An examination of homeless men, day labor and the University west community

An examination of homeless men, day labor and the University west community

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An examination of homeless men, day labor and the University west community
Brown, Glenn R.,1963-
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Florida
University of South Florida
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Physical Description:
v, 82 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Homeless persons -- Florida -- Tampa ( lcsh )
Day laborers -- Florida -- Tampa ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Applied Anthropology -- Masters -- USF ( FTS )


General Note:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 1998. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 70-77).

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
Universtity of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
025846308 ( ALEPH )
41441405 ( OCLC )
F51-00133 ( USFLDC DOI )
f51.133 ( USFLDC Handle )

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AN EXAMINATION OF HOMELESS MEN DAY LABOR AND THE UNIVERSITY WEST COMMUNITY by GLENN R. BROWN A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requ i rements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Anthropo l ogy Univers i ty of South Florida December 1998 Major Professor : Susan D. Greenbaum Ph.D.


Graduate School Universtiy of South Florida Tampa, Florida CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL Master's Thesis This is to certify that the Master's Thesis of GLENN R BROWN with a major in Applied Anthropology has been approved by the Examining Committee on December 11th 1998 as satisfactory for the thesis requirement for the Master of Arts degree Examining Committee: rylajor Professor: Susan D. Greenbaum Ph. D Member: Lorena Ph. D Alvfn Wolfe, PifD.


Copyright by Glenn R. Brown 1998 All rights reserved


This is dedicated to my loving and supportive wife Eloisa, and my magnificent children Cody and Garrett who have made my life rich in many unexpected ways


Acknowledgments I am unable to enumerate the many people who deserve appreciation for the simple kindnesses and courtesies they extended and so I wish to express a general thank you for that which is often taken for granted I must part i cularly extend my gratitude to Mark Amen for his encouragement and understanding and Robin Jones for her support and inquisitiveness It almost goes without saying but too frequently is never said so I would also like to thank the members of my committee: Susan Greenbaum for her encouraging me to examine the University Community in the first place ; Lorena Madrigal for keeping me moving and sharing her disdain of repetition ; and Alvin Wolfe, for always having his door open and taking the time to listen to whomever walks in.


Table of Contents List of Tables....... ...... ........ .............................. ....... ..................... 11 List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv Chapter One : Introduction and Project Background .... ..... .... .... .. 1 Int r oduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Project Background ... . .... .... ....... . . . .... .... ......... . . .... . ... 2 Chapter Two: The Anthropological Perspective and Literature Review .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. . .. 6 The Secondary Labo r Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Literature Relating to the University Area Community 15 Chapter Three: Methods and Procedures .......... ..... .... ........ ......... 21 Initial Data Collection with Laborers..................................... 24 Organization of Data from Laborers. ............. . . ................ ... 26 Interviews and Observations with Labor Pool Staff... ......... 28 Chapter Four : The Community Setting Residents and Resources 30 Geography ... .............. . .... ......... ... .. .... ... ... .... .... ......... .... 30 Br ief History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Infrastructure . . .. . . . . ... . . ... ... . . .. . .. ... . . . . .. . . . . . . . ... 33 Social Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Problems and Conte x t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Chapter F ive: Findings and Discussion of Labor Poo l s the Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 A General Background of Labor Pools .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . . . .. .. 46 A General History and Discussion of Labor Pools in the Uni versity West Area . .... ................. .............. .... ................ 48 Chapte r Six : Findings and Discussion of Day Laborers ............... 6 1 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 References Cited 70 Appendicies Appendi x A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Appendix B ......... ........... . .... .... ..... .... .... .... .... .... .......... . 80 Appendi x C .................. ........ ................ .... ................... ..... 81


List of Tab l es Table 1 ......... ........ ............ ............. ........... . ..... ...... ................... . 53 II


List of Figures Figure 1 University West Community . .... ........ ... . . ...... ... ... 31 Figure 2, Labor Pool Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 iii


AN EXAMINATION OF HOMELESS MEN, DAY LABOR AND THE UNIVERSITY WEST COMMUNITY by GLENN R. BROWN An Abstract Of a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Anthropology University of South Florida December 1998 Major Professor: Susan D Greenbaum Ph.D. IV


This thesis examines the issues and problems that exist for homeless men in the University West Area community of Hillsborough County Florida a neighborhood where over one quarter of the available housing is vacant (U .S. Census Bureau, 1990). Considerable resources have been committed to the development of this area by the county the state, and a Federal Weed and Seed grant, yet the homeless population has either been overlooked or neglected. This study was designed around four primary concerns ( 1) to identify the homeless population ; (2) to understand their relationship with the community ; (3) to examine the i r means of subsistence in this area; and (4) to examine how labor pools are used as a "link" to "regular" work. The ethnographic techniques of part i cipant observation and interview were used to answer research questions in regard to concerns (1 ) (2) (3), and (4) These questions were, (a) to what extent is the stereotype of bum" valid or invalid; (b) to what extent is this population attached to this community; (c) to what extent do they choose this lifestyle; (d) what is the relationship of day labor agencies to this population and the community. By examining the complex problems and relationships, this thesis attempts to give a voice to a particularly powerless and neglected segment in a developing community. This study could serve as a reference and initial guide in the planning of services in the University West Area community by interested actors such as the Homeless Coalition and the USF Community Initiative Abstract Approved Major Professor: Susan D. Greenbaum, Ph D. Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology Date Approved : __ -r---r---------v


