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Gazette and Bulletin: January 19, 1909 – Accommodating the Lodgers

Two hundred City Hall lodgers, the high number reached in the month of December, will likely be duplicated by the record of the present month. Each night finds upwards of a dozen or even more lodgers seeking shelter for the night at police headquarters. And the police, for obvious reasons, do not turn them away. The City Hall’s accommodations for lodgers are not of the palatial sort, but such as they are, many a weary wayfarer accepts gratefully, the warmth and shelter, not asking for a bed of down, or in fact, caring for frills of any sort.

While the police as stated, do not turn away those seeking lodging, the second or third visit from the same fellow without a good reason for reappearing is not welcome. A rule of “keep moving” is enforced. The make-up of the numerous parties of lodgers to be found almost every night is hard to classify. Many of them are workmen going from place to place in search of employment, others are the usual run of rovers who have no other home. Some, despite their wandering existence, manage to maintain an appearance of cleanliness and respectability, others make a decidedly sorry appearance.

Frequently the room into which the lodgers is turned is near the boiler room, a good-sized room practically unfurnished, in which the men are sprawled in more or less comfortable positions.