the services offered by Harbor Light from that network and decided that it

wou~suit

their needs at a particular moment.

Many of the men using the reputatiana l network are not looking

.

for extensive treatment and commitment to long-term sobriety, , i and the·refore, specifically seek out c lose shelters which require little work for their benefits. organization according

to

Ihey choose a compatible

the reputation of its cliellltell! (for

companionship) and shelter. ·J.he ne:st section deals with those men who have been attracted to Harbor Light.

HARBOR LIGHT:

ORGANIZATI~

ON SKID ROW TODAY

QY

Alison Evelyn Woodward

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirement for the degree Master of Arts to the Department of Sociology of Oberlin College.

OBERLIN COLL1i:GE

Oberlin, Ohio 1973

'ft~O

PROSPECT

== ---

:::'--0---0----::- - --- -- - . -

l~~§~~ST~U~D~E..NT

TRAIN IN6-_

,/

iii ~, 1'1

£.. IBIlL

HARBOR LtG-H COMPLEX

1710 PROSPECT AVENUE

CI..EVEt..AUI) (JHIg

If'll

TABLE

QE CONTENTS.

Chapter I: Skid Rowand Its Man: an introduction

3

Chapter ill Literature and the Background of Skid Row

14

Chapter Ill: The Research Setting

43

Chveland I s Sld<:l Row

43

r~rbor Light Center

50

ChaptBr IV: Methods Used and Hethodological Considerations 57 Chapter V: Presentat:ion of HypothAses Chapter

70

vI: The NetwOrk of Agencies and Reputations

82

Chapter VII: HaJ7bor Light: A Portrait of .E ighty

107

Chapter VIII: VlOn and Mariagement i.n Interaction: The Center Organization · .

133

Nen liho Make It I

Chapter IX: Chapter X.l

Success Stories

'

Discussion and Conclusions

1~6

170

Al:'PENDIC:'<;S

A.

Questionnaires for : Wficers and Men

.0 •

Neasures Used

C.

Comparability of samples

D.

Agency Utilization

E.

Reco~~endations

i vi viii

for Harbor Light Policy

xxx xl

BIBL IOGRAPHY

1.

Books

II.

Articles f·

xl xliv

LIST .Q[ TABLES Harbor Light Occupational History J'ge at Leaving Home Importance of Religion in Life Self-estimate of Health 5. Percent Never Married 6. Glock & Stark Orthodoxy Measures 7. I Know GOd Exists and Have no Doubts About It 8. The Devil Actually Exists 9. Why did You come to Harbor Light 10.1"irst Stay and Longest Stay at One Time II. Lane Authoritarian ~cores, Longitudinal Consideration 1. 2. 3. 4.

page 109 110 112 114 115 119

120 120 129 134 164

ILLUSTRATIONS Harbor Light Administration (by Harbor Light) Skid Row Service Areas: Downtown (Wm. March)

frontispiece 46

Skid Row Service Areas: Near West Side (Wm. March)47

1"ois study of interaction Nas aided immeasurably by interaction with the supportive communities of Oberlin and Cleveland. Hajor support has come from the sociology.anthropologyfaculty of Oberlin COllege • . J. Milton Yinger origina.lly encouraged me to undertake this project. Be helped shape my ideas about the role of religion and served as a most inspiring professional role model.

Stephen Cutler, ever-responsive to my persistent pounding

on his ooor, served as the best of advisers.

His discipline and

rigor directed my formulation andex>ression of rambling and unfocused thoughts.

Without his firm support, this project

would never have reached completion.

Marc Bernstein· pointed



me down the trail of organizational literature, while Albert HcQueen left an imprint on the social-psychological aspects of the project.

Ny theoretical perspectives were powerfully molded

by the high teaching standards of the department. The support of Oberlin College and . the Committee on Graduate Studies made my off-campus research possible, as well as my oncampus survival. The social welfare community of Cleveland offered overwhelming cooperation.

Najar Bdward Dimond and Doug Hodges of the Salvation

Army are to be especially thanked for opening so many doors. appreciation goes to the men of Harbor Light and the staff who gavo willingly of their time to a "nosy researcher." " The many agencies who offered hospitality and information are heartily thanked. Planning helped people.

. Doug ~!cGraw of the Federation for Community

mightily: in introducing me to these generous

Ny

Finally thanks So

to the friends ' who put up with my

endless stories of interviewing and strange skid row experiences. Hr. William Harch, through his drafting skills, knowledge of Cleveland and continuing personal support, ranks first among them.

PRF.FACll:

The homeless man

been a visible portion of

h~s ~lways

.~erica's urb~n life, und a mos~ intriguing portion.

interest in the homeless

. beg~n

through historical

done on the rise of the American hobo in American life.

ci~y ,l~d •

J

My own

~ose~rch

the place of the

Through urban sociology 1 dev~loped

additional concerns · about the place of the skid row comnunity ' in the life of the central business districts of cities.

The place of the hOAT,eless moi;n raises questia,ls of both deviancy and social cc~trol. rehabilitate the homeiess

~d

The attempts of sOciety to the special intoraction of

society at large with tho mOre limited raw man through the rehabilitatiO'n

comrr~nity

ag~ncy

of the skid

serve as the focus

of this paper. 1 intrO'duce the wo~k in Chapter 1 with background information on the skid row ~rGa ~~d the hom~ss man.

~hapter

II,

a review of the litero;ture, follows this, including major I

theoretic:.l perspectives on the :.•problein.

It summarizes some

of the major quantitative st:"..ldies and ethnogrOlphies on the Qrec:a..

Subsequent sections deal with the research setting of the Cleveland skid row ~re~, ~~d the specific organiz.tional setting and its suitability to' my proposed research.

Chapter

0.£ the thesis deals with some speci.al methOdological consider-

~V

-2ations and the techniques used to investigate the problem. My hypotheses are applied to a specific study of problems presented at '.i.ho Harbor L.ight Canter in Cl,~velO'llld. an agency devoted to treatment of the skid row

~~.

and are presented

in the fifth Chapter.

'.i.he remainder of the w.:>rk is devoted to a presentation of the ro sul ts of the r'" search. an analysis of the

av~i!able

.I!'our chapters arfl deVOted to

soci~l

welfare services. of the

specific clientele using the Harbor Light Center, &.>.,d of the progr.am Qnd officers at the Harbor Light Center. i

of the thesis presents a

su~nary

Conclusion

of the results presented and

general discussion. with brief cvnsideration of the implicai

tions of the study for t:10 H.::rbor L.ight Center ~.nd for the field.

An

appendix presents specifics on measures used in the

study. compieta information on the social welfare agency interviews, .and copies of the two questionnaires, as well as follow-up lotters employed in thB l'il&il portion of the research.

,

-This thesis attempts to describe the interaction between the ,.nen · of Harbor Light and the management of that organiza1

tion, both in terms of the ecological setting of the city and the internal situation of the particular agency.

-3-

SKID ROW AND ITS MEN: AN INTRODUCTION

The skid rower does not b&the, eat regularly, dress respectably, marry or raise children, attend school, vote, o"m property or regul.u::ly live in the same place. .He does little work of any kind, and does not even steal. J.h" skid rower does nothing, he just is. H.. is ev .. rything all. the rest of us try not to be ••• and perhaps because the terms of his existence challenge our most basic values, we respond by callL~g him derelict and using other expressions of contempt. I.Wallace, 1965.p.144i

·.1he home Ie ss m:m is an outlander to tha stable social system of work, on skid rOw.

fa~ily,

commur,ity, and church.

rie

congreg~tes

Economicl:.lly at th~ bottom of the social order,

he is usually unemployed, and som.. times ·,living on welfare IIlnd disability payments.

He works only on a temporary or spot basis.

dis area =d his needs hav~ been .. chronic concern of cities. Sociologists of the Chic~go school, such as Nels Anderson l1923) were among the first to study these men who deviate from and reject the existing social order.

Uften these sociological

descriptions were colored with distaste.

'J.he skid row are .. has

t

always been the city's least desirable in terms of housing and population.

While the location is close to the center of town

and the major transpor.t ation lines, it is alWAYS to the side of the major business district, leering at the normal world. j

The skid row area h4s undergone major changes. .

.. ,

!n the

past the depre ssion . and economic cycle s chQnged skid row.

Today

urban renewal practices and improvements in the social welfare . . s~stem

(

have effects. r

~kid

row men have evolved from the returning

-4and unemployed veterans of the twenties, to the migranKand hobo of the thirties and forties, to the lost and aimless, disabled and disaffiliated who live there today.

While at first romanticized

as ~he home of the hobo and the radical intellectual . the row today is no longer a street of dreams and legends.

Nels Anderson

reported: The hobo belongs with the pre - Hollywood cowboys and the lumberjacks of the Paul Bunyan le g ends. He has a place tOOwith the prospec~or who used to roam the hills, leading a burrow and expecting always to strL~e a pick into a lode of rich ores. (.4.nderson,1.940, p.21) Just as the population has changed, so has the location and atmosphere.

Urban renewal has ripped cut whole blocks of old

hotels, and the skid rows simply relocate in nearby deterioratL1g neighborhoods. the same.

Yet even with change in the picture, much remains

A description of the population and the hQusing available

would be applicable w.ith few changes to a lmost every major city in the country. There . are few young on skid row other than crippled re,mants of war and the occasional drug addict.

The young labor force has

been replaced by t .h " · elderly disabled and the retired.

Stable

employment and the disappearance of seasonal labor opportunities have robbed the area of the younger migrant and steady, although occasional, worker. unskilled labor. ization.

The row no longer functions as a pool of

Those jobs are gone

~~ith

auto/nation and union-

Pension and relief benefits enable some to find other

housing than skid row, although many of the area regulars are pensioners.

'Lhe physical condition and size of skid row seems to

vary with the stability of' ·the nation I s economy and the social benefits available to the misfits of society.

Hhen welfare pays

,

'I

-5enough for better housing, many of the pensioners will leave the area. Several inEln ..

c.r' t: '.:'

chQracte~istics

are comnl0niy held by the skid row

Donald Bogue, who wrote a study on the Chicago skid ro.., • (Bogue, 1963) provid t3S the g=€.a,te st amount of quan tatative

inio.cmatiorl available slimple of 613 men.

0::

the skid rcv] man..

He '-1o;:ked with a

He noted that three conditions are held

commonly by the skid row man: They are first of all homeless, and c:-:e:n migrate betweer.. residences withL.1. a city and between cities.

S6 condly, the men are poor, working irregularly or at low rates of ?ay and subSisting on Welfa£e.

lnirdly, the men often have

social problems which the society at large does not share.

Dril. . . king,

marital difficulties; criminal backg roundS and assorted heal'cn pro1:>lams are all found i.-I surprising degrees on skid row.

Whether

it is these problems the.t bring men t o skid row or whether the problems are created later could be the subject of another thesis. L~deed,

much of the work on the area focuses on the motiVations

bringing a man to skid row life. \,hether the men com", to skid row because of economic considerations as Bogue suggests, or in search of complementary

CO(Ml-

unity, as Spradley suggests, (Spradley, 1971) when they arrive, they find a neighborhood and community life which parallels, if perverts, the neighborhood found for instance among Herbert Gans' Boston Italians.

(Gans, 1962 )i-fuch as the street serves

as a center of activity for other lower class groups, as those studied by Whyte and Liebow, is the center for life

Oi,

(Whyte, 1955; Liebow, 1967) so it

skid rot•• Anthropologists who have

-6studied the area, passing as members of the community note the public nature of interaction the.re. Skid row is a community, l.I tor no other reason than that life must go on even if one is on skid r~N .•• it is a distinct and recognizable way of life, a special c~nmunity with its ovm subculture that leads to the definition of the skid :::ower as a member of the skid row community .•• the institutional compLex--the low lodging housing, the itinerant laborers, the relief and welfare systems, and the law ••• (Wallace, 1965,p.142) are there, providing common situations from only regional variation.

c~ty

to city with

Tne street relationships are fairly

anonymous, usually only on a first name or nickname basis; but nonetheless provide a human interaction of regular sort. In most towns the men who really utilize the community's :::esources are the locals, who were called in the thirties, "home guard.

II

the

They now make up the majority of men utilizing

agencies on skid row. role he once did.

The transient no longer plays the large

The area has become more stable.

The skid row man and his community form a kind of eco-social system with the rest of the city.

As several researchers have

pointed out, both elements of the system need each other. l

The

skid row area provides anonymous drinking places for the rest of the city.

The skid row man and his comnunity provide clients

for the social welfare system.

lbe larger community, through

the social welfare systet!'. is often responsible for the skid row man ' s continued survivaL

The relationship is an interlocking one.

In the area where the larger society and the skid row community

1 H. Warren Dunham (1953) and Samuel E. \.Jallace (1965) are among the authors who have used a systems theory in describing skid row. There seems to be a continuin,e; and ongoing relationship which provides needs for both parties or elements in the system, thereby supporting this illterpreta.tion.

-7~ost

frequently interact, the social welfare agency . the system

is to b e seen most c l early.

While one might think that the

man reaped all the benefit of the association, in actuality, the agency depends on clients for survival. Skid row institutions have trouble because they are often dependent on the free labor offered by the men. An institution \~ithout clien ts would have to clc-se down. Institutions must maintain a certain client laad or budget allocations will be jeopordized. (tJisell'.an, 1970)t The relationship of the man and tho services of the city has best been studied by Shirley Wiseman, who described the pattern of ager.cy usage of · the skid row habitue', and ca:led it the "loop. " This paper \.ill investigate the relationship of the skid row man to his environment by an intensive study of men at one particular agency, and the interactions between the men and management at that agency which help to promote the survival of each.

Each member of the interaction between the agency and

man defines the situation, as ~l.

1. Thomas (1923) would

'say,

towards his own particular ends, and knows the proper manipulations to achieve his ends.

As in any systematic relationship,

there is a delicate balance present. participant will stand to gain.

At times one or the other

When an organization adds a new

staff member, for example, clients can exploit that new member's naivet~ and unfamiliarity with the rules for their own benefit.

Nany different sorts · of agenCies serve the area, varying from the national organizations eerving the homeless, such as the Salvation Army, to the local crop of variations on themes of treatment for the derelict.

The the or ie s of trea tmen tare

developed through analysis of the causation of homelessness.

For

-8-

example, a Christian mission organization might focus primarilyon Bible study classes for treatment, as it believes spiritual weruanessat the bottom of the problem, whereas a hospital believing in disease causation, would treat medically. While fulfilling the needs of the skid row man, the agencies also fulfill the needs of the larger society for charitable activity.

Each agency is supported by a shadowy gxoup of donors

who provide food and clothir.g. work and donations fo;:, on-going programs.

Host agencies have boa::ds of trustees lind ladies '

auxiliaries involved

~

securing this su?port.

Thus, by

J?rovidir.g opportuni tie s for cOl1l1n1L.'li ty service, the small coq-unu."lity within skid ro,·, becomes part of a larger social-ecological .(

system.

'1he agencies in turn contribute to the formation of the skid row , cO.mmunity.

Tne men in a city who habitually use

one .sgency Or another come to l;;r.ow each Other.

The agencies

may be seen as providing communication centers,

~lhere

get together to share information

on

men may

surviving both within this

organization and in others on skid row. Whereas relations on the street are numerous, they are also fairly an.o nymous, but once in a re.habilitation SOciety, he gets to know the other men

more . intimately, eating and working with them.

Mftn who are

encountered in agency situations . may become drinking companions. •

I

The men on skid row deviate from standard social goals and norms.

Separated ' from the larger society. the men create

a sub-culture, with values and norms in "opposition, if not OUtright rebellion to the society at large.

While their values

seem to retreat from normal society, rather than consistently

thereby

~~belling,

pl~cing

them midway on the continuum between

subculture and contracuiture (Yinger, 1960), many of their behavioral nOrms affront the society at large when visible, such as their public drinking habits.

As the skid rOw c041munity

becomes less transient, and its members more stably si·tuated L. tho

cou~nunity.

supportive.

the subculture becomes richer and

more

Wallace (1965), the best ethnographer of the

skid row "way of life" explains the necessity of an emergent life style in the ecological system of skid row. the

S.dnse

of

COJTh7.-i..1:Gity

idi;-"n1tity and

subcul~cural

~

sees

values arising

not only in reaction to society L'1 ,'!erton I s (:l.957) sense of retreatism 'and perhaps rebellion 1 ) but also thr~ugh the natUXQl processes of interaction withL'1 a

s,U&l~

and sharply defL.ed

area:

"Una effect of the se1.f- c.no c01Thnm1.i·ty-impos~d isolation

has been the emer3ence of a skid row subculture. ~kid rOwers share a siGlil",r problem of adjustment to their deviance and are h. effective interaction with each other. \Wallace, 1965, p. 149) lho C!\li.n defines

situ~t:ions

defensively on his own benalf.

J!'or the most part, the illan is al.are of the stigm&. associated with his status.

The rest of the ,community makes clear

his low status through various signs of distaste. (Gofffi'.&n, 1963) L~

receives pathological descriptions of his behavior at every

dOOr.

As Wiseman points out, most treatment facilities operate with a SOcial background of ("iddle class decency. Skid row is a prime manif"statian of social pathology--the physical area is called blighted, and the residents are seen as pathological. Professionals see life there from their own socidogical mirror, as having at'tenuated social .r;elations, and as boring and insecure Ivays of life. ~Wiseman, 1970, p.5)

The man realize s his society, and the agencies that serve him

-10-

are out of bounds for normal citizens. For instance, a man with a home could not tuC-O to the Men's Social Service Center for help.

The man feels the efforts of the groups who

aid him are at the same time admired and looked down upon for catering to hopeless caSAS. Their efforts on behalf of the skid row man are considered to be voluntary acts of pity above and beyond the cust~~ry call of social duty. (Bogue, 1963, p. 407) O,1P. of '1::he main ,~e.ys that the skid row «.an hilS contact with

outside society is

tr~ough panr~ndling.

The skid row man here

recieves messsges of dislike and distaste, even from "marks" who cooperatively give him his "soven cents to tpake up the cost of a beer.

II

The skid row panhandler sees himself in the illirrors

of other men, and modifies his perform&nces so that he can maintain his own life style with support from the outside co~~cnity.2 Every man on skid of life. row.

r~~

is aware that there' are other ways

No man starts life in the all-male society of skid

This consciousness of status loss does not ease the prob-

lems of adjustment.

Yet the atmosphere is warm there, and hos-

tile cO$nunityattitudes are neutralized by the men through rejection of social values and blatant use of social benefits, much es the juvenile delinquent neutralizes societal disapproval through appropriate group behavior (Sykes, and Matza,1957) i

To reject society, as Wallace points out,the men glorify ;

skid row.

When they contact outside agencies,they

\l~e

the

tactic of demand as right on every contact, so ' that the social agency from the established group is theoretically on the defense. 2The relationship involved in panhandling is subtle and highly depp.ndent on dramatic prBsentation. Interesting insights arB available in Gilmore, 1940; Goffman, 1959; and less directly, in Strauss, 1959.

-11i'Whether the agency is public .or private, the homeless man when appealing for aid, appears to expect it as a right." (Wallace, 1965, p. 149)

Like~"ise, when researchers or "tourists II visit

- the area, the skid rO\o1' man is pror.e

'(:0 exa -lt ~

his past. Spradley

(1971) and Straus (1948) have both devoted large portions of their work to describing intelligent guides to skid row who "bamb.oozle" the researcher in their glorification of past. 4 The skid row man cloaks his hostility toward his external

environment&~d

the beneficent nature of his social arena

through extolations of his existence and its peculiar customs ,

,

such ·as "great drunks " and easy " marks." ,-lays of cleverly "getting by" are the ideal on skid row. iI~tiOn

"Ge tting by" involve s the util-

of agencies for shelter and food ,,,ith minimal wor.k and

loss of .independence.

