New Deal Agency: FERA
Federal Emergency Relief Administration
In the early years of the depression, the responsibility for emergency relief rested on the states and local governments. About 15 million Americans were unemployed many of whom recently lost both their livelihoods and their life savings.
Harry L. Hopkins
FERA also oversaw the existing state relief programs. To encourage a better understanding of relief needs, FERA established minimum national relief standards and clarified information on relief problems, policies, and procedures. By November 1934, FERA had several divisions that all focused on different types of relief. These divisions included Work, Rural Rehabilitation, Research, Statistics and Finance, and Relations with States.
Transient relief bureaus were established in most large cities and alond main travel routes to provide transients with food, shelter, and a job if possible. FERA and the Seatle Salvation Army collaborated to provide homeless men in Seattle with shelter. Due to Seattle being located by the Pacific and Alaska, the transients who visited those shelters came from all over the US and even from foreign nations.
Impact and Effectiveness
Prior to FERA, few efforts were made to institute special projects for women. In October 1933, Hopkins appointed a director for the new Women's Division. The FERA also ordered states to appoint a qualified woman to head a women's division in each state agency. These agencies were to plan special projects that would benefit women. These agencies also ensured that women had equal consideration for work opportunities for which they were qualified.
The Women's Division of the FERA: Ellen S. Woodward
Reaction of American People and the Government
Quotation from June 11, 1934 Press Conference with Harry Hopkins, 4:00 P.M.
Mr. Hopkins:In South Dakota, I would say five thousand. It is fairly simple there because there are about that number of farms which are now owned by the State and in a section where they have had a reasonable rainfall, and which can be had.
Query:Was that land taken over on foreclosure for taxes?
Mr. Hopkins:Yes, and there is land like that in the other areas, though not so much, which can be used. In these cases the families will probably lease for the first year or two, with an option to buy.
Distribution of Clothing
Factory financed by FERA for producing starch from sweet potatoes.
Mattress factory workers
MLA Works Cited Citations
- "America's Great Depression and Roosevelt's New Deal." Omeka RSS. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.
- Deeben, John P. "Correspondence Files of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration." Prologue Magazine. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Fall 2012. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- "Essay: The Federal Emergency Relief Administration." ::: Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) Collection :::. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- "Essay: The Federal Emergency Relief Administration." ::: Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) Collection :::. University of Washington Libraries, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- "Federal Emergency Relief Administration." Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.
- Kennedy, David M., and Lizabeth Cohen. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Print.
- "Women's Work Relief in the Great Depression." Women's Work Relief in the Great Depression. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.