San Francisco Genealogy
City and County Federation of Women's Clubs
San Francisco 1918 - 1920
Report of the Social Service Department
Transcribed by Elaine Sturdevant

Report of the Social Service Department
Mrs. Henry SAHLEIN, Chairman

It is with a sense of hopefulness that I submit this report for the biennial just closing - hopefulness, for the spirit of service is even stronger in the community today than in the dark period of the World's War through which we have passed.

In recapitulation of the events of the past two years that came under the direction of your Department of Social Service, I needs must touch upon that time in order to report that during the month of June, 1918, the two last dances of the long series planned for the entertainment of the enlisted men in the camps in and around this city by our Federation, were given and carried off with the éclat that marked the earlier similar events. One was given under the auspices of the New Era League, the other directed by representatives from all the various memberships in the Federation and known as a Federation affair. How long ago this all seems, owing to the events that have crowded into the interim!

As an outgrowth of the war period has come, we believe, more than the temporary establishment of the hostelry at 2524 Lombard street, known as the New Outside Inn. The membership of the Federation has become familiar with the activities connected with this enterprise through the reports
rendered at the five conventions held since its inception, and so I will merely state for you today, glimpsing conditions, that there are indications that the patronage of the Inn will continue as it is still serving some of the class for who it was first called into existence, namely, the parents, wives, and other relatives of the invalids at the Letterman General Hospital, besides the reconstructional Aides employed there, who have found at the Inn a most delightful home. The place, also, serves as a transient lodging for discharged officers and soldiers, as well as sometimes for entire families of the same while in this city in transit often to or from the Philippines.

It is to be hoped that we will be able to continue this work that has proved so valuable, but the question comes - Will it be possible without a subsidy? From the treasurer's report, you learned that the subsidy ceased with the non-existence of the War Camp Community Service. I reiterate, it is to be hoped that it can continue, that the receipts will be sufficient for its maintenance, to make it the first of a chain of Hostelries or Clubs to be known as the Federation Inns.

You remember that it was voted at a recent convention that the House Committee of the Social Service Department establish a home for employed women and such to be called "Federation Inn." Your Committee has not been inactive in this matter - the city has been well surveyed for suitable quarters; in fact, it has been expected from time to time that these quarters had been found when some unforeseen development terminated in every instance, unfavorably, the plans for the time being.

The establishment of a new Club or Inn where young business women may have a safe, pleasant and inexpensive home is being received with great favor and interest by a large number of representative people as well as the representatives of influential organizations. "Something really worth while," said one who is usually pessimistic over any innovation; "Something progressive and practical" - and that is the prevailing spirit encountered when it has been explained that the idea along which we are working is to conduct (let us make it plural) clubs on a self supporting basis for the permanent accommodation of the wage earning young women of this great city (and it is said that there are
twenty-five thousand not living under the family roof), these young women who must board and who experience difficulty in finding comfortable and congenial places within their means - and for whom we wish to provide such a hostelry that each resident shall find many of the comforts, much of the liberty, as well as the sympathy and inspiration of home life.

The stumbling block has been, generally speaking, the present H. C. L. To be explicit, the maintenance of the houses available would be too great for the members that could be accommodated and would mean that the balance would be listed on the wrong side of the ledger. The price of labor makes prohibitive alterations and additions on some of the fine old houses that would allow of extension and that are offered for rent or for sale - and, consequently, it is with great regret that I find that I am not able to report today on accomplishment in this matter, but it is with satisfaction that I can emphasize that the spirit of co-operation has been aroused and plans are under way to provide for a stock company for this undertaking.

Let us consistently look forward to the fulfillment of this plan. We have the vision, let us hope that the coming year will bring about conditions that Federation Inn will cease to be an idea and become a
reality. It appears in the scheme of things that other matters along the line of social service which have been acted upon by this body has been related more or less to the leading purpose upon which we are concentrating, to wit: the Endorsement of the Consumers' League, which is now operating
one large store in the Mission and another on Russian Hill, and has already proved its raison d'etre. I repeat that this is in line with our primary interest as co-operative buying may be an item in the general economy of the prospective plan for the Federation Inns.

Further, the Salvation Army Campaign was participated in by the Federation owing to the fact that the drive was to raise a sum of money to be devoted to the purpose of erecting a building for housing employed girls. Five teams, therefore, lent themselves sympathetically to this cause and worked diligently, securing three thousand one hundred and seventy-two dollars.

Another matter that was carried through the Social Service Department was the circularizing of all the clubs in the Federation, as well as the clubs throughout the state, through the respective district conventions on the matter of disseminating the fact that the Children's Hospital of San Francisco has provided for a six months course of training for young girls wishing to become nursery maids and that the Chairman of the Social Service Department stood ready to act as a bureau of information
to those wishing to learn particulars. It is to be hoped that young women from all parts of California will become interested and that the school for nursery maids in this Western state will be able to send out the efficiently trained nurse-maid having an equal standard with those who have been graduated from the two large and famous schools in the state of New York.

As service is the key note of the Social Service Department, I have taken a deep interest in this matter and believe that much kindred work might in the future be conveyed through the same channel.

I cannot close without thanking the few faithful delegates who ever responded to my call, in particular Miss Fedelia JEWETT, whose interest during these two years has never lessened. I needs must mention my loyal co-workers of the Outside Inn Committee and with the deepest regret,
touch upon the passing of Mrs. Eugene BRESSE, whose generous spirit will long be remembered not only in the aid she lent on this committee but in the community at large. I wish to thank Mrs. HANSON, who with her many public and private duties, managed to act as secretary and chairman pro tem and who has loaned her office as the general meeting place of this committee; Mrs. MacMASTER, with her ever ready and helpful suggestions;  Miss UNGER, our treasure, whose weekly visits to the Inn helped to keep affairs running smoothly and systematically; Mrs. HERTZ, chairman of the Hostess Committee, a position that has been filled with the necessary tact; Mrs. A. L. WEIL, who has lent much time and good judgment in her capacity of chairman of the Purchasing Committee; and Dr. CASTLE, who, notwithstanding the unusual calls upon her, always arranged to respond to my requests for her aid and advice.

My sincerest wish is that we may continue to see many years of service together.

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Contributed by Elaine Sturdevant