\
the maz

mus t maximize ' his appearance of cooperation so as · to extend his

,

welcome ?-tthe agency. skid

r~Y

Likewise involved in "getting byll qn

is the exploitation of skid row living situations. Hen

glorify clever ways of finding free shelter. i-

More than one type of skidrcw man utilizes the resources .

of

"

.'

thea~ea,

~"hich

is seldom clarifie d in the literature. Not

all who use skid row institutions are typical skid row residents. While Bogue (1963) emphasizes the individual differences, those )

who speak of skid row life styles often fail to point OUt that many are unfamiliar with ways of "getting by" ,surviving, and · 3 The chapter being taken in his problem is with the ' group

on methodology vlill consider '-1ays of aVOiding by self-glorifying respondents, although very difficult to totally avoid in research because of this subcultural norm.

-12the afore(!1entioned "loop " . Some men, like those focused upon by Ylallace and Wisefl1'dn, are true habitue's of skid row. Others, however, are still adjusting to the life.

In this period of

adjustment, their utilization of resources is different than \-lhen .they are fully acclimated to the environment.

They

are less "cynical" in their usage, perhaps, than men who have been throug h the agencies many times, and know the procedures. Vliseman points ou ·t that the men on skid row have an ambivalent attitude about their situa.tion.

She describes the stages

of a.!:Cjuie~cerldetO the "seductive qualities of skid row." (Vliseman,. 1970, p. ':'3,i

<.e men who have recently come to the row are stil l

close enough to their old environment to remember what it was like.

Not having developed the support of the skid row sub-

cultural norms and the friendships necessary on skid row, they may have some desire to regain what was lost. However, their every contact with social welfare personnel makes them more aware of the easy alternatives in the skid row community.

If they

lose their independence, they may find it possible to pass on skid row, to become used to the way of life, r\mning for food and shelter, but somehow always "getting by." These men are the men still in a no-man's land between normal society and skid row.

Histdric.9.11y~ · . sk1.d r ·ow hasalways.·.had: ,its .res;idents • . They change and are in various stages of adjustment to the situation , but the environment remains the same.

It is a matter of

interpretation as to whether it is a place of dirt, blight, and filth as reported by Bogue, or one of rich social contacts and easy ways of living, as re ported by IHsernan and Wa llace.

There

are definite environmental interaction s that take place in this

-13setting , as two separate groups, the larger society represented by the social agency, and the subcultura l grouping me e t, each attempting to reach particular ends.

The social agency hopes

eventually to eradic,a te the skid row alcoholic.

The skid row man

seeks temporary shelter, food, and a possible few .. days of sobriety.; He has little thought of long-range reform, unless stil: a newcomer attached to his old social g oals.

It is this situation of

environmental interaction that will be examined in this paper, both on the microscopic level of an individual agency in the Cleveland area, and on the macroscopic level of other agencies in the environmen t providing varied alternatives for the skid row

man.

-14-

I

TWo major sociologicul qUestions b.re raised on any visit ;~hy

to the skid row environronnt. First-

does skid row exist?

Sc, cond- Is the skid row environmen.t a social or asocial environment? A third concern often raised is with treatment and rehabilitation

On skid row;

This ques ·i :ion is tied inextricably with the first.

Hhen one knows why the problem of skid row ":.
it:s Aradication

This is a forlU of a .m e1.iorative sociology, but

unfortunately, most of the theorists have been unable to propose a successful treatment program. There are several theoretical schools on the causation of s k i d row. Bi~;0

:: [1('

The first, which might be called the economic grouping)

appeared first historically.

The second may be callad

sociological group, c .! .aiming that under- or de-socialization

bd.ngs men to skid row.

A third group, often intermingled with

th" sociological group might be called psychological.

Conco"nrniCan t

to the last two groups is the alcoholism theory which posits that improper social uses of alcohol because of personality dAfects or lack of socialization brings men to skid row.

A brief review of

theRe major areas is helpful in understanding the professional perspective which many treatment agencies hold about skirJ row.

In the main, all these theories suggest that there

i~

a patho-

log ical nature to the existence of skid .row, althoup.h some of the theorists,

(Hallace, 1965; & Hiseman, 1970) are careful to

cloak this aspec-t of the ir approach. Bog ue is perhaps the major proponent of the economic theory

-'15-

today, althougn the work of !'linehan and Anderson in,"the late twenties (Mine han , 1934 a Anderson, 1923) also used variations on themes of economic privation t6 support their thoughts about skid existence.

As Bogue points cut,

almost 801. of the men interviel<1ed came to skid rOw under economic duress, with no mO.tive other than to get: a job, live in a cheap place or, to seek temporary help from a . mission, Vnly about 11% said the reason for coming was to drink with~~t the inhibiting influence of friends and relatives. As would be expected, almost all who came to skid rot. for this reason were ch.i:onic alcohoiics at the time of the interview. lBogue, 1963, p.308) During the depression men flocked to skid rOw as a center of casual labor employment, and there was a shelter for the Illdn who was a helpless victim of social circumstance.

'I n Minehan's

sample of 400 homeless children, 387 had left home because of , hard times.

(Minehsn, 1934, p.xiv) Another variation on the econ-

omic theme is that of

~,ham.

He presents

~.

ecological theory

that the low rent districts select: a certain popUlation through !

'J.herefore, skid rows appear because there are men who

economics.

cannot afford anything better. streets.

~hey

own no other home than the

Ihis theory is easily criticized in that other low rent

districts in the city do not necessarily become skid rows with a J

majority of homeless in their population. (See Dunham, 1953) 6uc h theories suggest that the skid row resident chooses skid rOw in a search for an affordable and congenial environment. ~'or

the Illost: part social and psychological theories WOrk not I

on this'premise of economic choice but rather suggest those on skid row seek shelter there because of abnormality. ,.

These

theories support the prevailing community attitudes that skid I

row men are

distu~bed

or ill.

I

'l'he men are assumed to be suffercing from personality disorganiz

-16ation,

~lhich

results from, for example, status loss.

The men

may betray a basic dependency pattern which is reflected in a refusal to accept responsibility.

They may be alienated from

society's basic values and thereby forced into either rebellion or retreat, as Herton suggests. (Herton, 1957,p.133) Finally, they inay lack social integration, as would seem to be the case in any examination of the life patterns of mobility and failure. O~a1iace, 1965"p.166)

, Demographic data seems to SUP?oJ.:"'unders'o cialization t!1eories '

"

which state that the men are undersocialized to normal ways of life and therefore seek an easier form of af!j-ustment through either alcohol or the skid row community, to the demands of everyday life. They have an uneven employment record, showing an inability to deal \vith the demands of job situations, or perhaps a lack of socialization to the Protestant work ethic.

Likewise, the

skid row men are either never married, or in some 'stage of marital disintegration, either divorce or sE':paration.

Th is could ind ica te

a lack of socialization to the ideal of the nuclear family, or an incapability to cope with the role demands on the American husband. They trade stability in society for freedom

fr~m

responsibility

and cares, those things which most people accept as inextricable parts of society.

This suggests that',the ' skid row man may be

a dependent sort, looking for the easy way out habitually.

Al-

cohol, as will be discussed later, is often an important part of this easy way out, as is the use of social welfare institutions, which encourage in their very treatment programs, an ongoing dependency on institutionalized care.

-17undersocialization of these men begins at an early age. .

,, 1

}f.any have l Ost parents in childhood. " Some have begun institutionalization after this loss.

lhese children were left without

equipment for establishing normal social relationships.

l"Jany are

also failures in school situations. 11anydrop out short of completing the educational ladder; missing graduation at one level or another.

For Pittmm1 and uordon, this indicates an inability to

finish things. (Pittman and Gordon, 1958, p.llD) The undersocialitheo~basical1y ~ssumes

zation

that the men are in some way infer-

ior to the rest of society before they reach skid row. ,

I

'. Lbeorists such as Wallacel.1965), .t\ocney\.196I), Wiseman(1970),



and ~bbington\.1958)sharply contes t the undersocialization theory.

They feel that certaL, people may be more likely than ;

",

others to live on skid row, such as mObile workers, welfa.re l

clients and those looking for an area congenial to the preservation of anonymity. tWallace, 1965, p.166)

Men are not under-

socialized, · according to this group, but rather , de socialized. They learn to function in their new environment by shedding the patterns that helped them l1>et along, however feebly, in the o!.d. NOt: everyone who has traits of the undersocialized man becomes s skid

l:'OW

resident.

a man on; skid

ro\~

According to the desocializaticn theory,

lOses socialization, patterns he once had.

1Vhile the undersocialization theory suggests the man has lacked ways of ,g etting along since childhood, desocializaticn says: r'rom the viewpoint of respectable society; the skid rOHet ' becomes 'de socialized, that is educated outside the mainstream of American society and unable to live Hithin it. <-nee he h{ls 1;>een l(lbeled a deviant, selt;:-awareness is forced upon the ~nd~vidual. He must face the tact that now he ,

!

ISome statistics on parental loss of skid row men are to be found ' in Minehan, 1934; Sutherland, 1936; :<'ittman and ljordon, 1958; ,Straus, 1946.

-18is indeed on skid row. The same label increases his separation from. the ,,,ider society and encourages him to enter into the ever-closer participation with those similarly isolated. Thus he is . pushe d s till further into de viance, additional arrests, workhouse socialization and complete iSOlation until he is finally a full and complete member of the deviant community. (hlallace, 1965, p. 174) i~o

arguments support the desocialization school.

First, not all

those undersociaiized end up on skid ro\". Se cond, undersocialization suggests that skid row society is lacking in complexity. The desocialization proponents demonstrate that many complex social. features. thus face social

stre~s

ski~

row has

An undersocialized person would

of a different sort in the skid row

<':nviron;nent, but nonetheless social situations would be present. By turning to skid row, a man is not escaping social relationships , but rathe::- dissolving old ones , and discovering that life on skid row is full of semi-organized and organized groups, stable friendships and satisfying social relationships.

The desocialization

process opens the option that some men are on skid row because they ·prefer to be there.

Not because they are economic, social,

or psychological misfits, but because they can find the companionship and interaction on skid row unavailable to them in other arenas of society.

The men on skid row are socialized to the extent

that they can enjoy and initiate meaningful personal interactions. Skills necessary for finding and holding employment are not unknown (as the undersocialization theory suggests,)but rather simply lost through lack of application. (Wallace, 1965, p. 164) Perhaps some synthesis of the two theories is possible,for surely the demographic data of the undersocialization group is hard to disprove • .However, the desocialization theory seems more compelling.

-19I would suggest an integrative theory.

Nany of the men on

skid row have the characteristics described in the undersocialization theory, characteristics that have made them lonely and unhappy in the larger society.

By choosing the society of skid

rOH, and picking up the ways of that corr..mimity, they no longer have

1:0

operate in a milieu

il'l

which they are uncomfortable.

Tnerefore, they drop the old habits, (as the desocialization school suggests) to pick

U)?

,t he nevI ones.,

They find a form

of anonymity and warm companionship unkno'tYn. to them before,

because of the easier social ways of the skid row group and the easing presence of alcohol. Another group of theorists posits that there are particular personality types on skid row.

Be c&use of their fall from

larger society, these men have a viavl of life shaped by their intal
a:

feeling of powerlessness

coupled with a sense of the need for guile in a hostile world, an ability to adjust to permanent impermanence, extreme indepen-, dence from others coupled with an ability to accept institutional dependency from time to time.

These several characteristics,

pro(;untod by Hi seman, and supported by \'allaceare psycholo:'5ica1. characteristics ferreted out by direct observation, but unvalidated by any axtensive formalized research. (Wiseman, p.5) Vanderpool likewise points out that while it is generally agreed that there is no "alcoholic personality per se" there is a general assertion that alcoholics feel inadequate, they lack, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-acceptance.

Vanderpool shows

that the alcoholic has even greater negative self,::ronception

-20while drinking than when not. (Vanderpool, 1969, p.60) For a man

(Ytl

skid row, t:he self-concept would be even lower than for

his middle class peers because all ordinary st:atus rights have been deprived of t:he

skidrot~

alcoholic.

All he has are the

new right:s conferred upon him by his drinking buddies, and ' long experience has

ShO~l

him th&t rhe only trust one

C&TI

have for

these 1;£rie1'1os" is while the bottle is still passing. (Interview with H8rbor

~ight

men, March, 1973)

None of the above

theo~ies

even begin to cope with the

problems of the ruea."lS of socia:;' adjustffient on skid row. prime elixir ' of life on skid row is alcohol,,) .

None

~f

The the above

accounts for the heavy use of alcohol on skid row, in deviant patterns, although some, such

~$

the desocialization approach,

are more frank in relating its importance than others, such as Bogue's work which seems calculated to show alCOhol's 1a.l:k of importance. Not every man drinks on skid rOw, but: those that do, do so in a public pattern that seems pathological to the rest of society.

It is often this pattern that provokes the established "

,

sOciety ,to step in and try to rehabilitate the men.

The lack

of social adjustment and lack of stable employment could be allowed 'to continue, but the public patterns of life and drinking make the men socially unacceptable, especially ~iven ' their visible position in the downtown area.

It is primarily because

of drinking that the skid rOw man and his society at large end up interacting.

-2iII \~hile

sOine, especially those such as Dunham and Hallace who "

propose ecological and desocialization theories for skid r.ow's existence, might feel that skid row witl never disappear·'" it is difficult to convince officials of this • . One researcher . suggested that vitamin pills and therapy be handed out with the drinks in the local tavern, as tr.eatment facilities are not the most popular areas of congregation on skid row.

( Dumont, 1967) Few public

officials would buy this encourage:nent of patterns :..: ,Mos ,t ·, feei public funds should continue to go to rehabilitation services , no matter how failure-ridden, rather than to ameliorative services in the neighborhoods themselves which might be used to a greater extent by the population affected.

I

Many non-professionals are convinced that skid row exists to support the poor drunks of the town.

A more reasonable explanation

for th8 use of alcohol on skid row is that it provides a pleasant and reliable form of social adjustment and is used in ritual reinforcement of personal relations, as for example in the bottle gang, so well described by Haliace. (1965, p.l86) Hhile Bogue, in his survey of Chicago, \vas convinced t hat only 10% of the residents were there ' because of alcoholism, many are nonetheless haavy drinkers, \vhether chronically alcoholic or not • . For Bogue there were also many teetotalers or highly moderate drinkers. Other studies hOlvever, demonstrate that alcohol is an important factor in skid row,

wheth~r

used by the chronic alcoholic or by

the steady excessive drinker.

Strauss, working from a Salvation

Army intake center, was able to classify 57.7% of his sample of

-22201 people as steady excessive drinkers.

2.0.9% were irregular

excessives, and 9.4% were unclassified excessive.

12% of his

sample however, even t ·hough taken from a group of drinkers, were

.moderate drinkers,

O~

known tq teetotal - .

not all drinkers were alcohol abusers.

Even in this sample,

(Straus . , 1946) Bogue

makes the. pOint that it is not correct to gene'ralize that all men are on skid row because of alcohol.

However, alcohol remains one

of the things that seems to tie the society together. experiences with

whisk~y

Stories about

an6 wine ;:'&nk next: to crime exploits

and women in popularity, accordin g to one Cleveland administrator who was formerly a skid row alcoholic.

(Stella Maris, rfurch 1973

interview. ) A study by Straus and McCarthY indicated that, \\fhile large proportions of home less men exhibit pathological drinking and r-esort to alcohol for the relief of severe discomforts arising from the social environment, psychological adjustments and physical condition, a significant segment of this population, perhaps half, dces not exhibit the ~riteria of alcohol addiction, such as insatiability. and lack of control over drinking. (Straus and l'!cCarthy, 1951, p. 604) There is a difference between the pathological' alcoholic and the heavy social drinker which skid row harbors.

The pathological drinker

is virtually an addict, see\
beve~ages.

The striving for' alcoholic

intoxication is insatiable, and the control of drinking leve l is lost to the true alcoholic. drin\< alone. prefer~nce

This alcoholic usually prefers to

Only 12% of those interviewed by Straus indicated

for drinking alone, while a sample of members of

Alcoho "\.ics Anonymous in d icated that 82% preferred solitary drinking. (Straus, 1946, p. 372) 1h6 addictive ' drinker does not look for participation in

drin~ing

groups, because he wants the whole bottle

-23to himself .

He needs to maintain a steady alcohol level in

his bloodstream. . The typical skid rm.1 drinker, on the other hand, according to

Str~us

and

~~certhy,

gOes on infrequent

bouts with the bottle. In an impressive number of cases, the pattern of drinking seemed relatively flexible and was determined primarily by the availability of fu."'1ds and their particular work": " ing conditions. Many reported th&t when working On jobs vhere they were paid every day, they drank to e~cess to the extent of funds every night. When paid less frequently, prolonged drinking with a certain degree of regulation was mora common th~n the &ll out bender. (Straus & 1'1c"arthy, 1951, p.60S)

Reasons for drinking on skid row are similar to those presented to explain skid row's existence.

Pittman and Gordon,

for example, suggest undersocializ&tion is the reason for heavy skid row drinking, as the situations of drinking 'on sltid row were less demanding of interpersonal skills. Alcohol depressed the &nxieties. Drinking situations fOr the future chronic inebriate were rewar.ding experiences in the emotional sense and at first in the psychological s~nse, but undem.anding in the social and :c ui tural realm. The drinking situation wa s one in which he could feel subjectively competent, skillful. and resourceful. (Pittman and Gordon, 1958, p.lOS) However, reasons for drinking given by the men themselves seldomsuggest personal maladjustment as

thecause~

For mOst men,

according to Bogue I s findings, drinkir.g is usedl to forge t troubles.

Making men at:

hom~

in social situations was seldom

given as a reason for excessive drinking, although it may be a latent function which is unrecognized by the men. t

Pro.moters of the desocialization school, :on the other hand, suggest l that drinking on skid row is not anti-social, as "the undersocialization hypothesis would have it.

.

has definite social functions. in the

.

.

str~ct

Rather, drinking

As the men .are 'not alcoholics

use of the term, alcohol must have another use

-24-

than simple anaesthetization.

As there are few places to gather

on skid row, given that the hotel lobbies are more conducive to rats than men, . most go to the neighborhood tavern.

Recrea-

tional facilities such as television, continual card games, pool, and pinball are usually present in the tavern. (Clinard,1962; Dumont, 1967) The tavern is the institutional center of skid rOw, and a social gathering place second only to. the street. If one lives on skid row and . wishes to associate with

othe~s,

it

is difficult not to use alcOhol. At all levels of society, alcohol is used to make situations smoother.

Its use on skid row is not unusual in its occurrence ,

but in its setting.

.rnereas most drinking among economically

secure groups occurs

,~ithin

private homes or . in restaurants

where food is an essential part of the entertainment, the skid row resident does not have a home to go to.

Alcohol must be

consumed s'ither in the street or in the bar. Because

drinkL~g

is conducted in a group competitive sit-

uation, the men on the row usually drink more than would be nor.mal.

They must overindulge to maintain their social stande

ing '.-and ' remain in the group.

Drink may not be the reason a

man ends up on skid row, but it definitely serves to make life l

more comfortable there, and perhaps serves to keep him there too.

III The larger society becomes concerned withl the skid row man because of his drinking style.

The agents of society explain

skid row in terms of alCOholic use. . The programs and pOlicie s of the society at large are aimed specifically' at the problems of alCOhOlism, with the ulterior motive of eliminating the row by'

-2 5rehabilitating the drunk. It is through the door of alcoholi.sm that the. second set of institutions enters the skid row environment.

Hhile the tavern

provides one sort of institutional setting for companionship, the rehabilitation institution servicing the area provides another. There are many sorts of treatment: agencies on skid row, but they share a common goal, to eliminste skid ro\. and the men on it:. They are generally motivated, or say t:hey are motiVated, ,by "A strong desire to help human beings to

IS

better way of life." (Salvation

Army, 1960, 7: 3: I) Suc" groups spend large

~;"oun t:s'

of money

on chronic care for men who are still physically able to take care of themselves. TWo sectors are

L~volved

in this care, the public and the {

private • . The average community has a duplication of services •

only to be matched by the bureaucracy of the government. •

By

any objective standard. such as percent of re-entrance into l'normal ll life, these treatment programs are failures.

The men

1

retuL~

again and again either to the original tfeatment facility ,

or to a duplicate service.

