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To the hobos and tramps that infest San Francisco in large numbers throughout the year the earthquake came as a forerunner of a time of plenty. Amid the general destitution which the country at large is doing its utmost to relieve the tramps are passing themselves off as sufferers of the disaster, and in consequence, they are living much better than they usually fare. They do not even have to beg for food; it is given them cheerfully, for rather than let one needy person suffer, the committee in charge of the relief work is willing to take chances of feeding a hundred of the unworthy.

About the water front where men are being impressed to unload trucks they have made themselves scarce, but in the unburned district west of Van Ness they have established rendevous in vacant houses and empty lots. Some of them have managed to secure blankets, which they have used in erecting tents and they spend their time laying up provisions against the time when the stores will begin to charge for them. One of the more notorious members of the fraternity, known on the water front as “Shifty Bill,” expressed himself to the effect that it was better than spending the winter in the County Jail.

An influx of tramps from all parts of the United States may be expected, and it is partly to check this onrush that the lines are being drawn so tightly in regard to entrance to the city.

San Francisco Chronicle
April 26, 1906
Return to the 1906 Earthquake Exhibit.