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    "url_title": "Chicago Brethren Hostel",
    "title_sort": "chicagobrethrenhostel",
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    "modified": "2023-12-14T17:11:00",
    "title": "Chicago Brethren Hostel",
    "body": "<div class=\"mw-parser-output\">\n <p>\n  <br/>\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Resettlement_in_Chicago/\" title=\"Resettlement in Chicago\">\n   Chicago\n  </a>\n  area\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Hostels/\" title=\"Hostels\">\n   hostel\n  </a>\n  for Japanese Americans that may have been the first of the dozens of similar hostels formed mostly by church groups. Opening in early 1943 to house early resettlers to Chicago, the Church of the Brethren closed the hostel a little more than a year later, having housed over 1,000 guests, to focus its efforts on a similar facility in New York City.\n </p>\n <p>\n  The idea for the hostel originated at\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Manzanar/\" title=\"Manzanar\">\n   Manzanar\n  </a>\n  .\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Ralph_Smeltzer/\" title=\"Ralph Smeltzer\">\n   Ralph\n  </a>\n  and\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Mary_Smeltzer/\" title=\"Mary Smeltzer\">\n   Mary Smeltzer\n  </a>\n  were active members of the Church of the Brethren who became school teachers at Manzanar. When schools there were temporarily closed after the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Manzanar_riot/uprising/\" title=\"Manzanar riot/uprising\">\n   riot/uprising\n  </a>\n  of December 1942, the Smeltzers worked in the camp's relocation office where they observed the frustration of inmates and staff alike over the red tape that made leaving the camp extremely difficult despite\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/War_Relocation_Authority/\" title=\"War Relocation Authority\">\n   War Relocation Authority\n  </a>\n  (WRA) encouragement to leave. Their boss, Tom Temple, the head of community services at Manzanar, had toured the Midwest and found that there were many opportunities for Japanese Americans out there, but limited means to connect resettling inmates with those opportunities. As a result, Temple decided to accompany a group of thirteen Nisei to Chicago to help them get settled, but had no place to temporarily house them. Ralph Smeltzer wired the Brethren-run Bethany Seminary in Chicago to see if they would house the group and to his surprise they agreed. The group arrived at Bethany on January 14, 1943. With the encouragement of WRA head\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Dillon_Myer/\" title=\"Dillon Myer\">\n   Dillon Myer\n  </a>\n  , the Brethren Service Committee allocated funds to open a hostel to house additional resettlers. The Smeltzers left Mananar to manage the facility, each taking additional inmates from Manzanar with them when they went to Chicago.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n    [1]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  The Chicago Brethren Hostel officially opened on March 7, 1943, at the Bethany Seminary, located on the near Westside of Chicago, at 3435 West Van Buren Street. Limited by the capacity of the facility, the service committee began looking for a more suitable facility, settling on a former rest home in \"a rather swanky residential district\" located fourteen miles to the northeast, just a block from Lake Michigan. The building included three stories. The first had an office and large living room with a lot of seating, a radio, and a piano; down the hall was a dining room, kitchen, and pantry. The second floor had five bedrooms that were reserved for women and family groups, while a ballroom on the third floor had been converted to a men's dormitory. The basement included laundry and recreation rooms. When the new hostel was opened in September of 1943, its capacity was around 25, but the arrival of additional furniture pushed the capacity up to 35 in subsequent weeks.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n    [2]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  As with other hostels, guests paid a daily rate that included room and board, with meals served communally. Residents were also expected to pitch in with housework. Given its roots at Manzanar, almost a third of hostel guests came from Manzanar as of November 1943. Also not surprisingly, the residents skewed young, the median age being 22.6. Men outnumbered women by a 62% to 38% ratio.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n    [3]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  In keeping with WRA policy, the Smeltzers did their best to discourage\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Nisei/\" title=\"Nisei\">\n   Nisei\n  </a>\n  from socializing with each other, in the hope that this would drive them to socialize more with whites and other non-Japanese Americans. This policy was viewed as draconian by some, especially given that the Robertson Fort, manager of the other Chicago area hostel (run by the American Friends Service Committee) did host social events including regular teas for the residents. Ralph Smeltzer lamented to researcher Charles Kikuchi, \"I think that I have been rather consistent in my approach and I have been called all sorts of names for doing so. I am labeled as a fanatic and mean person who will not allow Niseis to come back to the hostel to look up friends.\" He did later ease the policy of the hostel regarding social events.