Many participate in a process de-

scribed :by Wiseman as making the "loop," utilizing almost all of the available services repeatedly. ("iseman, 1970, pp. 46-li2) However, the organizations do succeed in one way.

By failing

I

to, solve the problem, or to reach their goals, their

o~vn

con-

tinued existence, feeding off the problem, will' be assured. Despite the seeming failure of so many Of: these

endeav~rs,

most have had fairly long lives, and are finding: that ' with increasing \ . governmen tal interest in the problems of urpan renewal and alooi

,

,

holism • . tha t funding is available for the continuation and improve-

-26ment of their programs.

'J.his fun
aesthetic purposes of cleaning up the city and for humanitarian purposes of rehabilitation.

While it is not plentiful, it

is enough to fun101>;Y are applicable here.

As J.D.

'l'hompson points out, ('l'homps(-n, 1967, p.26-29),

every organization must establish what can be termed

ijij

Ii

domsin

..

f

Hithin its environment, an area ,.hich it Sl'>rvices as its own. i

TI"lose' areas of th.. largAr environir.ant '''hich arA relevant to achiev<'lment of goals may be ,called the task envirO'ament, and include clients,' agency competitors""

and funding sources. 'Ihe organiza-

tion and task environment are in continual interaction and exchange, resting upon consrmsus with the la,l-ger environmfOlnt as to th'" dXtent of the organization's domain. What has occurred "'ithin the skid row comwunity is that domain has chan<;ea "'''-,th changing population,and changing treatment modes.

'£0 survive, an or:-

ganization must develop in reaction to change in its environment.

A~ '£hompson and "lcEwen point out, each organization must have & succession of goals: As each goal is achieved, or subsumed in the environ'ment, ,the organization must change its goals in k""pin(,; with.the environment. (Thompson and McEwen, 1958, p.26)

An

organization that survives uses bargaining, cooptation, co-

lilition" and competition in the environment to achieve continued survival.

'lhe older fOrms of missions were unable to

-27set new and different types of goals and means for survival. Lhey lacked sUfficient environmental support both from cliente~

and funders to continue.

New organizations adopt their rhe-

toric to governmental goals, and thus have gotten support for their programs by setting goals and methods in coordination with the funding available, and popular secular treatment plans. Lhe treat~~nt used in skid row rehabilitation pro~rams has three main types.

'lhera are programs ;of·'feir-ing rehabilitation

through physiological and psychological

tr~a~ment.

as

thos~

in

medical facilities do; those which offer work and spiritual thorapy, as missions and halfway houses; and those that offer containment and criminal correction, as in jails. a man may be filtered

thr~ugh

.',.,

-heoretically,

a screening mechanism to the type

of treatment most suitable for his case.

However, as Wiseman

(1970, 153) points out in San/Francisco, if the lack of even moderate degreas of success and the massive rQtes of red.divism are any indication, there is a duplication of services and

,

effOrt on a wide scale.

'lhe loop she describes so well is thus

accomplished only informally, rather than as the fOrmsl and structured prOcess it might be.

While

she suggests that the

agpncios thems",lves are responsible fOr much referral work, J. think that

that the informal comtr,unity also shares respon-

sibility for the

recyclin~

of the men.

The men' on the ro.,

suggest-the most suitable agencies to their friends.

There is

"complicated inter-institutional lin.king through informal interaction. U(Wis",man. 1970, p. 57 i fittman and Gordon (19~8) have also described the ph~n. ca 11'l.ng 1.. t t h e omen on or- ar,ency re -use.

Ii

. lVl.ng ' d oor;." revo

Both observers point to cQ;.1t:inual revisltation of; agencies, with continual lack of success for the agency.

The men may feel

they are passive actors in the rehabilitation rag, and the agencies are forced to set lower goals internally to ease staff frustration, while r.laintaining to the supporting external environment that the goal , remains total rehabilitation. As agencies and men interect, there is af mutual process of judgment that occurs.

An

agency judges a man as potential for

successful rshabilitc;tion under happens to employ.

\~hutev~r

ori~nt:<;tion

The men rate the insti.t:utions on

that liigency Ii

sc&le

of preference based . o~ the conver.ience of and treatment avaiI.&ble at a

p~rticular

stop.

They are often forced to utilize agencies -·t"·-

because of public laws or private necessities, and therefore judge rehabilitation not on its success as rehabilitation, but on its success in housing and feeding. havior which will earn them a more

The men are aw&re of be-

comfort~ble

stay, end use

different behavior according to'different agencies.

Their atti-

cude toward agencies as presented to peers is far different from that presented to the agency involved.

The agency is considered

as "outsider" to the subcultural world ' of skid row.

~ch

like·

the deviants described by Backer (1963), the men have a different way when dealing with those outside their oWn special world, a way of presenting themselves which will be most beneficial to

thei~

own particular ends, while maintaining' status within

their peer group. The institutions which rate highest in the eyes of .the homeless are, th,?se in the therapeutic mode, such as:hospitals with specialized alCOholism wards, according to Wiserllan. (1970, p.59)

-29;"

These groups are at least theoretically interested in the problema of the skid row ma..."l, and the re is usually sufficien t staff to give the man individualized attention. is treated as a sick patient, himself •

~"ldnot

Additionally, the client expected to wOrk to support

The staff is often young, and specialists in alcohol.

The attitude of the professionals in these places is usually more considerate than that to be found in the jails and the life is often easier.

Experimental programs are frequently developed'

for the men in these programs, making them feel important or significant.

In San Francisco, Wiseman found the state mental

facility Offered pretty nurses, young professionals, and federal money to make such a milieu attractive.

In Cleveland, the same

sort of atmosphere is to be found dt the Veteran's Administration Hospital and at .E xodus Hall.

Sometilr.es, it is these therapeutic

milieu which seem to have the highest rate of success.

However,

the clientele served must be carefully examined before claims for success can be verified.

The more sophisticated treatment

facilities often include the middle class man with family in their target populations.

.lith these men included, the success

rate naturally rises, for this group has family support after it leuves the hospital setting. Few treatment centers of any sophistication serve solely the homeless. This would frustrate the staffs of trained ogists and social workers.

~sychol­

The low rate of success with the

homeless encourages the institution

~o

increase its task environ-

ment to include other sectors of alcoholics, or men with personalityproblems.

As Thompson expresses it,

-30The organization facing so many constrCiints, and unable to achieve po\~er in other sectors of its tas~ environment will seek to change and enlarge that task environment. (Thompson, 1967, p. 37) Organizations totally devoted to skid row have few trained socia l and psychological workers, not from lack of desire for these workers, but: from lack of money. Hany therapy clinics, when frustrated by the recidivism of the chronic drinkers on skid row, therefore, expand either into drug rehabilitation, or work with the middle class.

Orgarl.ize..tions hopin,?:; co ;::'Bh.:4bilitat(l.; skid row

alcoholics to the middle class facB a difficult task, as most skid row alcoholics have never been in the middle class. Hiseman cites the case of a jail clinic set' up specifically to work with skid row alcoholics which soon widened its scope to include other cases more amenable to treatment.

Likewise in

Cleveland, the Center on Alcoholism changed its name to the Center on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and sees no skid row alcoholics Emy ," mo.=-a •

Interestingly, most of the literature demonstrates that whi.le sophisticated treatment is available to 'the homeless.,'man,and appreciated by him, he seldom uses it.

When treatment is attractive

but involves effort to partake of it, few do.

When centers

are geographically far froin skid row, for example, few men avail themselves of their services. Straus, in his work at the Salvation

Army~

often encouraged

respondents to use the Yale Plan Clinic, yet out of fifty offered the service, only ten were sufficiently interested to make the first visit, and none continued long enough to allow for effective diagnosis and treatment. (Straus and Bacon, 1951, p.237) Out-patient

-31-

clinics seem virtually out of th'" question for the skid rOt' resident. !..ess popular "'ith the skid ro'7 at''' the halfway

hous(~s,

and the agenc~es which promise ,~ork therapy •.For many of th .. se agencies, the problem of staying afloat financially while prOviding service is foremost.,

'l"nis type of treatmen t is not ana-

lyzed by Wiseman or any other author except through the example of the Salvation Army i>16n's Socia::' Sel7vic<'l Center (Wis"tn=. 1970;

:.1946), which is a cross between a sheltered work-

and Struass,

shop and a mission

treatflOl~nt.

Many halfway houses

hav~

only a minimal work schedule,

but often they are used by men who are nowhere near half-way down the road to recovery.

lhe treatment in these

settin~s

ranges from professionally oriented to therapeutic housing. i

Uften funded with welfare moneys or private grants, the houses ~.

1 •

\

make up costs in maintenance by having the men work on janitorial services in the griise of work therapy.

1"or some of the men,

this is helpful, as it keeps them busy. Others feel exploitAd, and would, if they 'could, live in .1lUch shapbier, independent f lophcusos.

vf. course, '"elfare mi!';ht not pay for that (form

of rehabilitation. Ihe least popular agency form is the mission.

This rani!:es

from the clean and desirable settings of the Salvation Army to the less desi~able all-night-flops offl5red by the i lndepend~nt missions.

This form of rehabilitation has a'spiritual emphasis • I

.

.J

Other agencies only discuss spiritual matters under the guise of Alcoholics Anonymous, exhorting the man to put: his faith in a ppwer greater than himself. '" .

Generally, the labor aspect of

.... .Ji.-

missions is promoted to the point that some practices are slavelike.

In certain of these spiritual settings, the men must "take

a dive" in order to find acceptance.

This means that the client

must claim to h&ve been saved by the Lord, thereby listing himself on the reports to the mission auxiliary as a "saved soul." V~n

who consistently usa missions and stand up at testi-

many ceremonies are said to become mission stiffs, and occupy the lowest rung on the skid row ladder. (Wallace, 1965) Evidentally, the Salvation Army is not considered a mission, per se. Neither I-.'iseman (1970) nor my inform:;:nts (l"retests, Jan. 1973) not~cl any d6r~gatory connotations to using the S6lvation Army. 2 The last type of therapy, '''hich is often an element in treatment programs, is Alcoholics Anonymous.

AA members, in

a secular evangelistic fashion, seek to help all other alcoholics, &nd participate actively in most of the skid row service centers, running meetings at least Once a weel, in many treatment facilities, I

and at times providing a buddy sponsorship for individual cOunselling and care. ,

~~e

lwelve Step program of AA is designed

to reach the addictive drinker, and may have a middle class bias, aI.though Bogue (1963, p. 297) indicates that Alcoholics I

Anonymous has helped many qlen achievesobritty. !

An AA meeting is directed by a lead (speaker) who talks

• about his alcoholism, and how he fights it through AA. 1

Often

these leads have had experiences which are not comparable to the skid' row expei':l!ence.

,

As only the most verbal are qualified

to make leads, they are often

dra~m

from a more ieducated group. l

2 Althoug.h, of course a group using the Salvation Army is S'llf-selected, and might not ",ish t o think of themselves c1crogstoril'y.

-33As one man said, "Why should 1 have to listen to SOme other guy's troubles1 I got enough of my own.

II

(Harbor Light, 1973)

Mos t of the skid row men are too independent to deve lop the camaraderie necessary in a successful AA group) Like.dse, mOst of the men come from lower social groups less likely to be active participants in voluntary associations.

Participation

in formal organized groups is one aspect of society probably left behind in the move to skid row.

AA provides no substitute

for Ellcohol except the Elssociation of eh.. i'dry drunk" or tho "AA virgin." Sometim.,s these people make a man feel more like 1

having a drink tr~ walking past a bar would. (Bales, 1962,p.575) Likewise, AA meetings outside of the rehabilitation agency lack the fellcmship of the people the man knows, row community. "

peo~le

of th.. skid

Artonding an AA meeting in a non-skid row commI

I ,

unity makes a man conspicuous.

Fe\-l' skid row men achieve AA mem-

.~

bership.

A new AA member theorotically attends meetings several I

nights a week. ;,~

A skid row

~~

without transportation becomes

I,

totally dependent on his sponsor, and this total dependence makes ,some of the men shrink from the

relations~ip.

Still, AA

is a prevalent form of therapy, and , has respect: from most of the men of skid row.

Even while they reveal it has not been

effective for them. they can cite cases of friends .rho hav/l succeeded. All fou: types of treatment are available in Cleveland, I

1

some in ithe skid row area, and others in outlyibg districts. 1

Ihe focus of this study will be on the mission type. 3rt is unfortunate that there is not more literature available on AA as III social movement. It has quasi-religious elements in its Twe lve steps somewhat comparable to the ten commandmen t s and its 'evangelical tone. Some. studies on social status and AA have 'been done by'Loffland (1970) and Trice (1957, 1959).

-34IV There is a limited amount of literature on 1:he role of the spiritual corrc.runity of therapy on skid row.

Some of it

has been nritten by the miss.ion people thelnselves, and less by the sociological community.

!·jallace (196,)) and \~is"man (1970)

both had members of their resee
Perhaps the institutions have been uncooperative

becausf'l of fear of e:'posure to the public m",dia, or perhaps the more sophisticated treatment centers are most appeaiing to the researcher, but only the Salvation Army 1'["n's Social C'nters have seen significant outside research. 1"1
~lith

It is

homeless men,

taking from its founder. Booth, the commandment to "love the un10yed."

Pidely imitated, the Army has eldsted for over

a century, "bile many of its imitators have fallen appart.

In

the t',,'enties, itinerant missions such as the Christia.."l Army, the Samaritan Army, the Saved Army, and the Volunteer Rescue .Army appeared. (Dees, 1948, p. 4h) Another competitor '"'hieh has endured longer is the Volunteers of America, founded by a close relation to the Salvation Army founders. The Salvation Army managed to make a successful transition from its rather sect-like origins to one of church-like soliarity and establishment:.

It is an almost perfect example of

the Weber-Troeltsch ideal type. (Clark, 1948;

Changing from

a struggling and highly evangelistic sect it became an institution

-35in the community. Their missionary work with the homeless is strongly supported by firm congregations.

Other missions lacked

this sort of support, which has helped the Army to survive over the years,

in an era when spiritual treatment ' of alcoholism

seems anachronistic. The Army shares the sense of mission of other such rehabilitation In

agencies, with a decidedly salvationist cast in philosophy. the words of General Booth, the founder, Seeing that neither governm9nts nor society have stood forward to undertake what God nas madei:o us to appear so vita lly important a work, and as he has given us the I-Tillingness and in ,'llany import:ant senses, the ability, we are prepared to make a determined effort not only to undertake, but to carry it forward to a triumphant success. (Search, p. l67~ 1956)

For almost all its hist:ory, the Salvation Army has been known as a haven for the homeless.

The Hen's Social Service Centers,

in all cities of any size, and the Harbor Lights, serving skid row areas almost exclusivelY,':>oth work with homeless men.

In

«

these centers, reclamation is the major task, and the early days saw heavy emphasis on the spiritual aspect. The purpose of these centers is the reh/ibil'itation of men, spirituatly, physically, and menCal.'i.y. These are not residential hotels or jobs, but treatment centers for men. Physical relief is just one of the minor considerations, although an import:ant one. He look upon our job as the salvaging of wrecked humanity. Just as we pick up old \~recked stoves and furniture 'and shoes, and rebuild them into articles once more usable, so we pick up wrecked, discarded men, and recondition them so that they may once more become useful, happy members of society. Above all we try to save their souls. (Chesham, ,' 1965, p. 128) With their evangelical approach and good food, the Army earned a highly respected reputation among the community.

It drew

wide support from both the skid row community and the outside >

community.

Donations at Christmas and Easter, ..•. as well as con-

-36tributions of food, and furniture have always been high.

As

I

Anderson pointed out in 1923, Tne Salvation Army does more good for the hobo than any o ·ther agency. In every city or town of the country, it is the good samaritan for the down and outs. Not only is it interested in the hearts of men, but it seeks to . help people to walk alone. ( {.ncerson, 1923, p.180) The ultimate goal of all Salvation Army soul saving is not the creation of another snivelling "mission stiff," but rather a good,

middle~class,

church-going ffiar., returned to his

f~mily.

The evangelical cast: has left momy of theJ\rmy faciU.ties. However, Harbor Lights and Social

Se~vice

influenced by the officers-in-charge.

Centers are much

Sorr~

officers recommended

with seriousness at a recent conference on Harbor Light treatment thaI: the Army is at its most successful when saving souls by pulling them in from the streets. was urged.

A return to street:"preaching

(November 1972 Eastern Territory Harbor Light Conference.)

Obviously, those centers with evangelically oriented officersin-charge will have that aura about: their rehabilitation

pro~rams.

Today, the Salvation Army is not really in the forefront of treatment institutions. ·~th

Approach varies from officer to officer,

some favoring a more secular approach than others. Most are

hampe re d by a lack of re source s.

lbey run full scale hotels-cum

employment bureaus-cum rehabilitation agencies on slender training and even more slender resources.

Some of the major cities feature

gleaming Harbor Lights in fancy establishments.

Others have

little more than storefronts with officers offering counselling and sympathy.

An expert on alcoholic rehabilitation has

that the effectiveness of the Salvation Army

c~umenten

-37is difficult to evaluate because th~re are striking differences of approach due to personality of officers in-charge. Despite the militc:ry and hierarchical structure of the Army, some officers have remarkable success. Conceptions of alcoholism within :the Army range from the moralism of the mi&sion-type to an attitude of e nlightenment which regards alcoholism as a sickness. (C1inebel1,1956, p. 86) Alcoholism is regarded as a sin by officers in the Army, who neither smoke nor drink.

But many do not have a naive sense

of sin that: blames it on the personal failura of the indivic;ual alcohOlic.

~here is a definite fall from grace doctrine which

is hela by Salvation Army officers, who are also ordained ministers.

One of the eleven tenets of Salvation Army doctrine

is:

V. He believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedi~nce they lost thf!ir purity and happiness; and that in consequence , of their fall, all men h~ve become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God. (Chesham, 1965, p. 267) ':the fall from grace doctrine provides an alternative excuse for the high failure rates unavailable to the secular institution.

The Salvation Army can allow recidivism with this fa11-

from-grace philosophy.

Backsliding is seen as almost inevitable

and endless compassion is the goal of the officer, who knows that to ""'rr is human, " whil", to forgive emulates the divine. This outlOOk, available to missions, may in part explain their continued willingness to work with the homeless as contrasted to the ways of their secular

bro~hers.

'This outlook on morality. combined with some rather sophisticated social and psychological thought on the nature of the homeless as promulgated in the Hen's Socia.l Service Handbook (1960) (which suggest s that the homeless man is a dependent personality

and is under-socialized) creates an interesting treatment environmen t. The Salvation Army offers an exceedingiy structured and sheltered environment, protecting the man from the outside ~rld.

\.,rhile in comparison to the secular institution, they

offer a benevolent and to the

traditio~

authorit&ri~~

approach; compared

mission, most programs are progressive.

Part of the structure and authoritarianisQ in the Salva1ion Army r&sidencf1s is bolster"d by strict rule .. and rel;u1 .. tiona. As the Salvation Army was modelled on the military, this

.

rogLnentation is to be expected. ,

alCOholic .I(lniffer'.' or other

Most centers employ an ex-

precautions at the door to check

1

incoming inmates for the smell of alcohol which could end his residencY there.

p~

may have to leave the program entirely, t

if caught drinking, or take severe cutb$cks in uity rates'1 (pay). in some centers.

,

'his "grat-

Room and locker inspections are frequent Like""ise, physictLls, haircuts, etc., are

prOvided in the building.

Some men become institutional

dependemtswith this type of"shelter" provided by the agency. I

The similarities between such a facility, and mental hospitals and army, training base camps are readily apparent. system

~s

complete within the

build4~g,

uons as ·to access to the outside.

The support'

and there are regula-

It forms an example of

Goffman'.s total ' institution, although, since it t is voluntary, escape from total loss of identity is possible. '(Goffman, 1961) A man sheds his identity as a skid row regular when he enters t he program, to take on the character of thl!' institutional beneI

iiciary, grateful and ""illing to work for his keep.

Hours

of waking and sleeping, as well as entering and'leaving are

-39-

regula te d.

