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Welfare Work in Dayton

This article appeared in the City of Dayton Annual Report of 1941, pages 20-22

Welfare Work in Dayton
by E. V. Stoecklein, Director

     Under welfare work may be included the operation of the City’s park and playground system, the House of Correction, health activities, and many other functions, among which may be mentioned:
Indigent Burials
     The City of Dayton allows for adult indigent burials the sum of $75.00, for which the undertaker is required to furnish a casket, embalming services, hearse, limousine, and clothing if necessary.
     The number of cases cared for during the year was 63. These cases are all investigated before burial is authorized and last year 35 applicants were rejected. The total amount of money spent by the City for this service was $4560.48, of which amount but $285.35 was refunded the City by friends or relatives of the deceased.
Junior Counseling Service
     This service began in 1940, for the purpose of providing counsel to young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 years, and to assist them in obtaining employment.

     A study was made by the Ohio State Employment Service, which supervised the Counseling service of vocational training needs of young people, chiefly of junior and senior high school ages, to find what they are best fitted for and to locate them jobs. This service is now being absorbed by the United States Employment service and the City will discontinue its appropriation at the close of the year.
     Relief activities are carried on by the Division of Public Assistance, which now has been moved into its new quarters at 23 Sears Street.
     At the close of 1940, there were 2,050 relief cases to whom assistance was being given in some way or other, while at the close of 1941 the case load was but 1,112. The total relief cost during the year of 1940 was $1,162,845.82, or an average of $96,903.82 per month. The total relief cost for 1941 was $564,680.63, or an average of $47,056.72 per month. In both instances this included administrative costs.

     A total of $28,605.59 was collected for 100 clients during the year by the insurance bureau of the Division of Public Assistance. Recoveries were made on some policies on which payment had ceased long ago and some of the policies had been lost or forgotten about.

Dayton’s Park System

     All of the city parks, playgrounds and boulevards were well kept, despite the hot, dry weather of the late summer. Workhouse labor should be credited with much of this maintenance. However, the NYA played a noteworthy part in the past year and with its assistance playground slides and bicycle racks were constructed. Various kinds of furniture for office and community centers were built by them. They leant their assistance, too, in the reconstruction of camps at Eastwood, Mad River, and Elmwood Parks.

     The City is indebted to WPA for labor furnished in the remodeling of the June Street play center and the building of a new shelter house at McKinley Park.
     At the Fairview playground, a ball diamond and the grading of the entire area was completed. It required about 2500 yards of soil for the grading of a football field and two tennis courts. Trees were also planted, surrounding the entire area.

     Thousands of people took advantage of the concerts given at the band shell at Island Park, where Don Bassett’s band and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus gave concerts of classical and popular music throughout the summer months. These concerts were sponsored by various industrial and musical organizations.

     Helena Street was extended through Island Park to North Dayton, which required a relocation of the entrance to the trailer camp.

     Golf activities at Hills and Dales, and Madden Parks showed a considerable increase over the preceding year. The number of guests increased at Hills and Dales from 18,334 to 22,030, and the membership from 1,071 to 1,210. Many improvements were also made at this park. The total receipts for 1941 amounted to $32,984.54.

     At Madden Park there were 315 golf memberships issued and 9,234 guests accommodated, with total receipts for the year of $14,479.63. Here, too, many improvements were made. New power mowers were purchased, the use of which enabled us to cut approximately 50 percent more grass than the old equipment. A new shelter house was begun and two new greens completed. The series of tournaments held here were very successful.

     Miami View Golf Course is a nine-hole golf course located on the East River Road with 86 memberships and 531 guests. The total receipts of this course were $922.55.
House of Correction

     A total of 2,930 persons were received at the House of Correction in 1941 – a majority of commitments being from the local Municipal Court. At the close of the year there remained 257 prisoners.

     The institution served to its inmates a total of 282,371 meals. These persons worked 26,514 labor days on the inside of the prison and 20,756 labor days on the outside. In addition, 722 labor days were worked for the Division of Police and 12,175 labor days were worked for the Division of Parks. Also there was a total of 9,349 labor days for female prisoners.

     The chief causes for commitment in their order were for intoxication, petit larcency, reckless driving, loitering, assault and battery, and disorderly conduct. Cash received at the House of Correction on fines and costs paid by prisoners committed there amounted to $12,918.07. The House of Correction also boards prisoners from Montgomery County and ten others counties of the state, as well as from two other cities and one village.

     The total value of vegetables produced at the House of Correction farm and gardens was $4,875.61 and the total food value of feed produced was $4,770.75. During 1941 the City abandoned the piggery located here and now conducts it only on the basis of pork products required for their immediate needs. This work is, of course, taken care of by prisoners at the institution.