Chapter One: Introduction and Project Background Introduction This thesis e x am i nes the issues facing homeless men in the Uni versity West Area community of Hillsborough County Florida, a neighborhood where over one quarter of the housing is vacant (U. S Bureau of Census 1990) Considerable resources have been committed to the development of this area by the county, the state and a Federal Weed and Seed grant and yet the homeless population has either been overlooked or neglected This thesis challenges the notion of homeless persons in the University West Area as aberrant transients Although this population lives a marginal ex i stence they are a viable part of the community contributing to the local economy and dedicating their labor to public and private projects within the community and surrounding area Their marginality reflects local national and global socioeconomic trends As residents within the community they deserve to be included in the planning and development processes which could facilitate their access to services and help them break out of a cycle of poverty This study was conducted using methods of partic i pant observation and interviews in the University West Area and at the ten labor pools that are in operation in this community 1


Project Background In the spring of 1998 I had an internship with the recently formed Community Initiative in USF's College of Arts and Sciences The initial focus of activities for this program was the University West Area, a low income neighborhood located adjacent to the University of South Florida My thesis research examined issues and problems related to homeless men who reside in and around the University West neighborhood This area is one of the most densely populated areas in Hillsborough County and has one of the highest levels of poverty (US Census Bureau, 1990 ; Gouldman 1994 ; Lavely Blackman and Mann 1995 ; FCD and R 1997 ; Lewis 1997) According to Tim Kelly (1998}, this area has one of the highest concentrations of caseloads in Hillsborough County for Florida's recent welfare reform initiative, Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency Initiative (WAGES)--an initiative targeting people who have been on the welfare roles for more than four years, wh i ch will replace benefits and entitlements with case management to help clients find jobs The University West neighborhood has been the focus of considerable community development activity since the early nineties (Gouldman 1994 ; Lavely Blackman and Mann 1995; Lewis, 1997) and yet the existence of homeless people in the area has been neglected in favor of other priorities, such as crime, and improving the quality of housing (Gouldman 1994; Lavely, Blackman and Mann 1995 ; FCD and R, 1997 ; Lewis, 1997) The omission of homeless persons in development efforts (whether conscious or not) suggests a general consensus on the part of those planning these efforts that by ignoring these people they will go away However the homeless have not gone away and there is nothing to indicate that they will. If comprehensive solutions are to be found there is a need to understand circumstances and the problems in this community 2


As these will be discussed more fully later, the University West Area is replete with low-income housing characterized by apartment complexes of marginal and substandard quality many of which are owed by absentee or corporate landlords (Gouldman 1994 ; Lavely Blackman and Mann, 1995 ; FCD and R 1997 ; Lewis 1997) Four fifths of the population live in rental properties (US Census Bureau 1990) Historically this population has been characterized by the City of Tampa's leaders and residents as a transient population This has been rebuked by research done by Stephen Gouldman (1994) Lavely Blackman and Mann ( 1995) and Harold Lewis ( 1997) who all indicate that resident movement is within the community as people seek more affordable rentals amidst the many competing rental properties Redevelopment efforts are not, at present changing this pattern At this time properties being renovated are rental properties which are being upgraded and owners are raising rents beyond the means of low income persons In tandem with the comple x issue of housing the ma j ority of t he jobs in the area available to residents are low-paying service industry jobs (secondary labor market jobs) many of which provide little opportunity for advancement and few provide benefits such as health care (Lewis, 1997) The level of unemployment is high compared to other areas in Hillsborough County (U.S Census 1990) Many of the problems residents face are consumer debt substance abuse and crime (Lewis 1997) the problems of distressed urban workers (Howell 1972 :2 63-264). Labor pools put between 1000 and 1200 people to work at least si x days per week in the University West Area It is primarily men who work in these day labor agencies and approximately seventy-three percent of them are either homeless or living in a transitory housing situation such as a weekly room or with fr i ends The vast majority around 80 %, of these men reside in the University West Area Community Over ninety percent of the people I interviewed did not 3


receive any form of entitlements or benefits, generally stating that the benefits are more trouble than they are worth Two members of the Homeless Coalition, both with several years of experience working with the local welfare system, stated that if one is male not elderly and not disabled physically or mentally, then he generally is not entitled to benefits and is expected to work whether or not he has any skills (Pietsch and Joyce personal communication 1998) In my thesis I describe who these men are and how they participate and subsist in the community I also examine the operation of labor pools which act as a form of corporate broker for this marginalized group providing subsistence as well as access to "regular'' employment. Prior to the Florida's Labor Pool Act in 1994 which i s a Florida statute which attempts to protect day laborers from abuse some labor pools around the state sought to increase profits by exploiting laborers with practices such as charging them for the use of tools essential to do their work I did D..Q1 find this to be the case in the University West Area community At present their level of exploitation is no worse than that of the "regular" labor market. Labor pools can be viewed as merely a part of the growing service economy which characterizes the post-industrial state of the nation as a whole My goal was not to present any solutions to the problems which exist for day laborers, but rather I sought to contextualize the problems that these men face within the community, with the hope that future planning and development in this area will be better informed and more responsive to their needs. The rest of this chapter outlines my thesis Chapter Two is a literature review It begins with a discussion of the use of ethnography as a tool for capturing information that sheds light not only on the individuals of a population but on the context and circumstances in which they live Ethnographic works which examine homeless persons tramps and people on skid row are reviewed Also addressed is the literature pertaining to labor 4