Of course, a man may check ' out at any time, and many

take this option within the first two weeks.

The man who can

stand this institutionalization loses a ll independence and becomes "shelterized."

The Cleveland l".en's Social Service Center, for

example, has several men who have not left the building in many years. (lfi"en's Social Service Staff interviews, Jan., 1973) Shelter in the Salvation Army holds the potential of a bland and boring oblivion, and for some men on skid row, this oblivion is the only escape possible from dea::h by alcohol. The skid row man values 'the wa:::rr.th a nd securi::y offered him by the Salvation Army, and yet resents the rules that attend it. Clinebell sees the pivota;' conflict in the chronic inebriate of the need for and resentment of

dep~ndency

as central in mission-

type therapy. It would seem to be a safe assumption that a high percentage of converts are never assimilated into normal social living. ~~ny of these remain institutionalized, living at the mission and doing its work. They have capitulated to the dependent relationship •• ,others slip back into the mal'llstrom of skid row. If the individual succeeds in leaving the bOwf;:ry and making the difficult break from homele3sness, the mission has no structure for continuing the group support he will need. (elinebell, 1956, p. 82) In the ' Salvation Army Centers, typically the man will find

a COmfilUrlity of mcr., all

theore~ic<y

dedicated to maintaining

sobriety (although this is highly theoretical in some settings). When he leaves, he loses the support of this group, support which is sometimes the prime treatment element, and there is usually little substitution made for it. Because of the structure, rules, and regulations of the Salvation Army program, only the most weakened of men can survive in the powerless s ituation created within the Lnstitution.

-40Some mission workers admit there is little they can do to help an alcoholic until he has hit bottom and is desperate enough fora cbange •.• and at this point, anyone of a number of programs might be. effective. (Bogue, ' 1963,p.422) The Army itself realizes that the only'men who can truly accept their help are those who

ar~

low enough to be almost totally

broken. (Officer, interview November, 1972) However, they continue to

re&ccep~

men, even though they are aware of their high rate

of failure, because 'they hope at will reach the bottom.

SOfl16

point each of these , men

The dtaff s",t5 "scaled down and in';;:e.:::-

mediate goals of success." (Wiserr.an, 1970, p. 185) and through this and theology, reconciles continual objective failure. For instance, the agency is well aware of the existence of recidivism.

It is estimated in some parts of the country that 40% of the applications for admission are by men who have previously been in the same center. They present a problem for which there is no quick and easy SOlution. He may be using the center ••• so that the center becomes merely the instrument for the perpetuation of his irresponsible and shiftless habits. (Salvaticn Army, 1960,

p.7:5:5) '' tet they are capable of dealing with i":: because of the ir philosophy of hope, and short range feeling that any maintained sobriety is worthwhile, no matter how short:"lived. There are scores of instances in which men have left and returned three and four times and sometimes more, and then suddenly have found themselves and become splendid Christims and staunch citizens. (Salvatbn Army, 1960, p. 7 :5:5) The Salvation Army has its own particular ways of eradicating hamelessness through spiritual, physical, and social-psychologica l reclamation.

It has its means of reaching those goals through

a well-established organizational hierarchy which in its own rigid structure acts as much upon the individual officers as

the

-41-

tOtal institution acts upon the client.

Because so much of

each individual Harbor Light and Social Service Center program is the responsiblityof the individual officer, their personal~.

ities are

importantelementto consider in evaluating a program.

The Salvation Army officer group is almost a family in its ciosl!!ness.

Chesham (1965, p. 11) r"ports that in ten years'

prior to her history, that: more tha... 51% of the officer trainees I"el.~e

children of Salvationists.

Those men do not have to go

to collage, but are accepted follcwing high school graduation in officer trGining comparable to a seminary experience.

Officers

are encouraged to take post-training study, if they have time. ,

The

officers who endure training end learn all the doctrine of the Salvation Army Church show a phenomenally low attrition rata of between two and three percent: :'irn:ermationally.

It is the

personalities of these men that: ;;:i,ves:eaeh center its atmosphere. Officers are subject to transfer at the whim of the parent organization, and change:,"frequently·,:between:posts.

It is un-

I

common for an ambitious officer to remain in one city fOr long i

periods of years.

Likewise, because of this policy, men often

enter commands for

~.hich

they are little prepared :by train in!'; ,

such as the administration of programs directed at the alcoholic. lhis may create. a certain amount of· insecurity, as the management of such a center requires

Ii

b.;>ttery of msnagerial skills as well

as knowledge of therapeutic treatment.

The only training SOme

of these officers have is of a theOlogical

nature~ I

Harbor Light and other such institutions offer a sheltered and structured environment of varying degrees of therapeutic eff'!!'.ctivenesEl.

Primarily, a Salvation Army facility provides "

a place where sobriety is strictly enforced and the man is protected from the temptations of skid row and from the necessity to scrounge to get by in his daily life.

Under the proper

administration, the Salvation Army can offer much more within its structural limitations.

A true .Salvation Army experience

must share with other mission approaches a spiritual basis, and the' spiritual basis of the Army is corr.mon knowledge on skid row.

However, it is also known that "One does not have to take

1Ia dive U to got tho shalt.c>r

ar. d

p.::otoctiOll of -cho Army.

If

one is properly cooperative, one Can "get by" even with the Salvation Army.

THE RESEARCH SBTTING:

CLllVBLAND'S SKID RO\,T

R6search supporting the hypoth..,ses ·\,oJhich ducted in the Gleve und arMi.

\~hile lackin~

follo~'

'·'as con-

a concen tra ted skid

row section such as thOse described by J:)OgU6 (1963) in Chicago, and Wallace (1965) in Minn&apolis, thi} charact!tristics of skid row are present in two separate sections of the city; one bordering on the

south~ast

segment of ths dOwntown area, and the

other directly across the bridge from downtown, in an area called the Near West Side.

In these two areas can be found

the cheap rooming hotels, the barber

coll~ges,

the

tav~rns

and

the beer and winp stores characteristic of skid rows ar.ross the nation.

mark~d

In the maps that follow, buildings

as rooming,

tavern, barbp.r collegp., spot l&bor and r!!lhabilitation farilities are noted.

It can be seen that . the rudiments O.f a skid

rOw support system are prespnt in both districts • . The character

0'

skid row areas has changed over the years

(icconiing to thos'" who hav" liw,d in the areas. (ll1terviel>'s at Salvation 4rmy MP-n1s Social Service Center and Cleveland City Planning,1973).

lhe N"ar West Side, which had once been almost

totally white, nOW serve s . Puerto Ricans and Negros as ,ve 11 as the homeless man.

.

The eastern sector of the

southward under the threat of urban

ren~wal

t.

.

ro"," has shifted

and university

expansion, and now includes many X-rated movie theaters and adult book s tores.

lhe public

usin~ thes6 areas are vari~d ann

ar .. not only s"arching for alcohol, hut oth .. r mor" various forms of "nt"rtainm"nt. 'I'h.. ski("l rOl,) arpa of Cl"v.. lan("l is sca ttf' r" d, an("l not at.l the s"rvirps n .. cessary to survival ar .. right ,"'ithin '·)alking distancp., ar,; thp.r",

to the .. xtp.nt they are in Bogue's Chicago.

The facilities.

hut one has to hp. kno",lF"lJ?;f'able to expkit thpm, as

thp.y arp. not as cp.ntrally iocated. Sevp.ral major af':pnclp.s ""votP.r1 to hp.lping thp singlp. homelp.ss man ar" closp. to thp. arpa,

though.

Thoy provi("l" roo.minr; sprvic .. ",. :'..ik" the hot .. 1.s, but ar" 1.'i'!Il",.11v of hetter quality and l .. sser cost.

Of roursp.;

thesp agen"iPR r p -

quir .. that a man submit to treatm .. nt in or("ler to partak.. of thp. housing.

Among the agenci .. s locate("l V"ry n"ar th .. skid

ro,-" ar"as ar" Stella "Jaris, th" Harbor Light Cpnt"r, l1ission, an("l the Volunt',,'rs of America. on the maps.)

th" City

(all mark"o ··iiI'·reO'.F

Thes" offer overnight lo("lging in th" agency, and

extp.nr1,,,; can' in a rehabilitation community

or

sorts.

Thlo

hospitals ",,,rvp. th" arAa population ,,,ithineypensiv,, car". Cl""",lan("l Psychiatric InstitutA, the stat" mental health fa"ility, inclu("l"s ski("l ro,,, in its "atchment area. The housing in the area outsidp. the ag"nry se tting iR f'hara-

include hp.avy commprcial ("leve 10plllP.n t,

th"r" is mUf'h roomin.p: ahoy "

Rtor"s an("l taVl"rnR, and th" rents ar" "urprisinglv ,..hpap. In addition ther" arA cheap hot"l" ,,'hich ran",,, from third rat" transi"nt faciliti"s to flophouses. The Rkid rOl-1 r'listricts of to,.,1Jj a1"" notic"ahly Sf>e("ly visihly <:iiff"rant.

an<:i

The housing is run ("lmm, an("l "Vf'n if the

I?ltt"riors Rho,,,, no visiblf> housing cod" violations, the int"riors

- 45 arl'! of tAn '~arrens of roac-,hes, rats, and 'suhrlivision. A walking tour of the area sho",s the most vi",ihle inhabitants to he males, ' Over 30 y~ars of age, in va rious stag"s of nis,hevplm"nt in dress ano disablAmFlnt in body.

Manv c,'f thesp mAn ar" not

rlrinkers, as pointFlo out hy Bogue ( 191)3, p. '48), hut rath"r on nisability pensions of some sort.

Skirl rO,,' dOA'" provine

c-,hAap, if unattractivA housing, ann pla ces men rlosp. to thp. mArlieal anrl puhlic care they need.

Very few family groups are to

of ehp. Ohio Riv<'r Vallp.v al)out the ir longin?,s to go back homp where the air is clean and a man can hunt ann fish.

I,hat fp.w wom"n

fllmilips, or arp thp. forlorn eldp.r'ly, carrying shoppin?, ha,l!;s fu.i.l of thpir dparAst possessicrs.

The streets are not cro'"ded, but

tM"re are more' sp"ctators anri eonvprsatiDnal groupinl':s than could be found in a mirloie class arpa of similar population dAnsity.

An Observer ran finri,

if looking sharply, small rDnp.r"gstions

of mFln participating in the ritual of thp hottlA gang, passing tM" hot-

t1,,- back ann forth ,,,ith their storiFls.

Other men sit on the

front: steps ano '''atch the passing ' groups. ~3turipnts .

loea 1.

p

from

th~

On the eallt Ilio" arA

nparby university. .

thni(' papula tion

US"

s the ar"li on the ir way to thA ('en tra1

outnOOr mark"t. t. sense of ('ofl'lulUnity is prp.s'mt "'ithin the most anonymous sA('tion of to'm, the central business oistrict.

Many

of the mAn knol.1 "aeh other or rp.cognizp. " aen other from hottle p,ang eneoumters or from the various hotels ano sO('ia1 agp.ncip.s sArving the , arAa.

V~st

of tMA men arA not transiFlnts.

of thA mip;ra tory skid ro", is p;one.

The oav

Thes" men 1ivp. anrl tr"at the

4o

~~r~ 3J

00

...•

f-

;1 ~

0

1 '~

0

0

D~

I

l



,

s

.~1 00

~

!?!7;;k '0

~~

2..8 ~

:g

\Q)

roo'fY"~

hOLl'i>Bo:;,.

Ioar-;,j-Laverns

0

ba'iber Cot\~

5f?'l labor

a
• •

-47-

.\i'l}JOI- c,tores

*

roor"It'I~

hov<.es

baY'sjtaverV\5



0

barbel'" c.oIlege& &f'Clt

labor ac:!e.YIc;leG

rehab h·,st,-tutions







-48area as their neighborhood.

I, fOr one, '

','8S

used to finding

the walk clo,·m Euclid Avenue , ,tbe main s tr" et of town, very anonymous.

Near the completion of chp. int"rvie"dnp;,

encounterp.d familiar faces.

I

inrr-'asingly

The men use the area heavily, and '~ors"

ti,""ll eOl
than the strAp.t.

They look fOl" companionship and frienrls on the streets of downtown just as a mid,H.e class sl1burbanite might look for friends at the local supp.rmarket.

the l"p.st of the community in '''hich hp. livAs.

$urrounrlp.d by the

cen 'tral husin"ss district, "'ith peopJ.e drp.ssed for ,",ork in whit"e' rollar occupa tions, and dirty.

the skid ro.·' hahi tu: is usua:i..l.y ta tt"re"

His ,·'ays of living diff,,!'. Ethnographers report he

conrlucts his lif" ,.ith a puhlic front unseen amonp, the midrlte class anrl the achievement oriented blue-collar groups. (I,Tal1ace, , '

196~)

The rest of the downtown area sees the man as the most deviant in the community. Thus, the skid rOHer creates a community of his o,m, without <>omp.n p.xcept those to be found in taverns, without kin; he maintains an isolated status, and yet enjoys the amenities of a higbly The socie ty of skin rov cifers companionship, ann the support of a special milieu,

including

service aR"ncip.s and commp.rcial facilities "specially dp.signed to serve their ne"ds.

The ski'n ro", man may be isolatpd in tbp.

sense that hp. lacks kin, hut hp. finds more frienr:lship acquaintancp.ships than

many.

,~ ho

in

Anonymity is present in skid rov,

but there is also superficial friendship. c ity,

~roups

A newcomer to the

for instance chp.cks into ;-Iarbor Light finds a ell"clp. o f

he ,.ill kno." them ",hen .of! SI'les them on t.of! outside, and feel frp.p. to borro,., ·monp.y from thp.m

Or

bum drinks.

(Observation at Harbor Light,1973)

i'.'Ien on skid ro'(", espp-ciall.y in thA tavern ann bortle ftang rontp.xt

provinp, a kind of

HAlcom~

va.?0n.

LiRht iounrl out about its sArvic~s ff'om n!"'inkinR \'oropanionR On Yet these

a~quaintancp.s

a~:"p.

not: rlp.ep,

an~

most' of

t.of! m"n do not fAel rlrinkir,g companions are rf!a1 friAnrls.

(Data

in :-i.:::.rhor Light samplp.'j :'973, qUAstion 11 63r.;)

Eere is or:1A plare wherp. ~vP,r.y m"tnls past is his o'(,,;rn se rret. Only in the casp. of the very olrl or th~ very younp.; is there any attempt to :'i.ea.rn SOffiAthin,e; of inrlivirlual's past. They livA closed livAs, and grant np.'''comers th'" same privilep:e. (Anderson, 1923, p. 20)

an

',hen & man runs out of money, or sobriety, onA of the must ;Jot'ular free housing a,gBncies on skid row is PlB.rbor Light.

facilities there are rr,uch better than those at ~.:;;o

oth~r

Thf!

instituti('lilS

lucClted closA to the ar"&, &s Poach man has a r
,,[tera period of rerloyment, if capabl",

ar.n is a11_01""('I to hold Outsin",

7his f ar.i:i ty is app"al ing to the

skin ro.. man bp.caur
Ii

weel< to r"st an('l g",t Ovp.r his rirunl<,

att.rar.tion, bASidAS rf'!st ann

housin~t

i.s

rela1:iv~ly

pleasCint

"atinl>, conditions, and 'che comp;;:nicnship of others in the sam" situation.

Harbor Light is also app",aling to the rp.search"'r, as it is

,.,orkin~

to develop

homelp. ss inehriate.

np.w '.Jays of comhatting the chronic

TEl' RBS8ARCH SRTTING:

mr.: HARBOR LIGHT Cr.:NTBR

Salvation Army Harbor Lights started in Detroit around th~ turn of the century, and are devoted to the men of skid ro,,,. as they are loca.ted right on rhe rOT", and immediately a,",cessihle to those it serves.

The original Harbor Light program had a

definite evangelistic cast to it, with recruitment made by officers going out on the streets andasking men services and participate in the fr",e meals.

to come to the

Pr"s'lnrly th"re are

sorile seventeen Harbor Light Centers in the United States, and sev"'ral more in Canada.•

These ranf!;e in sophistication from a

program inclUding vocational and psychiatric counselling in San Francisco, to drop-in-day care lounges with referrals for overnight housing, in Pittshurgh.

In t:leveland, the Harhor Light

Cent"r has b"en established for about 25 years. in an old building at Ninth Street and Bagl""

Originally located

it included both

a hotel and a rudimentary alCOholic rehabilitation program.

In

1969 it moved to a new building at Eighteenth Street and PJ::ospect i Located betlween an x-rated movie theater and a flea-bag bar and f!.rill,

the Harbor Light Center looks like a dark stone fortress.

The eight story building's doors are kept locked all day and night. A guard admits people to the building, checking for drinking upon entrance.

The building is virtually in th" center of the eastern

skid row area. The new building is a source of great pride to the staff, as it inclUdes room for private housing as well as sports facilities and c lassrooms.

HOT,ever, the building also has sF!rved

a burden, as it is much larger than the old facility, and makes much greater maintenance demands.

The hoped for increase in 'mrolless

in the program has not yet been sufficient to entirely cover the

-51 costs of the facility.

Thus the

mana~p.ffient

of the agency is

continually pressed to find ways to help the building survive financially, through increased enrollment in programs, restaurant facilities and other money-making schemes.

This financial

pressure occasionally can affect the program, as will be discussed lat"r. Given its virtually open admission policy and its location in the skid row area, Harbor Light is one of the most likelv places for a skid rrn. alCOholic to turn in search of help.

Thus,

for any re searcher concerned ""i th this c lientele" , it pr.ovid" s a rich setting.

About ten to thir te en men a weel< seek to ent"r.

Not all men' who come in are severely intoxicated, but a great percentap;p. of them are sick from the effects of over-indulgence.

, The men are encouraged to participate in a 'rehabilitation pror,ram .."hich is currently undergoing changes and redesign.

Pr"sently the

men pass through stal';es as they continue in the program, callecl classes, and somewhat analogous to class"s in a high school.

A

man stays in the freshman stage fOr on" month, the sophomore stage for two months, the junior stap,e for thr ee months, , and the senior stage for three months, ,,'ith a three month holrting periocl hefoH' he is consirlp.r,"''! a graduat" of the program, ..,ith S

year's continuous

r~sinence.

Durinr>; his stav in the huildinl':

the man may participate in a variety of ",ork-therapy prop,rams vhich are designed not only for th"rapeutic purposes; hut also to absorb som" of the , cOst of the man ' s room and board, if he is not providing welfare paym"nts. Besides public relief, there are 3 type s of work programs available.

The m"n may be sent out on spot typ" labor, wher"

they are p,iven $2.50 an hour.

According to the length of stay in

the program and staff evaluation, a certain amount is deducted

from this take-home pay for thp. man ' s support. .to keep'the rest.

He is a110,",,,,d

These spot labor jobs are generally yard

Hork and house wOrk for families in the area.

The

~ call

for

spot labor is generally less in th" winter than in th" sU:ll1JllP.r; but generally, the man doing this sort of "70rk can "arn abOut as much as h"

~"ants.

Only the most relia1:>l", :Il1"n ar", gen"rally

call"d ior spot labor, as th", employer pays the man directly, and sam<> lTlp.n <10 not come back to the building after being paid. Only a fllnall minority of tho 'm
p.ur."ti~ipat:p

in the spot jobs. I,nother .sore of work assignment available to the· men is work in the building. hourly.

Pay on this wode is someh'hat lower, and again

According to the type of job, and again,

stay in the program, the pay is alloted.

the length of

The re is mar'" re s'm tm"n t

about the pay scale in the building than on spot johs, as it is so .. much low"r, and thp. pressure from internal pOlitics is so much greater. Hen work in the buildings as kitch"'n and maintenance workers.

Also included in building work are staff johs,

such as admissions clerks, security m'm, counselors, social and chaplain duties, and cooks.

Personnel on the payroll are

not necessarily men in the program, but can be. About threefourths of the staff jabs are taken by pro,gram or program graduate· men. These job s in the building are the source of much friction .and unhappine ss.

