Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
FERA was one of th the The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), was created in 1933, gave millions to states for work relief programs. In a report to Congress in 1936, FERA indicated that while actual physical suffering was prevented, it was never fully possible to achieve living standards of minimum decency for the entire population in need of relief. Among the actions that FDR put in place, Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) program, the first of his major relief operations, provided state assistance for the unemployed and their families. FERA intended to aid the unemployed during the Great Depression, it dispersed relief funds to states so that jobs could be created for those out of work. Led by Harry Hopkins, a former social worker, this agency sent funds to depleting local relief agencies. Within two hours, $5 million were given out. Mr. Hopkins believed that men should be put to work and not be given charity. His program also funded public work programs.
What was the purpose of FERA?
FERA had 3 primary objectives. These were:
- Adequacy of relief measures
- providing work for employable people on the relief rolls
- Diversification of relief programs
"When Roosevelt appointed Hopkins as director of FERA, he called him to his office for a five-minute talk. The president told the Washington newcomer two things: give immediate and adequate relief to the unemployed, and pay no attention to politics or politicians. Hopkins did just that. Thirty minutes later, seated at a makeshift desk in a hallway . he began a program committed to action rather than debate, a program that would eventually put 15 million people to work. Even more important, FERA established the doctrine that adequate public relief was a right that citizens in need could expect to received from their government." (J. Hopkins p. 309)
How was the FERA created?
FERA (Emergency Relief Administration) was created in 1931 by president Herbert Hoover. He used it go give money loans to states that needed them to make relief programs. After Hoovers collapse, F.D.R (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) came to the rescue when he renamed it FERA
Was FERA a success?
Through research, it seems to be that FERA wasn't 100% a success. Changes did happen like Relief allowances per family in Cook County went from $29.15 in December 1932 to $33.11 in June 1934, and to $38.65 in June 1935. While those allowances hardly met most family's needs, it kept many families together when coupled with other programs for clothes, medical services, and CCC employment for young men. After the inauguration of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs in 1935, many families survived until regular employment opportunities became available.
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