pools and employment in the secondary sector of the labor market. Labor pools are contextualized as part of the growing service industry economy that characterizes the nation at this time. The chapter concludes with a discuss i on of documents and studies relevant to the University West Area community. Chapter Three outlines my methods and procedures It details my choice of participant observation as a method of study for this area and describes the varying degrees of participation and observation I used This section also details my data collection from both laborers and labor pool agencies Appendices A B and C all pertain to this chapter Chapter Four begins with details of the geography history infrastructure and social characteristics of the University West Area Community It also includes a discussion of problems in the area resources available to residents and methods of coping with those problems that various people who live there have available to them. Chapter Five begins with the general background of day labor agencies A general history of labor pools in the University West Area is then discussed and it examines information gathered about day labor and the labor pools from interviews conducted at these agencies It places day laborers and labor pool agencies in the context of the University West Community Chapter Six, the final chapter is an ethnographic description and discussion of my work with day laborers It provides biographical information and attempts to illustrate their needs from their own perspective It concludes by emphasizing the need to recognize the issues and problems which plague homeless men in the University West Area 5


Chapter Two: The Anthropological Perspective and Literature Review This chapter begins with a brief discussion of the advocacy model of anthropology Literature relating to ethnography as a method used by anthropologists to confront stereotypes and to explore issues of urban poverty is reviewed and literature relating to labor pools is discussed as are qualities of a service industry economy This chapter concludes with a review of documents and literature relevant to the University Area Community Erve Chambers (1985:21) states that, "(a)dvocacy anthropology seeks to redress (the) imbalance in different approaches to problem solving by furthering the perspectives of the less powerful." My approach to this thesis reflects this rationale In examining the complex problems and relationships of homeless and near homeless men, I am trying to give a voice to a particularly powerless and neglected segment in a developing community Michael Agar stated that what he found valuable about using ethnography to study drug users and sellers was the "humanizing of stereotypes"(1980: 1 0) There are a number of stereotypes associated with labor pools and the people who use them Ethnography was therefore the method of study I chose to use The insider's or emic, perspective is essential to gaining an understanding of phenomena in order to be able to present it in a form which is acceptable and intelligible to all interested parties insiders and outsiders alike For example in an attempt to gain some understanding of homeless persons Harry Murray ( 1984) used the method of participant observer at a homeless shelter He discovered that due to the struggle for daily necessities, people who lived on the 6


street rarely used long term linear planning for events in their lives Instead he found that the lives of people on the streets were organized around the daily cycles of institutions such as shelters and soup kitchens as well as monthly cycles, such as dates for receiving welfare checks. He associates these cycles with being important "for the goal of survival," whereas linear time is used for planning events that are for more than mere survival (160) In examining labor pools I found it important to keep in mind that they are not isolates but are a part of the University West Area community and the City of Tampa Eames and Goode suggest (1977 : 243) that a holistic study of a "micro unit" requires that "the whole city systematically (be) used as context (1977 : 243) This is relevant to a problem solving situation, as one of the first steps in solving any problem is identifying the problem or problems This is what this project sets out to accomplish, namely the identification of the problems faced by homeless men in the University West Area Community using labor pools to gain access to a specific segment of the population as well as a means of acquiring knowledge about their subsistence This examination is specific to this area and it may or may not be representative of the situation of homeless men elsewhere. As Arensberg pointed out in 1961, there are anomalies in all communities, as communities like individuals vary in regard to territory cohesiveness, history and character, however, (a) community chosen for study as a sample or a field of a societal problem need not reflect with complete fidelity the proportion of the classes in the over-all society ... as its members have relations with the greater whole which are in themselves revealing of the greater social context(1961 :257) In short ethnography works as a tool which illuminates the humanity of a group or population as well as illustrates the broader social context in which this group or population lives. 7