Because the nature of the program engenders

quick turnover, often men Hho ha·v e bp.en trained to do jobs, for example, in the kitchen, leave. the program, such as the food,

Thel-efore, .elp.mp.nts of

suffer while replacemp.nts are being

found.

Sin"e the builoing is runnin g unde'r full capacity,

some time s eminently unqualifie 0 personne 1 are so pla"ed in oesperation.

Additional tension develop 's bettJeen the salarip,c1

staff and the ir "employees", sincA thAY are all "drunks" in thA first place.

J"alou'sy :a:rdi 'backbiting develop' aS' a " 'reSULt:"

of this situation. 'The thinl source of Hork therapy i s through an outside job.

Hany o f the men' 5 regular employers knoHtha t the mAn use

Harbor Light as a sort of halfway or

roomin~

hous".

~Om.A

0:

these employers accept the man back, e ve n if he slips off the wagon, as long as he returns to

Ha~bor

Light.

The se men pay

room and board from their paychecks, and often can eat in a restaurant fac:ility <>ithin the huilding if they prefer. There are soml;! ,,,ho bec:ause of disabilities and Helfare elb;ihility are not required to parti"ipate in the ",ork program. The Soldier' s and Sailor's Relief comnission pays for room and board for the men as an alCOholic rehabilitation program. At prAsent the County t';elfan' will only pay for lopging thl;!J:e if the man has a mAdical disability, or is there for emergency lodging. Some of the men have other sorts of relief payments ,which help cl"fray the costs of keeping thpm. ~o

;,r.. n ",ho 00 not quit" comp. up

the total cost of room ann boarn must try to contribut" in

labor what"ver they lack in ,,'elfare paym'mts. In aorlition to the various Torms of toJork th"rapy, the Harhor Light program off"rs a class rOOm thP.rapy program which is presently only fully formulated on paper. various

IIclasse,,~"

At night men in th"

are expected to attend sessions on music

therapy, social adjustment, Bible study, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

The"e sessions vary in ' quality and popularity, as well as Ho~]ever,

utility to the men.

the activities give them so,ne-

thin/'; to do, and thus, .arF) " ,"ay of prevF)nting drinking. '

As a man progresses throug h the program, he is given a cp.rtificatF) for each grade completed. hetter and bettp.r rooming situations.

Leng th of stay en"ures Various floors ar"

set aside fo r each grade, and some rooms are more comfortahle than others.

High seniority in the program g ive s the man a

choice of a hetter room. Uhil" the man is in the in tako can tAr, h" has the care of a porJiatric clinic. ' Nurse's services are availahle about once a WAeK.

Also the man may h" transported to a hospital in the

area for help.

There is no other source of medical care.

in the appendb: can he found a diagram of an idealized picture of Harhor

Li~ ht

services.

In addition to the alCOholic

unit are facilities for the elderly, sl"ionming for community groups and a hotel for graduates of thl'! rehabilitation program.

The

staff in chargf! try to Sf!" the facility as a multi-service unit in an "ffort to support their program financially. are trying to diversify to hring in diffl'!rent sprvice recip.ients, sinCl'! the alcoholic client group has not increased sufficiently. The re search ,"as conducted primarily on the sixth floor of thA hui1rJin g "h"re new men ar" admitted to the prog ram.

NeH men

are ·con f inpd herp sO that they will. not distract more successful men in the program

I~ hile

they may be ohserved. for meals or ,vork.

coming off their drunks, and so that

The men are allowed off the floor only

While in intake, the men are theoretically

recovering from the effects of alCOhol.

HOl'J'lver, sometimes they

-.55-

ar'" .o; iv,m ,,'or1< assignm" nts b"caus"! of th" I';reat maint",nanc" n",eds of the building. As there is little programming in intal<,,; many of thA men are eagp.r for such "'ark assignmf.lnts to keep busy.

1 had to catch men after they had sobered up enough to ["el comfortahle for an hour at a rLT,e, and l,efore th"y'. "re f.';iv"n a .,ork assignJnent.

rhere is no medical care for

f rom alcohol on the in take floor.

":"np.rally prpsp.nt: anrl keeping

&,1.

~Jithdra','a l

ene or tHO staff m"ml:>p.rs ar" "ye on t:hings to assure that

AlTtp.rg pncies do not occur" althoug h

t~1ey

are not present all

the time. In th f' intake .office, exceptionally de tail"d records are kept on the clien ts, and this enhancJ'>d the re search se tting.

Bval-

uation forms ar" kept each time a man use s the pr.ogram, an" aoditionally, a detailed p"rsonal history is kept on each man in the prop; r.am.

These ,,'''re invaluablp. in cross-checkinl?; information.

l'''rhaps one of thA most interAstinr. things abOut this particular sAtting vas its ongoing change.

Orp.;anizations that arA

involved in t'Ahabilitation "'ith this group face a ph'momenal failure rate, ano oft"n must n.SAt thflir goals to maintain stability.

(See ChaPter · li~o forri!lfer ... nces to J,D.

Thompson, 19';7 )

ThE'! l-:arbol- Light is not riiffp.rent in finding that it must SAt hoth short

An n long ran p, e (1:oals, the long range goals for the

puhlic at .laro; e. and t he s hort ran.?:e on es satisfying the internal ner>rls of the organization.

HoweVer, ev",n achi"vement

of a short range goal. of p('rhaps onA or t'"o months of sobriptv seems

riiffi~ul

t in this SA t·ting.

The organ 17: a tion is untlergoing

continuous pro.g ram rAvision and restructuring in an att'lmpt to

increas~

Th~

its success.

agency has hiren an applied

sociolOgist ",ho ,,,,orks ",irh the staff in evaluating and making program change s.

The staff of the' center is unusual in its

openness to sl1!,; gestions and to rl;!sp.arch; and ",elcomed my presp.ncp..

opening its

fil~s

ann environment to observation

villingly. I was

allow~d

to serve as a mp.mber of the intake staff to takin~

a limitArj I;!xtent, Often

I,

information on , the client for "

the Salva tion Army file

IS

.'hile COl.rlu",ein.c; my

I) wn

in 1:ervl.",,,, Fly

,,'arking closely "rith the staff, it '''as possil-,lp. to sel;! tM" problems they faced, but as I was not officially connActer:\ ,,, ith the Army, it . ,as also possible to obtain a relativl;!ly obj"",tivA analysis of the program from the cli,mts, ,"·hen they I,'ere assured of anonymity. Harbor , Light provided one of the more advanced programs dealing 'exclusive ly with skid row men in tl?e Cleve land arAa'. the m'ln that entered the program , Here by in large

WhilA

s~lf-s~lected,

they also seemed to bl;! fairly representative of the skid row alcoholic '< as described in several other works, so that some generalization from the population t>as possible. Harbor Light provid'ld size suitabl'l for completion of data collection ,,,ithin a short time, a program of sufficient con t'm t to provide material for with the rl;!searcher.

analy~is,

and a staff willing to cooperatl;!

Additionally, because of its til;!s .>ith a

national network of Harbor Lights,itI
HETHODS USED AND HETHODOLOGICAL CONSIDH:RATIONS

Any exploration of a I"ide organizational environmt'!n t and intensive

inv~stigation

within a single

a~ency

nt'!cessitates

the consider,ation of se rveral re search ml'! thods to attain a fully dimensional picture. 1 I studi6d the social welfare environment of skid row

throu~h

rather informal research t6chni-

ques, and utilized more formal me&, s in the investigation of th .. Harbor Light facility itself.

Among th .. methods utilized

were informal walking tours and observer-participation on skid rOly; formal intervieving both by mail and directly, and participant Observation in the setting itsAlf., Initial exploration of the agencies and services of skid row '.ras undertaken in 1972.

I lived for tlvO weeks on lil&st

18th Street, and through cqnversations with the men who ,

live~

in the same buildin", and observati.on, began formulation of thA project. walkin~

During the course of the research, I made sevl'!ral tours of the arC-l a, ann

1"1'15

aided in thl'! mapping of ser-

vices through thA ClevA land city planning offices, the hl'!a1th department and the FI'!deration for Community Planning, a w... lfare coordination agency.

At this point I narrowed my focus to the

Harbor Light center and the agencies that competed and' complementl'!d it in its environment. 1 lior thorough discussions of considerations in organizational resl'!arch, please see Iv-ork by JJenzin, 1970, .pp. 297-313; lilarnl'!s, 1967, pp. 57-113; and ' the work of Peter Blau, 1967, pp.18-'i8.

The key information for this thesis is derived from formal l interviews with the clients of Harbor Light.

They served as

chief informants on the agencies or Cleveland, and also provided th,g information necessary to

.

,t;,8 tS,1l

'tr,y ,nypotbe:se,$

abOut agency

selectivity and an informal reputational network.

An interview

schedule was used to gather this information. The schedule was developed both, from measures used in existing studies, and from questions designed especially for this project,

ana is reprinted in full in the Appendix. It was the

~~n's

prAtestA~

at

Social Sarvice Center in Cleveland, another Salvation

Army agency dealing with men roughly comparable to those entering Harbor Light.

Tne eligibility regulations are virtually the same

at the two agencies.

The men at Men's Social Service were, like

those at Harbor Light, both homeless and jobless, although they were less likely to admit an alcohol problem.

ApproxL~tely

23 pretests were completed, ' each taking about an hour and fifteen minutes. The men were told that 'I

WI!:S

conduct,ing an L"ldependent

research project, and that all information

~"ould

be considered

If they had additional questions, I explained

confidential.

simply the nature of my project and purposes. Several questions were eliminated as a result of the pretest, as they seemed irrelevant to the study as a whole, or improperly engineered. At Harbor Light, a total of eighty interviews

I~ere

completAd.

One r"espoi1dimt"1
The men were

interviewAd soon after they had entered intake, and it was explained to them that I was collecting additional statistical information.

Again, if they had further ,quest'ions, 1 explained

,-

-59-

the project to them. ~ecause

I had no refusals from the

group.Hc:~wAver,

the research was geared to talking to the men as they

entered the program, I occasionally missed men.

They did not

llnter the situation steadiiy, but came in groups.

Often a large

group woulcl come in over the week-end and leave on Monday. EVen though. I was working on Saturduy, s ome of these men were too sick to be interviewed. all who entered were

Even with diligent efforts, not

cov~d~d~.

Other intake data that the

However, . in comparison with

,~rbor

Light has gathere6, it S6ems that

the sample drawn is fairly representative of those that use the Harbor Light Center. (Appendix, pro C)

Also excluded from

interviewing were men from the seventh flOor geriatric residence who were sometimes interred on six after drinking episodes.

As

these men never participated in the program, they wer.e not interviewed. While approximately ten to thirteen men entered the center during a given week, by the middle of the research, repeaters l1ad begun to appear who were of course, ineligibl.e.

The research

took eleven weeks in this phase. A second group of men was chosen from the first sample.

All

those who remained in the program for thirty days or longer were re~nterviewed

with a shortened schedule, but a more intensive

informal conversation about the problems and atmosphere of the program.

These interviews took about 45 minutes each as opposed

to the more lengthy initial interviews which lasted an average of an hour and a half. The interviews were generally well-accepted, although the length received a lot of complaints. The schedules consisted of

-6utwo sections: a personal history data, which of my

0\4n

\4aS

fo~n

to gather demographic

provided by the Salvation Army, and a schedule

design. The 'personal history form provides z:elevant

information on marriages, education, nationality, occupational history, and alcoholic history.

I occasionally administered this

sect:ion for tha Salvation Army by making carbon copies of my information, but fOr the most part conducted my interviewing separate from their procedures.

Therefore, 1 usually omitted

questions dealing with names; wa~BS, an~ finQncial obli3Qtions which I felt would je.;q>ordize the comfort of ' 'the interviewing situatioil.(Omitted questions are starred in the Appendix) The

L~formation

gathered on occup&'tion inclUded the last job

held of any sort, as well as jobs held for langer than one month in the pist to provide some information on mObility.

Jobs were

cOded as being White Collar Managerial and Professional, White Collar-Clerical and Sales, Blue Collar-Skilled, foreman; Blue CollarSkilled, Blue Collar-Unskilled, and Spot Labor. These designations ,.ere aided

by classifications by Hatt, and Reiss, ( 1961 ).

The interview was conducted by subject area, and therefore, my questions were interspersed ,.ith those of the personal history form.

' I chose my measures, .(which are described in ,detail in

the appendix on measures) according to the following criteria. Conscious of the educational level, andphysicaL"spate of the clientele. 1 designed and simplicity.

an

interview with an eye towards brevity

Many men came to the interview in stages of

withdrawal from alcohol, and found it difficult to concentrate for the length of the interview.

Additionally. comprehension

was especially row among some respondents.

Two choice, rather

sections: a personal history form to gather demographic

t~10

data, which ~...as provided by the Salv.&tion Army, and a schedule of my

o~m

design. The 'personal history form provides x:'elevant

information on marriages, education, nationality, occupational history, and alcoholic history.

I occasionally administered this

section fOr the Salvation Army by making carbon copies of my information, but fOr the most part conducted my interviewing separate from their procedures.

Therefore, I usually omitted

questions dealing with names, wages, 3n~ finanoial obli~~tiona which I felt would jeppordize the comfort of the interviewing situation.

(Omitt~d

questions are starred in the Appendix)

The information gathered on occupation included the last job held of any sort, as well as jobs held for lon.o ;er than one month in the past to provide some information on mobility. cOded as being White Collar Managerial and

Jobs were

Pro~essional,

White

Collar-Clerical and Sales, Blue CQllar-Skilled, foreman; Blue CollarSkilled, Blue Collar-Unskilled. and Spot Labor." These designations were aided

by classifications by Hatt, and Reiss, (1961 ).

The interview was conducted by subject area, and therefore, my questions were interspersed with those of the personal history form.

I chOse my measures, .(which are described in detail in

the appendix on measures) according to the

follot~ing

criteria.

Conscious of the educational level. and ,physicaL's/;ate of the clientele. I designed an and simplicity.

V~ny

interview

~Iith

an eye towards brevity

men came to the interview in stages of

withdrawal from alcohol, and found it difficult to concentrate for the length of the interview.

Additionally, comprehension

was especially l ow among some respondent s.

TWo choioe, rather

than four choice and Likert-style items were therefore preferable. They had trouble conceptualizing abstractions and degrees as is necessary with the 'use of scalar ite'ms.

Only in phrasings

using time. such as "most of the time" and 'hot too often" could this groupsurvi,ve difficulty

~dth

a:

one-to-five scale.

An example of this

abstractions may be s'e en in the use of the

Butler-Haigh Q-sort

techniqu~,

which I was planning to use as a

cross check on information gathered on self-concept.

Involving

a task of sorting cards with personality characteristics on iii

scale ranging from "Most Like 1".e Ii to "Least Like Me ", and

then on a scale ranging from "Most: Like my Ideal Self" to "Least Like My Ideal Self", the

~-sort

is a

~ddely

used technique.

However, even with coaching and interminable explanations, many of the men were almost incapable of coping with this task. It was excluded after about the thirtieth interview. Not only did the men have trouble with the five place scale, but also with !

the conception of the Ideal Self, and words such as "tolerant. II Thus only short item scales I.ith a minitnum Of, questions were chOsen to ~t-~.!s:t :hYpo,1;he:s:P.;s ,s~Ch ' -
While those chosAn may not be the

most sophisticated and effective ways of measuring the concepts, they were the most preferable for this particular interviewing situation. )The early and Objective sections of the interview went quickly. I, '

seems appropriate at this point to discuss the most widely known quantat:ative study done on skid row, that of Donald Bogue, (1963). I must raise one major methodological question about his stUdy. He maintains his average interview was 2.5 hours in len~th. y512) If this is so, I doubt his coverage of the skid row hab~tu~, for generalLY, an hour and a half was the outside limit of their concentration, even in an interview situation of semiofficial constraint. ~It

Later sections were more conversational.

EspeciallY well-liked

and provocative were the sections on the evaluation of area agencies and evaluation of Harbor Light Centers.

I often

probed intensively to gather longer anst'l7ers, which were docu-' mented as open-ended comments. Another sectiOn that went parti cularly well was the section on drinking history.

Contrary to

expectations that the men might be ashamed of, or unwilling to talk about their drinking patterns, most were very open. they likewise

demonstr~ted

HQ~1ever,

that they had [email protected] little thought

to the problem previously. Few of the men had encountered similar research situations and questionnaires, so most were quite cooperative.

In addition

they were flattered by my presence as a female researcher in the traditionally all-male floor. This leads me to a discussion of my status as a researcher in the environment. As Wiseman points out, Vlhile there were a great many scenes I could observe, it became apparent that as a woman, or as a researcher, access was denied to some areas of the loop. (Wiseman, 1970, p.276) She solved her observational problems by hiring participant observe'rs who lived in the situations.

Since such resources

were unavailable to me, I anticipated some difficulties. wa~!lfter

This

all, an all-male community, the members of which had

either severed or never initiated ties with females.

I fs.ced

the problem of interviewer-interviewee anxiety about e stablishing rapport, expecting that as an"butsic:kr'not only to the world of alcoholism, but also to skid row, I would have trouble getting "honest" answers.

However, as Arlene Kaplan Daniels pasc··demon-

-63strated, (1971) asa "High caste" stranger to the group and an obvious outsider, the .men were more open about some things than they might have been with others of their Own sex.

While

there were occasions when the men would attempt to exaggerate their backgrounds or histories for my benefit, for the most part they seemed to look upon me as a sympathetic

observ~r,

and were

more willing to confide in me than they were iIi : the!-,s'taff interviewers who were all ex-alcoholics. The men would pull me aside to tell me stories about their lives on skid row for

m~

"book".

Eecause of the necessity to

explain subcultural details to me, the information gathered in conversations at the dinner table and in the coffe6 lounge was very rich.

While I know I lost certain pers'p ectivespresent

in .the s'ituation, such as an insight into the all.-male bull

session, I feel I also gained certain other information which might have been privileged to a male outsider. Perhaps competition and pride prevented the men from giving good answers to the male interviewing staff, as well as fear of exposure of details of their life, and the desire for anonymity which, as previously

state~

is & part of skid row life. Generally,

'Salvation Army staff personal histories were composed of vague and general answers and they often commented on the difficulties of getting the men to talk.

~xperience

as an interviewer, as

well perhaps, as my role as an outsider, enabled me to gather richer data. There are many problems inherent in the role of the female researcher in an all-male setting which it is not the role of this thesis to examine,

- iJ '+- -

d "cause i t "as i mpossl."bl"to

II

pass ,a or b a com..

a ,","rtain amount of information

'.78S

I.

one of th" i?uys,

ne,~"ssa.t:ily

10lSt.

II

Ho""v..,r,

1 beli.we that a female research,,!: is able to gain som~ infor-' mation '"hich may be privileged to a male outsider, or even insid .. r. "n additional consideration in the resear;chwas that of role

e~pectations.

Precis"ly oecaus", I "'as iemale, thl!!re """re

certain things I was expected to conform to.

l..anguage on the

floor was notably ·, tcned do.'In when it was known tha t ar ound. and I was l~ ot expe c ta d to s"'ear mys e if •

I vIas

Ad d i 1;'iona 11y.

I found it '''as necessary to be "f"minine" in dress and action. After Hearing pants on one work day, I Has told by several staff members that the men had commented unfavorably on it. I alloHed them to open doors for me, and to take my tray back because non-cooperation in these small matters 1'oUld have endang"red my s tan. ding and pel:ce iVl!!d place in

t~e .

se ttinl':. By

behaving in the traditional and expected manner, 1 was able I

to reassure the men in their conception of my

rol~,

and take

some threat out of th" intervievl situation • . ;

'Inother methodological · cons idera tion that the se tting provok"c1was the question of respondent honesty". As previously mentioned, 1 be'came at times aware of embroidering and gJ..orification during the c cur s" . of the intervie,",

It was necessary

that I not imperil the man's self-es1;'p.em, but still gain truthful respOnses.

I u~ed attitudes of frie:t)dly disbeli ... f

and display of kno"'ledg*bility about skid row to dispel this. Mi n or errors in chronology and jOb

hi." tory 1·' ere corrected by

I

checking ~ith Army ' files and t~en approaching the man and telling him that there seemed to b" a mistake in our

re~ord-

keeping.

