Shelter

For shelter, every city has a Salvation Army or Mission Army where transients can sleep overnight. Rules vary but lodging is limited to 1-3 nights and meals to 1-2 per day; there may also be nearly new clothing, everything from socks and shoes to jackets and caps. Ask the other bums how things are done. In smaller towns, hobos look for an unlocked car at night, especially one on a used car lot. In the country, they look for an abandoned building. A bridge or culvert funnels the wind and is unpopular for this reason. One religious hobo carried a bible and said that the house closest to a country church always has a key; he was rarely refused permission to sleep on the floor and use the bathroom; many nights he was fed at the house. In nice weather, however, he usually slept under a tree. Hobos generally carry a little food with them; cornbread is popular. Also, a person can eat for days on a small sack of soda crackers, cheese, and canned sardines from a country store. Many hobos carry a large spoon and sharp knife for eating; cans and wire bales for cooking can be found everywhere. Offering to work for food still gets a meal without the work at many country homes and some small-town restaurants.