Howell's work, subtitled Portra i ts of Blue Collar Families (1973) focuses on the working poor individuals who are similar to men in this study Howell found seven general characteristics in the lives of the "hard living" that stand out from the lives of "settled families" (1973 : 263): 1) heavy drinking 2) marital instability 3) toughness an abundance of profanity tough behavior and frequent discussions of violence 4) political alienation 5) rootlessness 6) present time orientation surviving from day to day with little thought about the future 7) a strong sense of individualism meaning they described themselves as loners, enjoyed working alone, and were rarely active in community groups Howell does not state that these are domains exclusive to "hard living but that these domains are more pronounced among the hard living Elliot Liebow in Tally s Corner (1967), examines the lives of African American men who socialize on a particular street corner in Washington D C . He documents the difficulties these men e x perience in their lives due to the economic instability associated with intermittent employment in low paying labor intensive jobs and long periods of unemployment, and how this can affect int i macy and geographic mobility The relevance to this work is clear as day labor is low paying labor intensive transitory wor k very similar to what the men were doing in 1967 James Spradley's work subtitled An Ethnography of Urban Nomads(19 70), examines the culture of "tramps" in Seattle. Specifically he e x amined the dynamic between alcoholism and systemic forces such as being homeless and getting arrested for vagrancy as a result and illustrated how th i s contributes to perpetuating the culture of tramps in particular the constant disruption to an i ndividual's attempts to establish socially acceptable rout i nes Spradley s work is relevant i n that the men who work i n the labor pools have characteristics sim i lar to those men he referred to as "working stiffs These were 8


transient men who worked for their subsistence Working stiffs share traits that also describe many members of University West Area labor pools. A large number are either homeless, or highly transient in residence They are frequently arrested on minor charges relating to vagrancy and drunkeness, and have a reputation for consuming a lot of alcohol. Spradley ( 1970) indicated in his work that the persistent disruption to the lives of "tramps" tended to orient them to a day-to day time frame for life's activities As mentioned Harry Murray (1984) also describes a pattern of present-time orientation in the lives of homeless people Homeless, however, does not necessarily mean unable to work, or not working Singer (1985) examined the social networks of skid row men and in his interviews found the majority had been blue collar labor or construction workers who indicated they had grown up in the middle class (1985 : 138). In their present circumstances, they commonly used day labor as a source of income. A day's work for a day's pay certainly conforms to the concept of a present-time orientation Singer's study indicated that the majority of the men reported that they maintained contact with selected usually female, family members (1985: 138) and that although they had acquaintances with whom they would drink, they did not consider them friends, would not introduce them to family members and feared being robbed by them (1985: 138) Although Singer does not make this point, it is not unreasonable to describe these men as "loners," particularly if one considers trust to be an important variable in a social relationship If a man must consistently be concerned that the other people he is with are going to steal from him or otherwise take advantage of him, he is in a nonsupportive social environment. For all intents and purposes he is alone. Davidson and Krackhardt (1977) studied work behavior of unemployed persons participating in a job training program This study challenged the 9


concept of "the culture of poverty Davidson and Krackhardt (1977:304) summarize the "culture of poverty" as a concept attributed to Oscar Lewis (1966:xlv), contending that impoverished people have patterns of behavior which they pass on to their children thereby perpetuating poverty. Davidson and Krackhardt examine participants in the program and the program and program staff. In so doing, Davidson and Krackhardt illustrate how systemic issues such as staff motivation, and efforts to train participants for work that is beyond secondary labor, can have a profound influence on peop le. This study found that by providing attention to an individual's life circumstances and providing motivational factors ( such as the ability to move up in the hierarchy of the workplace and getting rewarded for accomplishments) people who were previously considered to have poor work habits (such as not showing up tardiness not completing tasks and insubordination) and therefore marginally employable, changed and became productive workers In this particular case, the job training program was reorganized to provide training beyond the level of secondary labor and hired motivated staff willing to take time with clients (the "hard-core" unemployed) and listen to their issues After this change the program had considerable success getting "hard-core" people into jobs as well as increasing job retention. There are anecdotal references to labor pools in anthropological and sociological works as a source of income for homeless and "skid-row" persons (Valentine, 1978: 19; Murray, 1985 : 157; Singer 1985 : 138 ; Snow, 1993 ; Wills, 1998 : 14 ) but there has been little to no discussion of the role or function that labor pools serve in a community One clear function, as evidenced by the referenced works labor pools serve as an income resource to a population with restricted access to resources According to a survey conducted by the Jacksonville Homeless Coalition during a recent census approximately 73 10


percent of the homeless persons i nterviewed used labo r pools as a sour c e of income (Wi lls et. al. 1998) These businesses prov i de a space in which d i senfranchised persons can ga i n access to employment (Lenz 1996 : 5) In this way they work as a form of "broker'' to access employment. Eames and Goode point out that social networks are important for having access to the d i stribution of r esources in a community They found that a community lacking in influentials in the broader context of the city requires a network of brokers for survival under conditions of great i ncome insecur i ty and i nstabil i ty" (1977 : 131 ) An influential as Eames and Goode point out . is an ind i vidua l who by virtue of h i s pos i tion in some strateg i c i nst i tution in the social structure can use the powe r of his pos i t i on to d i rectly he l p others ," (1977 : 137) A "broker'' is a person with access to influentials ... a mediator' (1977 : 137) To illustrate this they refer to a study by Rubinstein (1975) wherein he examined the flow of goods and services among the urban poor in Mexico City He found that reciprocity is an adaptive response to the cultural and environmental milieu ," and that access to goods and serv i ces affects the strength or frequency of res i denti al and kinsh i p t i es (19 7 5 : 260) In the case of homeless persons however the i r soc i al networ k s tend to be smaller than those of people who are not homeless (Si nger 1985 ; Wolfe 1997) and k i n do not tend to be in the area or i f they are they are not i n a position to be of much assistance themselves (Timmer, Eitzen Talley 1994) One does not however need to know anyone to get work through a labor pool. Labor pools by their own report will put anyone to work who is of legal working age and not intoxicated or belligerent. If a laborer is able to get on a regular ticket he or she may be offered a fullt ime job w i th the company that heretofore had been contract i ng out his or her serv i ces 11