HOHever, if massive lying on the part of a neHcomer

to Hathor Light occured, there was little way to check against, it.

I feel quite

confi~ent

from the quality and atmosphere

of the interviews, as well as the strong correlation with past records, that the majority of the interviews were sincere. Besides the formal interviewing situation with ' the men, which engenders the above considerations, more informal observations and conversations Here also conducted.

Many of these encounters

and the events that prompted them were recorded in a

r~search

notebook, which I ke,pt spor..dica!.ly o\:
The second portion of the research concerned observation of the interaction between the men and the officers and staff in the setting.

The mOst important part of this section of the

research was accomplished through participation-observation. As a "pseudo.,staff" member, I was able to attend staff meetings and classe,S with the men, as well as to initiate evaluative conversations with all the staff.

Again, I used the research

notebook to keep records of these interactions. A second tool was also utilized to give background to the place of the Salvation Army officer in such a setting.

I sent

a mail questionnaire to Ha:bor Light officers in the United States.

This instrument was pretested with officers in Clevel&nd,

who helped immeasurably in refining the questions.

The religious

section was pruned somewhat because of their reactions to what they considered to be overly simplistic statements.

Four and

five item scalers were 'Used as anst",ers to most of the objecf,ive

questions, as the officers raised objections to forced answers. The mail questionnaire was less successful than the persona l interviews as many of the questions were left unanwered. A copy of the questionnaire is included in the Appendix.

A total

of eighteen of the 25 sUrveys distributed were returned. One set of follow-up letters was issued abOut three weeks after the surveys were distributed, and several personal follow-ups were conducted by Salvation Army officers.

Los Angeles and

New York both failed to return infort1lation, which slants the information in the. direction of the smaller citiAs •

.

The sketchiness of the returned forms and 'the low percrmtage of. return may indicate in part the heavy administrative duties of the group. In fairness, many of the questionnaires returned were quite excellent, and included appended information,' hOwever not enough were of that quality to provide information fOr more than backgrounn t:6stii'l'g of hypotheses about the officers in charge of the facilities •. Of those who responded to the survey, most were

favorably~mpressed

with i t .

Some however, completed

the hour survey in less than 35 minute s.

Therefore, the overall

quality of the return is not necessarily reflected in the quantity • •lhile a number of scale items similar to those included in the Men's questionnaire were included in the officer version, the main focus of this questionnaire was in the items dealing with professional plans, and policies at their individual centers. This information was gathered in open-ended forms, although a few questions about different types of treatment were presented with scales.

Again, criteria in designing the questionnaire

'inc"iuded a necessity for easy to answe r questitms and brevity to

-67ensure high returns. -lII-

The third element examine0 in this study was the socialwelfare community.

This was accomplished both through evalu-

stive questions in the interviews with the men and also throu.o;h interviews and tours at the agencies themselves.

This had

the advantage of providing the user' s perspective, as well as the management's on the

s~ttings.

usually took about half the day.

The agency interviews

Not every agency which

worked with the homeless was included, as many vIera not welle stablished at the ,time of study, or vlorked with such a small percentage in their total clientele that they had littie expertise in the field.

Two major agencies excluded were the

West Side community service c~nter ~md Orca House, a grOUp !

working primarily with Blacks.

Also excluded was a facility

which had just bagun to operate as a half-way home for WOmel"l with alcohol problems.

lhese three agl!ncies were started rec"nt1.y,

and , l was referred to them as the study was nearing completion. A total of fifteen diffllrent agency interviews was completed.

One and sometimes two administrators were contacted in

each setting. view

t~as

Basically an informal and conversational inter-

conduct,e d, although it was structured with an outline

of questions geared to gather the facual data presented in the appendix.

rly primary intersts were in the agency atti-

tudes tot.ard skid row, and their eligibility requirements. 1'Iost i of the interviews included tours of facilities and contact with the men , and other stafI personneL

'Lhese elements were

excluded in the mental facilities and at the jail setting. At most of the agencies, my reception ~ias very warm.

The agencies seemed flattered that someone was studying them. They were also aware of the wide lack of coordination and information between agencies, and were grateful for anything which provided information about their "competition."

They were

willing to converse on a professional and open l.,vel about the problems faced in their particularly failure-prone

s~rvic".

\. ' ,

{

One of the most interesting facets of this particular portion of the research was the contrast in perceptions of s.,rvices between the agencies and the men. Several of the agencies 8gem,,,l to

presen'~

Ii

paper version of their program.

With the insights

of the users, a more realistic perspective could be gained. I-Ihile the agency intervip.ws intendp.d to portray the eligibility spectrum in treatment programs in Cleveland, they also provided information on available resources, available treatment philosophies and success ratios. Through the se inl:erviews, seen.

l~ise
s treatment loop was

Many of the administrators mentione'd

the "repeater,a or the "rounder".

the problem of

Several even mentionned

the same man, whom the interviewer had seen, a.s a typical example of this.

t
purpose of the interviewing, it was one of the fringe benefits of the

e~perienco.

The agency interviews provided rich background on the environmental "cpn text of skid row.

t.Jhile each interview was brief,

thereby limiting profound insights into the various agencies, t , .\ ."

basic data on target popUlation and treatment philospby wete ' gather"d.

IV The battery of methods used was intended to aid in

~etting

a multi-faceted picture of the nature of the inter-action between the men of skid row and the agencies that served I was continually total

verst~hen

a,~are

Althoug h

the~.

that no single researcher could attain

of such a large picture, an attempt was made

to gain as deep an understanding of the amount of time made possible.

s~tuation

as the limited

The six month period between

initial contact with the agency and completion Of intervikWA with the men was much tOO short to deveiop a

compl~tA

picture

of an agency that had been in existence for 25 years. TherefOre this study is very time- specific. Light was undergoing at the

tirr~

The ch,mges that Harbor of Observation in staff

and program may well be resolved by the time of ·oomple.tri.On ·;;. HowEov.. r, the problems the observed changes . and interactions raised seem typical of any organization attempting to survive in a hostile task .. nvironment.

will serve to highlight

t~e

Hopefully, the choAen methods

problems and naturY'

:of

this par-

ticular organizational interaction. An attempt". was made to ga:l.n the perspect"ives of both the client and the administrative staff, as well as to investigate the atmosphere and organizational structure in which these two participants interacted.

How successful

"

this attempt is rests not only upon thA limitations of even the most widely chosen of methodologies, but also upon t"he limitations of a single observ_r among one hundred fifty people.

-70-

PRESBNTATION OF HYPOTHESES

This research concerns a group of excessive drinkers phosp. shelter or health situations have brought them to the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center.

Their choice of this institution

and their life within it will be se"n in the context of thl! Cle·veland social Nelfare environment.

This orgsnil!laeion serves

the skid roy, area, and competes to some extent for clientele with other organi"'ations providing similar services.

.'j,berefore •

. the inter-relationships within the setting must be seen in terms of the Harbor Light i s organizational survival--both in its task environ«rents locally, and at the national level.

The relationshi?s

IVithin the internal environment contribute greatly to this 11: pill be seen that it I selects clients by presenting an image of its services to the

organization's success or failure;

co,lItlIunity it serves.

'J.herefore, it sets up t.hat Thompsonl.19n7,

p.27 )ca.lls"domain" by attracting clients suitable for its treatment.

However, once the treatment phase begins, the ac-

. '.

complishment of long-range goals is not achieved.

lherefore,

intermediate goals and services are created so that the organi:>.:ation can continue

t~ithout

staff demorali:>.:ation.

With constant

changes both in program offered, and emphasis on particular elemnts of programming, the organi.?:ation can cover i·ts to successfully rehabilitate men. earned with matters of

fa~lure

The staff remains mor~ con-

organi?-ationa~

procedure than with the

.

I

'

-71-

client himself, as ~tudying

~dll

be shown by description of the program.

this organization from the perspectives of both

management and clie::t: will help explain hO<" each, throu gh his otm special interpretation or definition of situation, is able to SlJ:'vive in vlhat must be objectively seen as a "'frustrating situation.

For the client, he must live in an authoritarian

and restricting environment.

'4h .. Jl".&nagement ,is -fac"d

rehabilitation of an unresponsive clientele.

lhe men who tun1 for help are by no of skid row residents.

~' ith

lAt tn" relationsn ip

me~,s

in the

maj~rity

, Clearly, any study of men within insti-

tut:l.ons is not dea11...,g with a subsamp,l e of the homeless on

.

sk.idrow, but with a selectively chosen group wl'1'O have entered , "the agencY' by choice. agencies.

Very f ew enter from referrals by other

Most find out about a gencies like Harbor Light

from their friends and companions. !I'or this study, the following hypotheses &bout the relationi

ships within and without the Harbor Light setting are proposed:

.L. An organization attempting to be successful limits its domain : az'ld ':c lier.te Ie to.'ar.;as : in which it can achieve success; through both formal and informal methods.

A formal

screening process andL,formal reputational networks influenced , , . by a gency services serve to screen skid row men to certain agt

encies treating alcoholics.

More formal, insti tutionally .'

initiated s creening methOds inclUde location, eligibility criterion, and costs.

The informal reputational .network is

created ; by the dients themselves, to inform the' community of I

-72available and preferilble treatment settings. Rough informe.tion is passed evaluating services and accomodations, and serves as an informal map to Wisema.-:I' s (1970) aloop " as it exists in Cleveland. ~ .J;,Q.

tttt Bynotbesis 1. : An examination of different agencies

used by the skid row men will demonstrate that these agencies have the potential to be client specific, even though no central referral system exists. to those whicn

o~ch

Criteria'of eligibility limit clients

agency feels best prepared to serve.

An

informal reputational rating system which is influenced by these formal methods will be shewn to exist: among the men who use Harbor Light by analysis of their answers to questions of evaluation on area agencies.

II,

The Harbor Light agency has created its own reputa-

tion on skid row as an agency which provide!!! services of clean shelter, foo.d and varied working opportunities.

Through this

reputation, 'it attracts a group of men to the service because it meets their particular needs.

Their own personal status

at the time of admission is an element in their choice, as is their knowledge that services offered will be available to them. Data .t.9. test Hypothesis

1.1.: Men's reasonr. , for coming

to narbor Light will be examined to demonstrate that their )

are specific factors of Harbor Light services known to users I

before they are oriented to these services, demonstrating reputation as a factor in their choice.

IIA: of the

user~

A local referral system is responsible for most at Harbor Light, as the majority of men using

the service are local, and became aware of s"'rvices from ac-

-73quaintances rather than from agencies or the uelfare system.

111l:..

MP-n of Harbor Light are not typical of skid ro,,1

men as a I"hole, a.s· they are in better health than those from skid rOt,1 at large.

This may be because Harbor Light

has a reputation as a pork place

~'.here

work is ha.rd but

pay is slightly higher than at. the sheltered ,,'orkshops.

i'lany

of the men ,,'ho CCl.'1le to Harbor Light choose it as a shelter vlhere they can use their able bodie s to earn and keep more of their money. ~

.tQ l l l l Hypothl'!sis IlB:

Brief comparison ",111 be

made between the data gathered by Bogue on health,and that gathered at Harbor Light.

Information from open-ended

and occupational questions will be used to demonstrate that work conditions "ere a factor in choice of Harbor Light for some.

lIe. A high proportion of those ."ho C;Ome to l'farbor'-Lir,ht are single; either through divorce, '''ido.,ho!,d, or permanent bacherlorhood.

They are used to survival without women, and

adapt to the all-male institutional environment with only limited. complaint.

Again, the men coming tb Harbor Light

are well-suited to treatment offered. I

.Ll D. Among the men ,.ho choose Harbor Light are a core I

of regulars ,,]ho use the agency as a residence center and form \ a reliable clientele who can be counted on to return again and agein.

These men, especially, are attracted by .'hat they

kna.> about Harbor Light and feel it meets their n"eds ,,,,,,11·· enough to re-use the institution. bone of· the

organi~ation,

This group forms the back-

and the staff count on their reap-

-i4 -

pearance to fill certain responsible jobs.

lla..ti.l..

t",st 11. 12.:

.tQ.

A high proportion of those intervie.7ed

,vere repeaters and >a special open-ended > c onversation about changes needed and likes and dislikes of the agency was conducted with each in addition to the regular interview.

ll,E.

Some of the men who come to

l~bor

Light are

a£t~ac­

ted by the religious nature of the services, and have strong feelings about the importance of religion and private devo'Cions :,

Army theological interpretation. ~



~

lIE:

While there is little comparative

information available on non-church members,

som~

national

\

material exists

in a sample taken by Glock and Stark in 1964.

The Glock and §tark index of orthodoxy, discussed in detail in Appendix B, was used with both a national sample of officers ,, and wi th the men of Harbor Light to compare the men t·· to the officers and to the nation at large, in orthodoxy, found to be the fundamental dimension .of religious faith by Glock and Stark{l966J. 'lhe private dimension of religion, which was examined since so few of the men participated in public church

; ~ituals,

was measured through the King-Hunt series

(19~9)

to demonstrate the degree of commitment to personal devotion as compared to the officers of the center. A 'series of questions taken from the Dynes (19 S 5) church1

I

sect

,~ork

was used as a short form means of measuring severa l

tsues of religious orientation, and was used for comparison dth the officers in charge . } lSee appendix B for additional note s on all ~easures cited herein.

-75-

l.ll:..:.. Most of the men "ho check into Harbor Light are recovering from a recent bout with .alcohol; and may i .. ".l at a 1o,,, ebr.> of p
as there is no higher level mirror to

bacl< a depressing picture.

r~flect

If, as Head and Cooley, and symbolic

iriteractionism suggests. mU.ch of msn's self opinion is what he sees reflected of himself by others, then the group of drunks admitted to Harbor Light send back a picture of the man vlhich includes, if flot elements of a.pproval, at least, acceptance. A response which the

ff~

would not expect from his old reference

groups or sO'cbty at large would' bo this one of approval. I

Tnus,through providing

a

po~ive

mirror of

companion~

1

ship, the center can serve to raise, or at' least stablilizEI (

a man1s self-esteem. The community of Harbor Light fosters a I

i

bravura as many of the men kno,,, each other from the outside • . lhe group at Harbor Light is often an important reason in

..

a man j s , choice, fOr he knows that 'ihis poers will raise his " confidence. I

~ .tQ.

-

.t:.ut. Hypothesis IIF: The Rosenberg (1965) Scale

1

,

of S"lf-esteem, designed for use with high school students is employed here as a measure of self-esteem.

Data from a follow-

up of ten interviews will be used to show the pOWer of Harbor Light to raise self-esteem.

Information from interviews \

will show that the peer group is an important reason in choosing Harbor Light.

-76II G.

The recent bout with alcoholism and failure that

brings a man to Harbor Light may leave him with a low sense of the future, and of efficacy in dealing with his world. He turns to Harbor Light to shift his responsibility for tomorrow temporarily to the management, and easily accepts ihstitutionalization while it suits his needs.

He sees things

in the perspective of':now' and "tOday" much like his lower class compatriots (Rainwater,1959 ; and Lewis, 1961; Bittner, 1967).

This ~

~~

t2

worries

~

~nly

minimally &bout tomorrow.

Hypothesis IIG:

The competency sc&le used I

by Angus' Campbell (1960) was used to measure personal efficacy because the nature of the .questions touched on the now orientation, as well as on powerlessness, and competence. The direction of scalability demonstrates the lack of future surety among the men that come to Harbor Light. ,.' .

. •

The questions

0.. , .

themselves were especially suitable to the criteria of shortness and simplicity~

SUMHARY OJ> HYPOTHESIS II:

The men who use Harbor Light are 'I

specific to the agency, a large proportion havtng been attracted by a reP1+tation promis':crgservices that would satisfy certain of their needs, such as the need for a peer group, shelter, Ind religiOUS comfort.

They are suited to take advantage of

l

these services because of characteristic demographic factors such as health and marital status. III.

For an organization to survive successfully in

a , competitive environment, it must present an image of successful ' attainment of goals to its reference groups in the task , I environmen t upon whom it is dependent for support and resources. I

-/'7-

Harbor Light must respond to pressures from elements in its task environm~nt, including other competing and cooperating agencies, its parerit organization, and community and governmental fund SOurces.

Tnis need for response results in the . ~,

following actions: The organization spends. much of its time in

lILA.

attempting to reach its stated goal of the rehabilitation· of the alCOholic homeless man through manipul ation and discussion of the program intended to accomplish that

go~l.

:t."1. addition

the organization has a sub-goal of financial stability, and other orgilIlizational resources are devoted to the accomp,l ishment of this goal. ~

tQ

~

Hvpotheris III A:

Observation at staff . !

mee tins·sand of staff act:hrftie s a'ld actions indicated that l

much of .the time of the organization wo::s entering into !

manipulation of programming <· procedures essentially directed at increasing

organizat~al

success at its two main goals.

In addition to attempting to reach its stated

III B.

goals, the organization will attemp t to define new goals, including both functions which it is achieving success in at the time, as well as the · addition of new functiQls. It will therefore legitimize short term actions, such as detoxification, and add new long term goals such as half-way housing. Ju·s t as the organization itself must respond to pressures

,

in its task environmett, so must the administrative staff answer to pressures in their situation. The Salvation Army officer is already equipped when he comes beliefs and a vocation to serve. 1

0

with strong religious These help mitigate some of

the pressures from '{ both the parent organization and elements of his task environment, as perception of his role.

\~ell

other

as shaping his

Additionally, the officers demonstrate

authoritarian responses in some cases, which well equip him to operate within the hierarchically structured setting of the Harbor Light cOiMlaIld post. , This quality of authorii:arianism Ii1IlY increase in the officer over time, or he .nay cotne to tho service with this quality, but no longitudi.,al d& ta was available for comparison. ~

In response to pressures from cUnpeting agencies

1

in their task environment as well a s ina search fOr funds and referrals, the officer perceive s his role as professional, i

and takes action to attai., this standing ,:. in the. eyes ' of his community, and to

c~nmand

moce successfully in his

environ~~nt.

IVA. The officers see their place as professional, with a strong component of counselling, even if in actual practice much of their time must pe ,spent in administ,ration.

The

parent organization encourages this orientation to ministering, even if in actual fact the officer has little time for it. j

t.

~ ~ ~ Hypothesis

IVA: Officer's testimony

as to the percentage of timl!l spent in counselling, as

~7ell

as their :opinion as to their most important task ' will be used to te'st ,>.the hypothesis.

~;vidence that the officers may not I

have much time to spend in this area of their role is taken from the •men's opinion of Officer's duties, and encounters with officers in IV B.

c~unselling

Situation~.

In response to pressures from other agencies

in thei'r environment to use secular methods in treating alcoholics, .. , c,· -

-79-

as well as response to situations within the institution which call for

additional~aining,

the officer will attempt

to gain further professional training of a non-ecc:;lesiastical sort.

l.ll...Q. Again, in worki..g in his community, 'the officer may find it necessary to increase his professional stature by joining various

professi~aal

groups.

These groups not:

only provide,,' the officer with treatment ideas, but also involve him in sharing with oth£ragencios involved in the same sort of work, and help him spread his agency's professionai :ceputation

.J.t..D..

The officer mayw'ish ,t o experiment with his pro-

gram to serve unmet needs within the community he serves.

rne

parent organization is flexible on this point so that the officer can experiemnt and attain funding for secular as well as sacred aspects of programming unprovided by other co,1'.muni tygroups.

SUMMARY OF HYPOTHESIS IV:

The officer as well as organization

must adapt his behavior to achieve success in his particular ' Manyoffic~rs

environm"'nt.

seem to find professionalizatiOI:!

I

a useful response to the , pressures to achieve within their community, and also helpful to them in administering the agency under their charge. The major intent of th;i.s thesis is ' the demonstration of

-

the necessity ,of adaptive behavior and organization in this i

"

instit;utional setting. skid ,

ro\~

.... .

The devel.opment of a program of

,treatment Occurs through the interaction of client

and olficer.