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n    [4]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <p>\n  After a year, the Brethren Service Committee decided to close the Chicago hostel and to open a similar hostel in New York City, where it perceived the need to be greater. The Chicago Brethren Hostel subsequently closed on April 22, 1944, having served 1,085 resettlers. The Smeltzers went on to New York to manage the new hostel in\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Brooklyn_Hostel/\" title=\"Brooklyn Hostel\">\n   Brooklyn\n  </a>\n  .\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n    [5]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n </p>\n <div id=\"authorByline\">\n  <b>\n   Authored by\n   <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Brian_Niiya/\" title=\"Brian Niiya\">\n    Brian Niiya\n   </a>\n   , Densho\n  </b>\n </div>\n <div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">\n  Niiya, Brian\n </div>\n <div id=\"RelatedArticlesDisplay\">\n  <div class=\"section\" id=\"Related_Articles\">\n   <h2>\n    <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Related_Articles\">\n     Related Articles\n    </span>\n   </h2>\n   <div class=\"section_content\">\n    <p class=\"mw-empty-elt\">\n    </p>\n    <div id=\"RelatedArticlesSectionDisplay\">\n     <div class=\"section\" id=\"General\">\n      <h3>\n       <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"General\">\n        General\n       </span>\n      </h3>\n      <div class=\"section_content\">\n       <p class=\"mw-empty-elt\">\n       </p>\n       <ul>\n        <li>\n         <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Hostels/\" title=\"Hostels\">\n          Hostels\n         </a>\n        </li>\n        <li>\n         <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Resettlement/\" title=\"Resettlement\">\n          Resettlement\n         </a>\n        </li>\n       </ul>\n      </div>\n     </div>\n    </div>\n   </div>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n    Footnotes\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n    <div class=\"mw-references-wrap\">\n     <ol class=\"references\">\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/S._Frank_Miyamoto/\" title=\"S. Frank Miyamoto\">\n         Frank Miyamoto\n        </a>\n        interview with Ralph Smeltzer, April 21, 1944. The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, The Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley [hearafter, JAER], call number BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T1.8403. Accessed on Jan. 29, 2015.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Miyamoto interview with Smeltzer;\n        <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Togo_Tanaka/\" title=\"Togo Tanaka\">\n         Togo Tanaka\n        </a>\n        , \"Assisting Resettlement and Resettler Adjustments,\" chapter III, Jan. 22, 1944, JAER, call no. BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T1.852, accessed on Jan. 29, 2015; quote from\n        <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Charles_Kikuchi/\" title=\"Charles Kikuchi\">\n         Charles Kikuchi\n        </a>\n        diary, Oct. 25, 1943, 3539,  JAER, call no. BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder W 1.80:06**, accessed on Jan. 29, 2015 at\n        <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n\n        </a>\n        . Description of hostel from Kikuchi diary; Frank Miyamoto journal, Nov. 23, 1943, JAER call no. BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T1.8405 (3/7), accessed on Jan. 29, 2015; and Mary Blocher Smeltzer interview by Richard Potashin, segment 11,  July 17, 2008, Densho Digital Repository, accessed on Jan. 12, 2018 at\n        <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n\n        </a>\n        .\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        <i>\n         Manzanar Free Press\n        </i>\n        , Nov. 10 1943, 3.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        In his diary, Charles Kikuchi discusses this issue extensively with Thomas Yatabe and with Ralph Smeltzer himself. See entries for Oct. 9, 14, and 25, 1943. Quote by Smeltzer in Oct. 25 entry, page 3529. For Robinson Fort and the AFSC hostel, see Kikuchi diary, Nov. 1, 1943, 3673.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        <i>\n         Pacific Citizen\n        </i>\n        , Apr. 22, 1944, 3, accessed on Jan. 12, 2018 at\n        <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n\n        </a>\n        .\n       </span>\n      </li>\n     </ol>\n    </div>\n   </div>\n   <!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCached time: 20240418160801\nCache expiry: 86400\nDynamic content: false\nComplications: []\nCPU time usage: 0.016 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.022 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 151/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 1538/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 65/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 6/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nUnstrip recursion depth: 0/20\nUnstrip post‐expand size: 3185/5000000 bytes\nExtLoops count: 0\n-->\n   <!--\nTransclusion expansion time report (%,ms,calls,template)\n100.00%   17.396      1 -total\n 17.82%    3.100      1 Template:Reflist\n 16.35%    2.844      1 Template:RelatedArticles\n  8.28%    1.440      1 Template:AuthorByline\n  8.21%    1.428      1 Template:RelatedArticlesSection\n  7.96%    1.385      1 Template:Published\n-->\n   <!-- Saved in parser cache with key encycmw:pcache:idhash:3317-0!canonical and timestamp 20240418160801 and revision id 35627\n -->\n  </div>\n </div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"toplink\">\n <a href=\"#top\">\n  <i class=\"icon-chevron-up\">\n  </i>\n  Top\n </a>\n</div>",
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