The Secondary Labor Market As previously noted, the secondary labor market is characteristically comprised of jobs that require few skills, are low-paying, provide few benefits and little opportunity for mobility in the work environment. The primary labor market is compr i sed of jobs conside red skilled with higher pay than secondary labor jobs having benefits and providing workers with an opportunity for upward mobility It is important to note that labor pools are not simply a local cottage industry limited to the margins of society but a s i gnificant business service tied to changes in the post-industrial economy on a national and even international level. In a discussion of the rise of the secondary labor market in relation to the service sector economy Enzo Mingione (1995 : 197) reviews social and employment changes in urban areas Mingione discusses the growing service sector economy which has changed circumstances from previous decades in two ways : . declining manufacturing employment in medium and large concerns, and increasing diversification of service jobs The major consequences include a direct loss of jobs a considerable increase in female employment (particularly among married women) increased instability and heterogeneity of working itineraries decreased full-time employment for young people and females, and increased numbers of individuals in precarious and low-paid employment."(1995:201) MacDonald and Sirianni (1996 : 11) come to a similar conclusion and point out that service industries ... tend to produce two kinds of jobs : large numbers of low-skill, low-paying jobs and a smaller number of high-skill, high-income jobs with very few jobs that could be classified in the middle. They use the example of a MacDonalds fast-food where the bulk of the workforce is secondary labor part-time with no specialized skills and therefore considered expendable, while maintaining a small core of full-time more highly paid managers, primary labor 12


The overall consequences of these trends as Mingione sees it, are that people entering the job market have primarily "low quality"(1995 : 202) jobs that offer no means of escaping the problems of underemployment, and that these jobs are often provisional and in this way degrading leaving a person at risk to remain on the margins of employment. Both these trends, as he frames them, contribute to changes in local communities "The urban and suburban housing stock are increasingly characterized by schizophrenic tendenc i es : growing numbers of homeless alongside large numbers of empty apartments in nearby gentrified areas "(Mingione, 1995 : 196) As this paper will illustrate these words describe the University West Area community There has been a steady increase in service industry employment since 1990 (Census Bureau, 1995B) Florida Labor Abstracts indicate that since 1995, service related industries have been the fastest growing employment opportun i ties in Florida These same data reflect that the Tampa Bay area is no exception to this trend, with the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area adding the most service jobs in 1995 (Florida Department of Labor, LMI, 1995 ; 1997) The vast majority of jobs in the University West Community are secondary sector jobs--such as retail sales, fast food hospitality, clerical janitorial, and work in temporary positions and labor pools. These jobs generally require few skills and minimal specialization They are positions which are low paying, offer little opportunity for advancement and few or no benefits Lewis (1997) points out that the local residents 23 percent of which does not have a high school education or its equivalent (US Census Bureau 1990), are competing for these secondary sector jobs with college students who attend the University of South Florida (USF) The contingency labor force has been on the rise since the 1980s MacDonald and Sirianni (1996: 13) report that contingency labor has tripled over 13


the l ast decade. It is estimated to comprise 20 to 25 percent of the entire workforce (Lantos et. al. 1988 ; Aley 1995 ; Kueter, 1997) Part-time and contingency work give a greater flexibility i n working hou r s to employees which may be desirable for various reasons ranging from childcare options work-study, transition to retirement or an increased ability to schedule one's own time off (Lantos et. al., 1988; Kueter 1997) However a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( 1995) reports that 60 percent of the contingency workforce would prefer to have full-time employment. This same report also shows a rise in the number of professionals such as doctors and lawye rs, adding their numbers to the contingency labor force The business community refers to this wo r kforce by various terms includ i ng contingent peripheral part-time, contract labor, leased labor marginal just in-time disposable or throwaway (Lantos et. al., 1988 ; Lief 1998) Contingency labor reduces overhead by alleviating the business of any financial responsibility toward such employees. Contingency workers are the employees of a staffing agency For example a contractor needing laborers to help with clean i ng a construction site can pay a flat fee to a day labor agency to handle staffing The day labor agency will prov i de laborers and handle issues such as workman's compensation taxes background checks and drug screening of the laborers saving the contractor the time and expense. This arrangement also eli minate recruiting costs such as advertising and employment screening A contingent wo r kforce is a way for business to avoid the difficulties of downsizing during lean periods as the business simply orders fewer contingency laborers in lieu of laying off full-time staff (MacDonald and Sirianni 1996: 13) A recent study by Br i an Uzzi and Zoe Barsness (1998 : 998) suggests that this fle xi bility does not come without costs however as their data i ndicated tha t bus i nesses that 14


