Anthropology, Department of


First Advisor

James A. Gibson

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Grobsmith

Date of this Version


Document Type



A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts

Major: Anthropology

Under the supervision of Professors James A. Gibson and Elizabeth Grobsmith

Lincoln, Nebraska, December 1977


Copyright (c) 1977 Patrick Francis McCarty


Chapter 1: Introduction • Methodology • Significance of the Research

Chapter 2: Traditional Philosophy of a Rescue Mission • A Brief History of People's City Mission • The Physical Setting of People's City Mission • Daily Mission Regimen

Chapter 3: The Social Ills of Transiency • Implementation of the Mission Goals • Mission Counseling Services • Mission Employment Program • The Religious Program

Chapter 4: Transiency as a Way of Life • Main Functions of the Rescue Mission • Choosing the Mission • Alternative Translent Residencies

Chapter 5: The Social Network of the Mission Translent • Resident Social Interaction • Transient Material Exchange, Reciprocity and Group Fellowship • Resident-Staff Interaction

Chapter 6: Conclusions

End Notes


The thesis is organized to provide the reader with background information relating to the history and function of People's City Mission. The traditional evangelical philosophy of the rescue mission is given and the physical setting and daily routine of the Men's Shelter is detailed. The mission program is also outlined to define the type of problems dealt with and the methods used by the rescue mission to solve them. other major portions of the thesis discuss the resident mission transient and the manner in which he utilizes the mission. Local alternatives to the rescue mission available to the tramps are also provided. The final chapters offer a theoretical perspective of the mission social network.