during the colonial era as "sturdy beggars," "the wandering
poor," or as vagrants, the homeless first became manifest in the
late eighteenth century, then escalated considerably in number after 1820,
when industrial development and urbanization began to take place in the
the Elizabethan poor laws that governed colonial New England towns, each
town shouldered responsibility for the care of its own poor" (Rossi
17). Newcomers must request for permission to stay in the town.
Those expected to become town liabilities were often denied of settlement
rights and required to leave town. As a result, a kind of transient poor
a predominantly agricultural society, diminutive dishonor was associated
with being destitute, and the integration of different economic activities
helped immunize most people against the consequences of unemployment and
the 1840s and 1850s, municipalities were reserving places in police stations
for overnight lodging of the penniless, and organized charities began
to fight with the problem of the homeless for the first time.
station "tramp rooms" provided free overnight lodging
for the poor.