inGreased their use of contingency labor had a positive correlation with increased managerial expenses. As previously stated a positive aspect of contingency labor for employees is that it allows flexibility in an individual's time. On the negative side it has been viewed ... as exploitation which deprives workers of benefits security, upward mobility or union affiliation," (Lantos, et. al., 1988) The potential for the abuse of contingency labor has been taken seriously by legislative authorities and section 448 20 of the Florida statutes is titled "The Labor Pool Act clearly describing minimal standards to which labor pools must conform (Florida Statutes : 1995 : 448 20) Literature Relating to the University Area Community Studies of social networks have revealed that relationships of support not only among kin, but among people of varied proximity, ranging from face block neighbors to coworkers to friends of fr i ends influence the character of a community such as neighborliness, or having a strong criminal element (Granovetter, 1973; Greenbaum 1982; Greenbaum and Greenbaum, 1985 ; Bernard Killworth Evans and McCarty, 1988; Wellman 1988; Killworth et. al. 1990 ; Walker Wasserman and Wellman 1993 ; Wellman 1996). Such social structural conditions also impact the sustainablity of a community such as being able to form coalitions to promote development or prevent bisection by a highway (Granovetter 1973 ; Greenbaum 1982 ; Greenbaum and Greenbaum, 1985; Bernard Killworth Evans and McCarty, 1988; Wellman 1988; Killworth, et. al., 1990 ; Walker Wasserman and Wellman 1993 ; Wellman, 1996). There is a civic association in the University West Area that is concerned with the development of this locale. The civic association however is comprised primarily of property 15


owners and representatives thereof (Gouldman 1994; Greenbaum, 1997b) while approximately 87 percent of the community is comprised of renters (US Census Bureau 1990) However well i ntended the members of the civic association may be the present coalition has had trouble organizing community initiat i ves at a grassroots level (Gouldman 1994). One reason for this may be that there are a lack of renters on the board hence a lack of proximity to the majority of the population's concerns The importance of a community's ties to influentials and developers' ties to a community is supported by ideas such as Granovetter's strength of weak ties hypothesis(1973) and studies such as Greenbaum's "Bridging Ties" (1982) In Granovetter's revisiting of Gan's account of the destruction of a ne i ghborhood in the west end of Boston (1973 : 1373), he asserts that it was in part due to factionalism among the community's social networks that created a lack of access to the polit i cal influentials of Boston, and therefore the neighborhood was not properly represented before the people planning development of the area Greenbaum (1982) did not find evidence of factionalism but sim i larly found a lack of access to decision makers to be a contributing factor in the bisection of another ethnic neighborhood by a highway The ethnic identity of the neighborhood was however, preserved in this case as residents' were able to rely on the i r effective networks for help in relocating In both cases, the importance of brokers can not be overstated as the lack of connection to influential officials had devastating consequences for both ne i ghborhoods In th i s light brokers serve an important function in providing links outside of a community to resources in the larger urban environment. Unlike these two examples the University Area Community appears to have influentials (property owners) concerned with the development process The difficulty i n this case however is that these influentials do not appear to have strong links to the majority of the population 16


and hence they find themselves lacking community participation This is a dynamic relevant to this project to the extent that it illustrates how far homeless men, who are not even renters in the community are removed from the development process "Never obvious and seldom discussed in Community Development literature is the question of whose fe l t needs are involved if those supposedly felt' by the subjects need developers to help make them felt." (Charles J Erasmus, 1968 : 65). Gouldman discusses his experience with the Hillsborough Planning Commission regarding the organization of a study report about the future development of the University Area (Master's thesis 1994) Using information from Hillsborough County's Planning and Development Department the Sheriffs Office, USF's School of Architecture, and census data he thoroughly describes the geographic and social characteristics of the area He reviews anthropological literature relevant to citizen participat i on particularly the work of Selznic ( 1966) regarding the cooptation of citizen participants and the sharing of responsibility but not power (Gouldman 1994 :88-91 ) Gould man noted very little input on the part of residents in the planning process, citing the interaction of a USF Area Task Force comprised of community leaders and various County staff organized by Gouldman with the direction and approval of Planning Department staff (1994:101) He states, "As the project progressed it became increasingly apparent that my acquired knowledge and skills would remain untapped as would those of area residents (1994 : 1 00). Harold Lewis' dissertation written about the USF area examined the issue of the high cri me rate (Lewis 1997). He used the method of participant observation He accomplished this by living i n the area interviewing residents and creating a report for the area Civ ic Association Lewis posits strain" as a 17