,

~lhile

,

,

there are several different elements in

the client group with differing motivations in seeking treatment, common methods of cooperation with the institutional regulations and attitudes of gratitude develop, changing their behavior from their skid row drunkenne ss to

ins~itu-

tional dependence for short periods of time. Lhe men change theirbehavio~ and chose an institution which suits their particular needs at a given time. While officially, the center provides alcoholic rehabilitation, it is known in the community as a gOod place to find sholter. The men "who come to Harbor Light are professing to seek sobriety, , but this is a temporary goal, if at all. Each cOmes with )

an awareness that Harbor Light offers certain services and has certain requirements for thOse who wish to use the service I

including' a' loss of independence. The men give up the inde1

pendence and strive to fulfill the requirements as , long as [

they need the s,e rvice.

Some have goals which require service i

1

longer than others; and they stay over thirty days. These men , ,

have begun to achieve success in terms of length of stay. ; V....

r

Men who have goals ~~hich require ' long-term service s

of the institution, are able to define the situation within the institution to fit their own particular needs. By staying

.,

for long periods of time, they both gain pre stige within the ,

organization and attain their goals, as well as; serving the organization by providing "success-stories."

'LA.

Successful men adapt their behavior to the

institutional setting, cooperating ,.,rith the group norms I

and .regulations, and thereby insuring 't heir survival within I

the walls.

-81~.

Successful men will have longer range goals than

thOse who stay for short periods of time, and will have an orientation to their future.

lheir express purposes in using

Harbor Light. either as a permanent employer, or as a safe haven while awaiting external rewards demonstrate that

th~ir

goals are often dependent upon remaining within the shelter. Benefits at this agency accrue after longer stays, making the lOng-term stay more reward~.

YQ. Those who stay for long periods of time will show some personal changes over time, such as improved personal esteem and religiousity in

so~e

cases, indicating , that the

organization is not totally inaffective in promoting rehabiliI

tation. ~ .t2 tt.:1t. Hyptotheses l.Y..a,-;~, ~.8.

Follow-up I

material was gathered from those who had stayed over thirty I

days, replicating some of the "arlier interview, and asking questions about what .nade men drop out, and how new men differed from old. This study intends to offer perspectives on the inter1

1

action wi thin one particular skid row se tting, which is religious in its approach to treatment, but changes in reaction to changing situations in its environment.

The clientele . using

Harbor Light has changed over the years, and sO 'have other ,

available social services.

If it is to survive,' it must change

also, or' face the fate of the wild-cat missions :of the thirties, extinction.

CHAPTER

Yl.

THE NETWORK OF AGENCIES Al'lD REPUTATIONS

'!his chapte~ ~r~sents rGs~lts tost~B tho first hypothasis, that &gencios,through formal and informal screenii.'lg mechani _ms, attsmpt to limit their clientele to those the:! can best serve. 'Their effectiveness at this task is examined througharLanalysis'of ',the reputational natwork seen in the ~urbor Light users. 1nos<'l agencies which are best known turn out to be those who are also mast willing to serve the skid row man. Additionally, this chapter serves to portray the social Helfare community which benefits the homeless man, and which provides the setting for Harbor Light. Harbor Light, a work therapy organization, is excluded from this section, although obviously also a part of this network,,, known to all respondents.

-82:-·

THE NE'Ii-lORK OF AGENCIES AND REPUTATIONS Ther~

are six different types of welfare services available

to skid row alcoholics in the Cleveland area.

These are: welfare

administration, hospital agencies, medical and psychological treatment facilities,

half-\~ay

and P.lcoholics;l\nonymous.

houses,

\~ork

therapy operations,

"hese tr
out-patient care to intensive medical programs. All of

cornpl ,~ tfl

thos~

investigated were theoretically open to the skid row man, but various formal and informal screens often :imited the number of skid row men partaking of treatments . . These screens included cost, initial intervielving, te!lting of cli"nt sincerity, geographical location either far from the skid row area, or ,in dangerous neighborhoods, and rules on recidivism.

These screens serve to limit clientell" to those

who are willing to make a strong commitment to 'the treatment. The least client-specific and least sophisticated of the he Iping agencies are those in wi;lf are administration.

The skid

row alcoholic is just one small part of their case-load, and while, as a single person,' tl16 man 'receives specialized treatment, his alCOholism gains him

f~w

special favors.

A man in

Cl~veland

who has lived in the county long enough to establish eligibility may receive relief either from the county or from the Soldiers ' and Sailors Relief commission, if h" is a veteran. Ihis relief is usually given in the form of room and board checks.

Aman

may receive emergency relief from the county for only one month,

-83and must have a medical disability to qualify for ,further aid, or be .over age 65. There are some specific services for the skid row alcoholic. \"hile the room and bOard system, by :virtue of their low amount, encourage sojourns at the least expensive hotels in town , welfare will on occasion pay for alcoholic rehabilitation services.

County

Welfare approves three such services, "'hile Soldl-ers' and Sailors ' apprOves four, including Harbor Light.

While $93 is the maximum

monthly paymetnt a man can Pi"t for r.oom ana board, as high

;!II'!

$145

is paid to a rehabilitation agency to meet their costs in keeping

a

man. The county service also has a second aid for the alcoholic;

the Cuyahoga County Alcoholic Rehabilitation Unit.

Tne unit

provides educational introductions to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Only

a small percentage who seek this counselling service are skid row alcoholics.

Most have a family to return to ,' and are using

thet service fOr advice and an introduction to Ah.

The unit is

locat6d stweral blocks away from the Salvation Army Hen's Social Service, but far from skid row, and is in close association with the Fresh Start

hal~ay

house programs.

Another general service which also tr .. ats the man a ,s a part of a general caS6 lOad is the hospital serviC6.

Both Cleveland

Hetropolitan General Hospital and St. Vincent's Charity Hospital see alCOholic s in emerg6ncy cases of withdrawal, Or as a result of violence in the streets.

Hany of these men have received

treatment from the hospitals fOr falls, fights, and D.T.'s with no charge. I

The skid row men are not the most popular patients, as they

-84-

are unreliable about showing up for treatment, and often ungrateful. (Harbor Light, Conference, Nov. 1972)

Nonetheless,

the city hospitals are the only medical facilities available. Health care is one of the more serious problems the skid row man faces, and a s the most sophisticated alcoholic treatment facilities are generally closed to him becau.se ' of cost or location, h& .o::aceives the limited care available as he can get it.

The skid row

man faces, with , other indigent patients, the problems of evecexpanding needs for heE>ith care versus ever-expanding costs to the hospital.

8mergency situations such as coronary attacks

are well-handled by the hospitals.

One man from Harbor Light spent

several weeks in an intensive coronary care unit in thl! l'letropolita.n Hospital.

However, mor" routine cuts, scrapes, bruises and dental

care are handled less compentently because of thl! prl!ss of econo-' mics and staffing.

The skid row men are not persuasive enough,

or reliable enough to have their needs for care effectively met., They compete with oeher needy people for a

limited amount of

,\

available services.

Most of the residential centers which are

available to the homeless have no

rr~dical

staff, and therefore

medical care is handled on an ad-boc end impersonal basis io 'che city' smel'1:i.cal facilities.

Likewise, psychological care for the skid row alcoholic is handled non-specifically,

Neither of the two mental facilities

investigated had sophisticated and special programs for alcoholics. Both housed alcoholics on the same ward with other patients, and only offered one or twO hours per week of specialized care in group therapy settings for the patient with alCOholic problems.

-o:r Again. these facilities did not specialize in the homeless, although the homeless. as residents of the county wer.e eligible to enter the facility.

Because the programs were not specifically designed

for slcoholics. but rather for mental patients with alcoholic problems; there was again. as in the hospital facilities. SO,lIe staff hostility towards the alcoholic.

As the director of one

ward reported. under these conditions. the staff doesn ' t like working with alcoholics. These are unfavor~ble conditions to work with ' the problelTl, becc.us
~ix

months or so •. but this rsther high rate

of success should be regarded in light of a rather inefficient follow-up program. and the fact that involuntary admissions are excluded.

Additionally, the hospitals serve a catchment area

which includes people with families and other support.

Many of

the skid rOw men who come to the facilities enter involuntarily, and leave within a few days. '

It is not these men that the state

mental facilities have success with. The hospitals and the welfare services are generally available

-86to all members of the comrr~ity, whether alcoholic or not.

However,

the other 'services are more and mOre specifically oriented to"7ard treatment of the alcoholic and the skid rO\.. man.

Orienterl most

specifically ,to the alcoholic, although not necessarily dealing I ..

ith the problem of ho,nelessness, are the agericies ''''hich offer soph-

isticated medical and psychological troatment facilities.

Among

these in Oleve1and are Rosary Hall, ,E xodus Hall, Serenity Hall and the Brecksville Veteran

~-s

" ..

Administration Hospital.

Both Rosary

Hall and Serenity Hall have high rates of admission, and thus their cOsts s .. rve as effective screens against' the skid row man.

Therefore,

when a man has utilized these services, he hat), usually been in
'; higher status in life,

surance.

~ith

,steady employment and health in-

Both Ro'saryand Se,renity are 10ceted within larger

hospital facilities,but ofrer a specialized ward for alcoholics with an average stay of from 8 to 14 days, including treatment and alCOholic education.

Exodus Hall, which is connected with th ..

Workhouse, inc1ud",s a thirty day stay if one volunteers from the outside community for the service.

Workhouse men may also partici-

pate in the ' facility, but their stay is often governed by their length of sentence.

A11madica1 and ~psychiatric treatment

is provided by the workhouse.

Tne Voteran's Administration fa-

cility has access to the reSOurces of the entire complex.

There~

fore, all these facilities have the capacity to deal with alcoholism on a medical basis.

HoweVer, these facilities have

eral sc.reening mechinisms, such as

~ocation

program which reduce , skid row use. Light, only eight had been to

~odus

SAV-

and strenuousness of

Of the eighty men at Harbor

Hall, only eleven to Brecks-

-87ville, and only seventeen to

l~sary ~ll.

Rosary Hall is more

familiar and better used because of its long establishment. Even though there is little skid row usage of the facility, s ome of the men did utilize the facility before coming to skid row. 'J.bese facilities are all professionally ' committed to achieving SObriety for the patient.

d gOOd deal of work is demanded

of the patient in terms of class and therapy attendance.

Only

a man who is fair ly sincere about his goals of beating alcoholism

of the places

ar~

made quite clear to the client upon entranco.

The personnel are professional, and a wide socio-economic group of clients utilize these four

s~rvices.

the facilities most open to the men, EXOdus

Additionally,

P~ll,

and the Veterans '

facility are located far from skid row environment.

Rosa,r y '

nall, located on skid rot. &nd established for over twenty yttars

,

is much better known to the men 't han Exodus Hall. The Veterans ' I

hospital, Hhich has bean established for msny years, but is also far away, was also unfamiliar.

Thus a place where ,most

j

of the men were ineligible for treatment , was as well kno,m or better known as a place where most of them were

eligi ~ le,

pri-

marily because of len~th of foundation and location on skid row. Obviously, then, time in operation and locational familiarity 1

contribute to whether an agency appears in the skid row reputational network system.

f'3:f.ty-fciuz''' 'perc'en:t ' OI "the; me'rC ~

knew ll.osary hall, but only l6i. kne,. of the Exodus facility becausp. 'of these factors.

Eligibility seems to'be , a lesser

factor in familiarity than these other screening elements.

As

previously pointed out, Wiseman demonstrated that the sophisti,

-88cated aLcoholic treatment centers were most popular with the men.

However, even though they may be popular, these agencies

are under-utilized in Cleve Landt even where the men are eligible because of the additional factors of unfamiliarity and locational ~accessability.

Less sophisticated agencies, such as thOse

to be studied later are far mor.e familiar and more widely used than thOse agencies that rely on psychological therapy and sophisticated medical techniques to reach the skid row man.

he may worry abOut the othor clients of higher pocial

status, Or about unfamiliar and sophisticated trllatments, so that even while the situation of no work is appealing, there \

ara drawbacks to these agencies for him.

'rhe agencies thPlmselVt'.s

J

believe that the man dOes not come to their facility because (

he is unwiiiing to put forth the effort for a complete) cure:

T~e average guy living under bridges is there by his

o\~

choice. This is the lif" style he is lused to. We only get 10-20~ from the flophouse type environment, an.d thOse who see how much WOrk this is ate of.ten amazed and want to leave. {ExOdus Hall, April, 1973) !

('lost also feel their length of stay is too short to really reach tho skid row man.

"They are hopelessly pst.hetic about

themselves, about recovery, and about life. -

1"

1 don't feel that

you can turn him upside down and around in 12 or 30 days. "(Exodus ,

I

Hall, 1973) The men ~artly agree with this.

Une, commenting I

on Rosary : Hall said, "I feel it could help a skid row alCOholic,

,

)

but twelve days is tOO short. It takes six months'. "(Interview 20) Even at the Exodus program, which allows extended stays, 1

the staff believes t:hat: its program is t:oo short ~to really help the skid row man.

The se agencies are aware hi t:he need fOr

restructuring the man ts life style in order

to coinbat the problem

of alcohol.

"You must first restore his sense of ' worth and be-

longing. II (V.A., April, 1973) J;lesides insufficient times of stay, the treatment at these facilities foster social skills which the skid rOV1 man may have dropped.

lhe Veteran's Administration, for example, offers

self-government to all patients in the progra,it. The patient:s are responsible for all affairs which affect them, including disciplinary matters. They even handle. a good deal of the clerical

although g'uided by the staff. A group made up totally of skid 1

row men would not have had the needed interpersonal skills to handle this sOrt of responsibility effectively, although at laas.t partial responsibility might be better than the total dependency fostered at the other agencie s. 'l'he men occasionally indicate why they shy away from these sophisticated facilities, even , when like Wiseman, they give them high reputational ratings. he

f~1t

Une

man

commented that

Offended by the intensive group therapy sessions which

compelled men to discuss their drinking problems and confess 1

their fsults .in front of their peers (thereby viOlating what Wallace has described as a code of personal anonymity of the streets.) The skid row man is not ready yet to let his guard down totally, especially before middle class others who are sharing the facility with him. Some men evaluate the service s materialistically, balancing costs to themselves against their benefits. They are concerned about the actual value of the treatment they < receive. .

Une

respondent, commenting on a hospital treatment he had taken, said,

-901 didn't like it because I was p~etty sick, and thev made me wait four hours between d~inks, and there are three meetings a day and a lot of lip service. The bill is preposterous for I.hat you get, it's just al.fuI. You ge t two bottles of whiskey and a lot of talk. (In terview 38) Thus, several sophisticated facilities are available to the alcoholic in the Cleveland Area.

1\.,0, Rosary Hall, and Ser"nity

Hall, may have been utilized by skid row men in their dOI.rn07ard careers, but are not now available to them because of the ir prohibitive costs.

~'o,

located far from skid row, are open to

almost all m"n; but because of -::heir n .. wness, and their unfamiliarity on the grape vine of skid row, and atso bec&use of their location and sophisticated programs, ar" under-utilized by a cli.mtel'/!' they could well serve. Another

under~utilized

group of services open to the skid row

man is the half-way house group.

Fresh-Start, Matt Talbott, and

Now House are examples of these facilities, but again through a scre'llling mechanism of location and admission proc",dure s, skid row use is limited.

The

av~"ed

aim of

th~se

houses is to achieve

SObriety through a peaceful, alcohol-free and home-likeatmosphp.re. The iltJTipsphere is butre6sed with one and often two or more Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week.

Welfare, and Soldiers' and SailorS'

Relief 'p;er,ertiily pick up th>! tabs for these agency servic"s. fore there is rio cost for these agency services.

Intensive

screening limits the number of inhabitants to six through twentyfive men at each facility.

At Fresh Start a potential client

must pass the director's scrutiny for evidence of sincerity.

At

Matt Talbott, a priest at the workhous" ' provides 85% of the accepted clien ts through referral.

NOI,1 House also has a dirllctor

who examines each man as to his sincerity in the search for

sobriety.

Now House is the only

tru~

half-way house, as a man

must work, at an outside job there, to pay his fifteen dollar weekly rent. Stays at these facilities

gen~ral1y

are about thirty days

or longer, perhaps because of the scrutinization for sincerity, as well as the strict rules about recidivism.

Fr~sh

Start dOes

not allow a repeater until a year has elapsed, and Matt Talbott limits repeaters to 6 months turn-around time.

Even so, Matt

Talbott finds that 50% of its clients are repeaters.

The succe s s

rate seems lower at these agencies than at the sophisticated hospital facilities, perhaps in part the clients are homeless.

bec~use

the majority of

Again, reliability of success rates

is low because of the lack of any sophisticated follow-up procedure.

Nost agencies count their successes by the number of

clients who return to the former residence still in a state of ,

sobriety. (Nonetheless, few agencies were reticent ; about success rates, and the appendix includes nota ': :io:os on succoss for each) The ,m ain problem these agencies face is their location in , undesirable neighborhoods, where it is impossible for the man to

,

l.eave at night.

Ctie client said, •• 1 don't

it's like walking into a d"ath trap. ,. (58)

li~e

the neighborhood,

The administrator!!

are aware of the men's fears, and one talks of opening a facility in the country and using the city houses only for men who have employment in town.

A second Fresh Start has opened

in the skid row ne ighbOrhood .. which may make the half. -wsy type facility more accessible and better-known to the skid row clientelle. Generally, at present, the halfway facilities were unknown to the men of Harbor Light.

All have been established within the

-n last five years, whereas places such as the Salvation Army have .'

been in existence for over fifty. unable to evaluate Fresh Start. opinion on Matt Talbott Inn. gave high ones, however.

Fully 71% of the men were AnOther 66% could give no

Those who did make evaluations

Of the twenty-six Gvaluating

only two gave it an average or lower evaluation.

~~tt

Talbott,

In the case of

Fresh Start, sixteen of twenty-two evaluators rated it above .

1

average. De spi te high recomrr.Qnda 1:.ions fClw··m 6D had · t:·c tuo:rlly. 'iut·U .. iied' ,.i

either service.

a

Only nine had been a~ Matt l lbott, ana seven

had been at Fresh Start.

Thus, while the half-way facilities

offer residence fOr the homeless, and home-like treatment, few of the Harbor Light users were familiar with the Lservices, and fewer had utilized them.

The reputation of the groups was

high among those who had heard of them.

Again, location out

of the skid row environment as well as recp.ncy of foundation and specificity of screening procedures to eliminate ir.sincerity seems . to limit in part the usage by skid rO," men. Thus, two of the six welfare services available most specifically for alcoholics are under utilized by the clients of Harbor Light . ·he men are more knowledgable and utilize more universally a fourth group of agencies.

These agencies are d irectly on skid ro.' or

within easy . travelling distance of the area, and offer work and spiritual therapy programs.

Bmployed and lower and middle

class clients with families .are not included in their clientele ', 1 Now House began housL~gmen in November, and had no full-time staff, so was not included in ratings in the questionnaire.

-93-

The target population is specifically the skid row alcoholic. Not only is the skid row homeless man eligible for the program, but he is basically the only element of the popuLation to be aigible.

To participate in these services, a man need

only be homeless and profess to be in need of help.

Cooperation

.with the work or spiritual program is required for shelter and services to continue. Not only are the skid row men more familiar with these services. they are also quicker to critici?:e thorn; Wherea:;; the hospitals and half-way houses reGuire little work for their treatment • . the skid row agency requires the man to work to earn his room and board.

Therefore, the man can accuse them of mer-

In agencies such as Exodus

cenary ai0s.

I~ll.

the patients were

responsible for some routine maintenance and their own se1iIn Stella Maris

governance.

the man is not

on~y

Or

the 11en's Social Service Center.

responsible for the maintenance of living

facilities, · but also must ilut in a forty hOUr or longer week in SOme form of "work therapy." of

t~

This work is paid at the hvel

state sheltered workshop scale or lower.

If it is paid

at the shelter ... d workshop scale, then room and board are subtracted from the amount paid.

Men in such programs, including

Harbor Light are lucky to have ten dollars in their pOckets at the end of a work week. There are five agencies which specifically fit this category in Cleveland.

