The wind ripped through my make shift house and sent chills down my spine. The holes in the ceiling where the rats ate through the wood allowed the rain to cascade down into a puddles that splashed in my face. My name is Vito DiBiagio and this is my life in a shantytown in New York City.

Everyone around this place is calling it a "Hooverville". I don't know why they named it after Mr. President Hoover, maybe he lived in one of these when he was 10 just like me. Huh, I will have to tell my friends about this. Anyways, I consider my home pretty good compared to others' in this town.

My father was a great carpenter before the depression hit, so our house is at least a solid structure for my parents and my 2 younger brothers and I. I heard some people used whatever they could scrap out of junk piles and garbage. I wish they could have what I have.

Ugh, you know what gets me so mad? Its the fact that this place only exists because everyone couldn't afford homes after they lost a job. President Hoover should have done something! Now look where we are. The economy is shot, people are balancing on the fine line between death and mere existence, and kids are being raised in a harsh life.

My family, the DiBiagios, used to be a wealthy middle-class family. I went from a rural kid to a city dwelling rat in essence. My father says there are places like this all across the country in all the big cities. (cough, cough) Ugh, my coughs getting worse. Everyone here has it because we have no medicine. Whatever, its just another problem among with fires, starvation, and death this place has.



hooverville_1.jpg
A shantytown in a garbage dump on 6th Avenue in New York on November 25, 1939





Alright, I have to go to work. Yeah I know what your thinking, a 10 year old working and living in terrible conditions, but this is my life due to the Great Depression. I cant change it so I just have to help my family out and being the oldest means i have to go beg for food, money, clothing, basically anything i can manage. Well, nice talking to you, good-bye.

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Hoooverville_2.jpg
This is a picture of a Hooverville near Portland, Oregon


Textual Works Cited Klor De Alva, Jorge J., Larry S. Kreiger, Louis E. Wilson, and Nancy Woloch. "Hardship and Suffering During the Depression." The Americans. By Gerald A. Danzer. Evansdale, IL.: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. 472-77. Print.