plausible explanation for the high crime rate in the area (1997:5). It is not clear however, whether he had any actual conversations with convicted criminals, or attempted to learn about the social stresses of convicts What is more relevant here is that he supported his argument by examining the employment market and noted that the predominant opportunities are low paying service industry jobs that promise little in regard to future opportunity and personal development (1997 : 41 ) In tandem with this Lewis also found many residents particularly males, to be underemployed, or unemployed characterizing a downward mobility in th i s area(1997:41 ) A thorough examination of the infrastructure of the University Area was published in a report by the Florida Center for Community Design and Research for Hillsborough County (1998). The execut i ve summary of the report emphasizes that the county must make a concerted effort to coordinate and update zoning in order for serious reinvestment in infrastructure and deteriorating housing properties to occur. Also emphasized is the need for input from residents and property owners in order for this planning to occur appropriately (1998 : 2-4) Other useful documents include reports generated in relation to the Federal Weed and Seed grant, such as the "Master Plan for Continuing the Effort to Make the University of South Florida a Long Term Healthy Community" (1996), the Institute for At-Risk Infants, Children, & Youth and their Families' "University West -USF Area, A Demographic and Socioeconomic Profile" (Lavely Blackman and Mann (1995), and the Arts Culture and Recreat i on Committee s "Master Plan Report" (1997) The "Master Plan" (1996) reiterates the lack of planning in the zoning and development of the Un i versity Area, in conjunction with the histor i cally sign ifi cant presence of a student population of apartment dwellers This document also attests to the lack of resident involvement and calls for more aggressive efforts 18


to involve community members. The suggested method for remedying this is organizing apartment complexes crime watches drug marches and clean-up campaigns (1996 : 34) The document also calls for a survey of area businesses and recommends the creation of a branch of the Chamber of Commerce and aggressive efforts on the part of the "Business and Job Committee" to expand its activity and work to encourage job growth in the area (1996 : 35) A one-stop-job shop" is planned for the area as organized by USF's Florida Community Partnership Center but there is not a set date for this program at this time as there i s not yet a facility to house it. The document prepared by Lavely Blackman and Mann (1995) is an e x cellent summary of US Census and county demographic data and includes results from surveys by the USF Area Community Civic Association (USFACCA) and USF's Florida Community Opportunity Partnership Center (FCOPC). The census data demonstrate not only the population growth of the area but the changing demographics ranging from decreasing median income and l evel of educat ion relative to the rest of Hillsborough County, to increasing levels of unemployment and poverty in the area Survey information attests to resident concerns about drugs in the area as well as the lack of bicycle lanes and the danger to children of fast moving traffic The report compiled by the Civic Association's Arts Culture and Recreation Committee (1997) details a r ange of activ i ties and the varying degrees of success those activities have had i n the community It also is a source of contacts for people who have an interest in the development of the University Area This committee was formed in 1995 in affiliation with the Weed and Seed grant and consisted of various USF faculty and students county officials from the Weed and Seed office the county Parks and Recreat ion department the county Sheriffs Office local service providers such as the Boy's and Girl's Club of 19


Tampa Bay the YMCA, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) 4-H Club members of the Civic Association and concerned residents It reported that this committee meeting monthly to date has had a consistent attendance of twenty one persons It has been instrumental in establishing an after-school program in the University Area Park on 22nd Street and helped to p i lot programs such as the Interact Youth Arts Coalition and the USF College of Fine Arts I Boys and Girls Club I AmeriCorps Project. It is presently identifying curricula to be used in the recreation center being built at the University Area Park They have held a number of public meetings on weekends and in the evenings to encourage res i dent attendance and participation This chapter reviewed studies pertaining to poverty and homeless men Contingency labor was explained and studies relating the rise of contingency labor to the national rise in the service sector economy were discussed The relevance of this trend to the University West Area was established and the activities concerning the development of this community were introduced such as the attempt to reduce crime by increasing police activity ; developing the infrastructure of the commun i ty ; and developing a "one-stop-job-shop Absent from these documents however is any discuss ion of a number of issues pertinent to the lives of residents of this community such as the creation of quality, low-income housing ; support for services relating to health, mental health or substance abuse ; or homelessness As these are issues related to problems faced by people living in poverty their absence in development efforts reflects the dislocation of those planning the efforts from the residents in the community 2 0


Chapter Three: Methods and Procedures The University West Area was chosen for this project because it is an urban with many problems such as poverty and crime The people and agencies that involve themselves in addressing those problems welcome assistance from anyone willing to try to help Chambers asserts that ... the work of applied anthropologists regularly involves efforts to mediate claims upon a society's resources or to reconcile the different cultural processes which influence the ways in which people express and attempt to realize what they value."(1989 : 11) Working with the USF Community Init i ative has offered me an opportunity to practice this assertion in regard to address i ng problems that are literally right at home confronting this neighborhood everyday, from an ernie and holistic or anthropological perspective The ernie pe r spective or understanding the problem from the viewpoint of those experiencing the problem, is essential to the resolution of those problems Holism is important as problems are rarely one-sided Other disciplines professions or participating parties are useful for fleshing out other perspectives or generating alternate perceptions of a problem For example Gouldman ( 1994), attempted to bring the residents' views and e x periences of problems in this community to the attention of planners. He also examined info r mation from the Sheriffs Office Census Bureau data reports from the USF School of Architecture and the USF Area Task Force (1994 : 101 ). Had planners been w i lling to ser i ously consider his efforts the relat i onships among the various perceptions of the problems could have been defined and efforts towards 21