They include: The Salvation Army Menls Social

Service Center, The Volunteers of America, City Mission, Stella Maris, and P.arbor Light. l.

All have some religious orientation, )\

although this feature is strongest at City Mission. ",'

:'

"

As discussed

-94-

earlier, the religious orientation is helpful in operating in this field of failure, as there is an explanation provided for failure in the inherent fallibility of man. The treatment facility blames the man, not the treatment, in failures. Unlike the more sophisticated treatment facilities, there are no monetary costs to the man for participation in the services. Therefore,' ;'1rno1ever, there are limits to the sophistication of ' ,

treatment given the man.

Most of the facilities offer one or more

church serviC68 a week for tho man, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and the work therapy program as their treatment package.

II man who is using tho facility primarily for shelter

does not have to worry sbout groups of meetings devoted to probing his persol1ality and his alcoholic history.

The treatment

at these agencies is often so rudimentary as to be a:most nonexistent.

Many of the , facilities are quitl. frank in admitting that

they provide more shelter than treatment for the man.

One has

gone so far as to provide hbusing for transients five nights "

a month, and a separate residency program, with more extensive counselling.

Other agencies are aware that many men will

only use the program for shelter for two weeks or less.

The

agencies do not actively discourage these users, so long as they participate in the' work phase of the program. Since all the agencies professed to me that they were interested in phS' rehabilitation of alcoholics, I was interested in seeing how the men perce ived the se claims.

,

About the same

percentage of men had used the four agencies (excluding Harbor Light), Between fifty and sixty percent had been at each agency, and another 20-30% was willing to evaluate the agency without having been actually present at it.

While all four

ag~ncies evaluated presented similar pictures of both treatment

and success to me, they ,.ere not so similarly evaluated by the l1lIen.

Volunteers of America, and City !1ission were criticized

by clients because of their insincerity and hypocrisy. Vlhile "no drinking" is the ground rule at all agencies, both '; ," .. " .... Volunteers and the. Mission seemed to allow drinking on the premises. I saw men intoxicated on the grounds and in the doorways of the Volunteer s premises, which underlined the truth of what the men said.

The men frowned upon a program which professes

to help the alcoholic, bat is not herd

en

drinking.

Th"y also

felt that the Volunteers program was mercenary-minded, and that the Mission was hypocritical.

My Jinterview time at Volunteers \

was indeed more business-priented than at othar facilities. Likewise, the interview at the Mission was full of sanctimoaious success stories of'typical' clients who had been salvaged through religion. Yet the presentatiQl.s ·:' tif,q~hl!k, i;;d1rd.l"l:i;s't:iil'at:iOll's , in no way hh'lted i\

at the far-ranging criticisms oitha men they had served. or" the " Bl men who had used Volimteer's services, 97% rated it as average or below. And of those who had not bean there, another 31 cases, 90% rated it

.'lS n""rM~e Ii , ,~ -'

or below in helping

the alCOholic. There was thuzs. ve·.t"y isrea·~ <1greement botween the users and the non-users as to the worth of the services there. The comments that probing elicited about the agency indicated that the drinking on . the premises, and the mercenary natue of the program were at the seat of the clients' dislike. One man, when asked if they allowed drinking at Volunteers. had this to say: It's a hell hole over there. They allow drinking, they right;: upstairs in . the dorms. Bottles are allover. That's a lie that they don't allow drinking. She's got a

d.rinl~

-96-

busine ss to run. She don't care if they drink, as lonlr, as they do a job. They got a q,unch of regulars over there. ~Interview 18) Another commented: If you don't drink '''hen you go ove r the re, you will when you g~t Out--tpey want their men to drink, as long as they make money. (In tervie,~ 14) While the administrator 8o·t Volu."'1teers ,had stated that they allowed a man re-entrance after "little slips", J.. was unprepared for the tales of massive drinking the men returned. lhey were indeed, as th~ administrator ;'le.d said, "a little mOre lenient in this than many organizations. fl

'

l.ikewise unfavorable were the reports on the shelter and treatment offered by the City Mission ani skid row men down on their luck.

pro~ram

to both transients

While the mission felt

t

tla t they "were "fulfilling Cleve land i s Christian re sponsibili ty

of providing a last chance to its share of the

5~

million on

skid.row tOday;" the men felt th£.t it was not much of a chance •

.

City Mission, that'·s . about on the same level as 21st ' and Payne (City Jail). it was dirty and an all-arOUnd hole. 'J.he other folks and the sheets were dirty. When it is freezing outside, and you are broke; though, anything is gOOd that has a roof. (interview 38) Another man explained, It's dirty, and the food is poor, and you have to go through a ,,,hol,,, process to get a bed (meaning church services and delousing) and I might as well sleep under a 'bridge to get peace of mind. (Interview i40) As a final disparaging comment, one man complained, You can hit the lice with a whip there. +t's disastrOUs and the director has a mean, mercenary attitude. (Interview 41) . lhat these comments are not isolated resentmentsls reflecte'd in evaluation figures.

Of the men who had

st~yeq

in the

I

facility. ,

90~· ' felt

that it was average or below in services, Of those

who evaluated it on reputation alone, 89% felt it was average or below.

Further, fully 25% of the men felt the services

there were Very Poor, the lowest rating available. Yet despite this low estimation of the services offered, City Mission was the mOst widely utilized of any of the agencies evaluated.

So even if the quality is low, its completely open

admission, and service of teQPonary and

~ommitment-free

housing

is attractive to the men, and provide' s' . ~ n!'cessary service. ' The other agenci"s utili:"ing "'0::1< therapy and

reli~ioU$

progr&lls, Stella Maris and Men's SOcial Service seem to be b .. ,t rter managed than the above.

Like VOlunteers of America, both ' offer

furniture salvage operations as the bais of their wOrk therapy. The men sleep in dormitory facilities at the centers.

However,

the agencies are much strict.e r in terms of drinking than either Volunteers Or City Mission.

Additionally,

Ste~la

Maris and

Hen's Social Service have a group of regulars :who promote a ·.particular type of· agency community feeling 't hat is appreciated and known by the other men.

Of the men who evaluated Stella

Maris, over 80% said it was above average in services.

While

31 men gave Volunteers a very poor rating, no one gave Stella

11aris that low an evaluation.

Social Service faired less well,

with those using it giving it lower ratings than those who had never used it.

While 71% of the man who evaluated the ser""

vice on reputation alone gave it an above average rating, only 53% of those who had used the service gave it - that high a rating. Host.however, who gave it another rating, gave it an average, rather than poor or very poor. This indicates, perhaps, that , the high national reputation of the Salvation"Army may offset a particular local agenc~s failings with skid row men. Actual

-98-

','..xperience in the setting can ) itno:ck ttlhl! lI1a!t:;ms's .a'own. " Perhaps part of the reason for the Social Service's

~popu­

larity among users may be in its size. While Stella Maris provides housing for about 40-45 men, the Social Service Center carries between 100 and 130 men.

The building is large and institutional

and the directors are far from the mono

While the administrators

at S=ella Maris know most of the cli6nts by their names, this is seldom the case c:: Men's Social Service. Despite the fact that Stella

~~ris

has

~,

evident mercenary

orientation, running a private alcoholic clinic in addition to the salvage

oper~tion

to stay afloat financially, the facility

enjoys a much higher estimation , than the Salvation Arcr.y. 1he mercenary charge was raised frequently against the Army, but not against Stella Maris.

The wages are higher at Stella Maris,

which may partially explain this phenomenon. vice, the

m~n

At Men's Social Ser-

are "aske d to repay what: they go t, ,\ 'and

are then given a IIgratuity, which we ,think of as a gift," for use in the snack bar.

This ranges' from three to twelve dollars a we .. k

depending on the length of a man's stay.

"

nowever, whenever a man

steps ou 'c of line, aven slightly, his gratuity is docked again. At Stella Maris, on the other hand, the men are paid under the sheltered workshOp provisions of the state of Ohio. earning sixtyseven cents an hour for the first one hundred forty hours of work, and then eighty cents an hour, I.hich rises to a dollar an hour.

Additionally, Stella Maris encourages a ,search for

outside employment, whereas Men's Social makes it difficult, if not

i~possible

to make a smooth transition to the outside world.

Time off to find outside employment is virtually unheard of. A man may continue in residence at Stella .'Iaris for a short time after finding outside employment, but such an option is not really avaihble at Men's Social.

As one counselor explained,

"that problem doesn't really arise." (Men's Social Service, Nov. 1972) One of the men commented on the employment pOlicies at Men's Social Service when explai.ning his low estimation of their services, saying, Th>lY have nothing bl-It slave labor out theL'/). They repf'lHle d the fourteenth amendment. 1hat: gratuity is too 10\., and there is no possible way to get off the treadmill. (Int~rvieH 37) The only reason another liked Men's Social was because, "the guys get to steal good clothes off t\1e trucks. "(Interview 39) Most of the COJTlE.'Ients, however, were fairly neutral, or refl"cted liking fOr the place.

One. man preferred it next to

f~rbor

Light,

1 liked it when 1 was there. It's probably the best place in town other than this. There's more activity there. You get lots of work and play; (Interview 43) Interestingly, 'the ·piCture presented of ~"'n's Social virtually mirrors the picture of the Christian Missionaries drawn by Shirley Wiseman, (1970).

Evidentally, the program is much the same across

the cQU."ltry. The work program at Stella Maris and the therapy offered, as we ll as living facilities are comparable. to those at Social S~rvice,

yet the program has a much higher evaluation.

The main

element of the program which received comment from respond:..nts was the unmeasurable thing, the atmpsph"re.

The regular clients

and the general conditions were much better at Stella Maris than at the

ot~er

three services • . •

"A man is trusted there, and· it is a 1Ule place to stay, as they treat you with respect and feed you welL IO/hat

-100-

more could you Wlnt? (Interview; 49) While clients are aware of the mercenary aspects of the operation, they dismiss these aspects with greater charity than they do for the Salvation Army or Volunteers.

As one man put it,

The people that run it are sincere. They are there to make money, but they want to help you on the side. (Interview 78) Perhaps this sincerity is communicated because all of the administrators of Stella Yl8ris are ex-alcoholics. of any of the other facilities. severe abOut drinking.

This is not true

They are also exceptionally

"You have to come in sober, th .. t1s 'foi:

sure, or they would -throw you out on the street, no matter how bad the "'eather was." (Interview 26) These facilities all offer free housing and food to the man, for nOthing more than forty hours of labor a week.

The men know

more about these four groups than sny other facility, ana utilize them widely.

However, ju's t because they utilize an age,n cy, they

do not necessarily develop gratitude towards the agency.

The men

vlho use 't hese agencies are connoisseurs, and very sensitive to the attitudes with which help is given.

They rate these agencies

and these ratings are shared by their peers.

Ratings given

-by users are virtual mirrors for ratings given by non-users, indicating that the reput.s.l10nal network about agencies on skid row is wide and well-established, especially for those agencies where men are both eligible and ;ible to easily reach them.

However ,

the reputational net does not seem to stretch to agencies which are not close to skid row. Both the sophisticated agencies and the half-way hOUses described above are only loosely COVered by the reputational net.

-10:"Th~

sixth element involved in treatment of skid row

alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous .

Almost every agency',

except City Hission, uses ALcoholics AnonYmous programming.

Some,

such as Matt Talbott and Fresh Start, emphasize it more than others such as the Salvation Army, Nonetheless, AA is avery prevalent part of skid

rm~

treatment

p~ograms.

Therefore, I in-

eluded a section on AA evaluation in my questionnaire. As AA people themselves point out, skid row drunks form only three percant of all alCOholics in tb\!l United States.

MoBt:

literature . as mention'e-d;\ previously, demonstrates that alcoholics on skid row are frequently excessive rather than addictive drinkers. Still, AA feels it has a definite place on skid row, and the members provide free services and programming for almost all the agencies on skid rOw.

Only two men in the sample had never

heard of AA, and only one man had it he was unable to evaluate it.

so little information about Almost two-thirds had at least

attendlld meetings, and another twrmty-nine percent claimed that they had at one time been members of AA.

Thus ALCOholics

Anonymous is we il-known to the men of skid

who utilize

rOt~ ,

Harbor Light. Not only is ALCOholics Anonymous well-known, but it is widely respected by the men.

On~y

thirteen of the seventy-seven

who rated the service rated it as below average in services to help the alCOholic. many.

Most of the men agreed that AA helped

However; an interesting phenomenon occured, for

l~hile

the

men formally rated AA as good or excellent, and claimed that it helped many, most of them also claimed that it did not work for them personally.

-102Perhaps foremost in the reasons for M'.s failur .. with th.. se ;

men is the inability of th.. men to identify with the speakers and programs that AA provides.

To b .. come a member of , AA, one "must

devote six months to a year just going to meetings. most important job you have to do.

This is the

Everyone can't make AA, and

most of them don't,"(Interview, Cuyahoga County Welfare Unit,March, ' 73) Few of the men who utilize Harbor Light are stable enough in employ and family situation to devote themselves to such a program. While thore ia a plethora of meetings . at all area, as John

I..ofl~l'I:d

ti[IIOS

~n

the. Clevo .:'"mo

has demar.strated, these meetings are

class stratified; and most of the Harbor Light derelicts would be most uncomfortable

,~alking

into a higher class meeting. (Lof[and,

1970, p. 109) To travel to compatible meetings might be difficult within the context of the skid row man's limited transportation and unstable employment situation.

As one man said about the

AA groups, No, I've never really used their methods for myself. Th"y are different people than me', and I feel they are better than me. The leads (speakers) are boring, and besides, I don't like to be reminded about drinking. (Interview 60) Be side s, wh .. n you have to work at seven A. H., it's tough to stay out all night going to meetings. (Int .. rview 40) The men who lead AA meetings, gen"rally, are capable sp"akers, and therefore better educated at times than the men they speak to.

Often their experiences are not as harrowing as those the

skid row man has been through.

"They don't tell me nothing I don't

know. They can't t .. ll you nothing you haven't done. It's only once in a while you run into a.good one.Ii(Int.. rvi .. w 41) Thus, for the men at Harbor Light, avoidance of AA comes because of the strain hf class and experience differA~ces, as well as an

-103-

inability to make the kind of commitment that AA membership Y~st

requires.

of ~hem are just not willing to listen to

"depressing stories."

They find "It just doesn it help me to

go to those meetings.

They can't tell you anything new. The

only advantages is that from the time you go to the time you get back, you are not in a bar."(Interview 43) There seems to be room on skid row for treat:ment 'Jhich does not push AA as a requirement.

l-Iost of the men who have rejected All agreo

that "theydo gOOd for the ones that be;'ieve in it. "(Interviow 25) The institutional

AA

meeting that the man is forced to attend

makes the men feel that they try to push it as J.! l.t was a religion, and make us attend. If it was voluntary at these places it might be better. (Interview 6.5)· . While

th~re

is no class difference in the institutional meeting,

except that between the lead and th3 group, 't he cover of anonymity which is available at outside All meetings is withdrawn within the institution.

This has the consequence that the freedom

of personal exposure which anonymity provides is withdrawn in the institution, as all the men are known to one anOther. The men at institutional All meetings see each other all day long. at:

Y~n

Harbor Light who had used All previously said that if the men

could attend outside meetings it might be better 'than the institutional and compulsory meetings offered within the setting. !

AA remains the only national organizaticn with a h'i gh rate of successful treatment. in reaching the usage.

alcoho~ic.

No other method has · matched

AA~. s

power

This accounts for its ' widespread

However, it is clear from these findings that simply ;

because All has had a high success rate does not mean that it 1

is the most successful treatment to be used with all skid row men.

-104The men themseves recognize AA as an excellent and sincere organization,

b~t

realize that it cannot work for a man who

either dOe s not want it, or dOes not feel comfortable in its meetings. The meetings or- AA provl.'de only temporary shelter for the skid row man.

~vhile

a middle class or working class man

might return to home and family after a meeting, the skid row «.an finds that lloutside AA you return to the same jungle." (Interview 57)

Pern~ps

the group feeling

th~t

AA promotes

CG~

be used in the skid row setting, but if so, it must be done carefully, s o that its status specificity and middle class I

origins do not color presentations made ,to the men. Presently ,

AA in ll1sitituional settings is not reaching the men of

Harbor Light • .l.t is proper to conclUde tilissurvey of the six tyj!)elS of agency services I·,ith a quick summary of th" I

forp.~oinp;.

.

In demonstrating that as stated in Hypothesis one, agencies limit their client"l" to those they can best serve, a number of formal and informal screening mechanisms '·lere Observed. Une of the most important of the informal screeriing ,," mechanisms is the reputational netl-lork that develops action of the m"n and the agencies.

throu~h

the

int~r­

'lhp. men bAcome awar" of

both the sp.rvices offerp.d and the eligibility

'~ oriteria

anci othp.r

formal factors which might limit their access to these agencies, and this reputational netl,70rk matches men and services together in the absence of any formalized referral service.

whil" this

sort of netl,ork has been suggested in the literature, especially

-:;.05by I·Jiseman (1970),

,nowhere has the congruence be tween thos ..

'-'ho have used agencies, and those ",'ho knov' it only by reputation Op.en pointed out • . This net,.,ork indicates the need for an institution serving this function.

In terms of larger society,

the developmAnt of this nAtwork to serve a need informally where it is not being met by the formal super-structun!l is much like for example the developmAnt of ad-hoc and experimental courses in an educational situation where the established institution is no lnngAr fulfilling the ne"d~ of its clients. ~nother

,.

implication of this reputatipnal network is for

policy as a whole in this , area. Clearly, many of the men could bemit from some of the more sophisticated treatm"nt facilities avail.able for the alCOholic , and the se facilities are Nell respected by the mAn.

HOI"ever, because only the informal

l",eferral ne670rk exists, it tends to have a conservative effect, directing men only tOlo'ard the traditional and convenl'mtly I

lo:ated facilities.

'.Lhis reputational netwOrk speaks dir .. ctly

to the orientation of the skid row subculture.

A social welfare

system aimed at rehabilitating this group would attempt to !

formally c·ompet.. ",iththis reputational network, by making the I .

mas .. sophisticated facilities easily accessible through trans, p,o rtation and encouraging th";ir use. Pres .. ntly, it seems that the sophisticated facilities wouldpr .. fer to avoid heightened J skid row usage. !n addition to the reputational

screenin~

network, the

agencies also have other screening', .. mechanisms, such as the ecological screening mechanism which lorationally puts somA sArvices ,out of the skid rON man ' s reach,; or desir ...

-106";

Economic s('reening sys tems I'rl1ich price the facility out of the skid rov] man's realm, and motivational screening systems Hhich through intervie~dng limit the number of skid row men. 'J.hose organiiations ,.hich claim a high rat ... of success ~1ith alcoholics g enerally have one or more of these formal screening mechanisms (V/hich of course int"luence the mor ... informal ones) operating to limit the number of skid

ro~,

cases they deal l.dth.

Thus, the organizations atte(llpt both formally, and through the aid of the informal rllput .. tiona.l

net:t~ork,

those clients to those ",ho it can best serve.

to limit:

Thes ... oth"'r

organizations are competitors Dor clients ",he·

are served by

Harbor Light, and form a significant element of ,Harbor Light' s . task environment.

acces~ible

By making their services more

to skid rOl" men, they dra'" clients from Harbor Light; by screening skid row men, they may increase their

01Nn

successes

(

v"hile sending the unrehabilitatable to less sophisticated 1

services such as City Mission and the Salvation Army.

,

Barbor Light is also an organization covered by the reputational netVlork, although it l"as not l.nclud"d in this s"ction as obviously all respondents had already chosen it.

Clients

using the reputational network have taken information about the services offered by Harbor Light from that network and decided that it

wou~suit

their needs at a particular moment.

Many of the men using the reputatiana l network are not looking

.

for extensive treatment and commitment to long-term sobriety, , i and the·refore, specifically seek out c lose shelters which require little work for their benefits. organization according

to

Ihey choose a compatible

the reputation of its cliellltell! (for

companionship) and shelter. ·J.he ne:st section deals with those men who have been attracted to Harbor Light.