solutions to those problems, from the neighborhood to the county level could have been pursued (Gouldman 1994 :101 ) I strove to achieve an ernie and holistic perspective on the University West Community labor pools and those who work in them in two fundamental ways First as a participant in a rapid assessment of resources done by the University of South Florida's anthropological methods field school in 1997 (Greenbaum 1997b), and secondly during my internship as a participant observer in a variety of activities in the area Although I had lived on the edge of and used the services within the University West Area for two years I never really paid much attention to it until participating in "a rapid assessment" summer field school in the area During that time we reviewed literature relating to the area, conducted windshield surveys interviewed key informants in the community and participated as volunteers in community projects. Dr. Greenbaum clearly informed us that the information gathered during the field school would be used for the edification of others interested in the development of the University West Area as well as a possible publication by her crediting our efforts During this time I began observing the meetings of the Weed and Seed, Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee. At these meetings I was became more intimately involved with issues of infrastructure such as building a new recreation center as well as complex social issues such as the perception of county officials that it is difficult to have resident participation in program planning I also became acquainted with some of the part i es expressing interest in the development of the University West Area, such as the Hillsborough County officials USF representatives a number of residents, and a state legislator Dr. Greenbaum allowed me to review and use material collected by the other students in this field school. Although not all of the material is directly relevant to this work, it helped provide a broad perspective of the 22


complex events taking place in relation to the development of this area. Students interviewed informants on issues ranging from education childcare, crime and the activity of churches, to transportation and access to services such as health care and welfare benefits After the field school, I continued my activities in the area I observed and participated in the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee. I did my internship with the USF Community Initiative, an organization of departmental chairs from the College of Arts and Sciences interested in expanding the University's public mission by contributing intellectual capital toward so l ving urban problems I helped to secure funding for an after school educational program held at the University Area Park which attempts to develop an awareness of community in "at-risk" youth, using an arts curriculum. I also developed a relationship with a local pastor attempting to establish an outreach to provide food and clothing to impoverished people in the University West Area at the apartment complex once known as Fletcher Woods The pastor invited me to numerous planning meetings where I met members of her congregation and where neighborhood issues were discussed. Throughout my various activities in the community I have taken jottings and notes of observations and conversations My initial research into day labor agencies in the area began as an ethnographic project I did for a methods course in 1998 It was at this time I did the bulk of my i nterviews with day laborers (although over time, separate from the methods project I informally interviewed others) The initial site I chose for these interviews was simply the first labor pool I spotted It was in a small strip mall on Nebraska Avenue. I introduced myself directly to the manager and received permission to speak to laborers at his establishment. Any names used in the following text, unless otherwise specified are pseudonyms to protect the anonymity of interviewees. 23


As a way to gain their assistance and learn more about their lives, 1 chose to provide laborers with transportation to work sites I did this rather than sign up as a day laborer myself, for two reasons First I did not want to deprive anyone who may need a day's pay more than myself from the opportunity to obtain it. Second simply by signing up as a day laborer does not necessarily mean I would spend the day speaking with day laborers but more likely would spend the day working hard cleaning up a construction site and speaking with no one. My interest was in the experience background and perceptions of others who are presently making a living working as day laborers It was not my objective to have the experience of doing day labor I have worked for a contractor in the past as a laborer and am fully aware of the rigors of the work. I also have worked as a leased employee when I worked as a mental health technician at a now defunct psychiatric hospital that was located in this community I was therefore not unfamiliar with issues that the laborers brought up in conversation and was somewhat familiar with the insecurities of temporary labor Without exception, when speaking with laborers or labor pool staff, I explained my project and informed them that I would be using the information in papers to complete my school work as a graduate student. I rece i ved verbal consent in all cases. I was able to tape three of the interviews, and I did obtain written consent as well as verbal before taping Initial Data Collection with Laborers I dressed as a laborer m i ght dress donning denim pants, steel toed work boots t-shirt flannel shirt, and jacket (the weather was cool). My rationale was that otherwise I would stand out in the waiting area as I furiously took notes, and I did not wish to further alienate people by manner of dress The clothing, being 24


comfortable and appropriate to wear allowed me to sit in the lobby and blend in better while observing. I did not have a target number of interviews or hours of observation. In fact I have since informally interviewed and had conversations with at least ten more laborers and at least s i xteen hours more observation of the primary site and the other sites in the University West Area. Originally I spent five days (a Friday Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) at one site, totaling fifteen hours of related observat i on I have spent approximately four hours driving laborers to work sites. I did twenty two interviews with day laborers dur ing the five days four of which were semistructured five unstructured, and thirteen informal (Bernard 1995 : 208-236) In regard to the semi-structured interviews three laborers allowed me to tape the interviews; one did not but agreed to my taking notes had ten basic questions (Appendix B) that were unobtrusive enough that it was almost easier to ask them in the course of a natural conversation than in an interv i ew. These questions addressed the choice of day labor as an occupation work history educational interests and living accommodations. As noted above I have since had ten more unstructured and informal interviews with laborers six of which were at the ori ginal site and these are included in the thesis data. The other interviews were at three separate locations and occurred later in the day than the original twenty-two interviews The bulk of observation of day laborers occurred during the original fifteen hours at the original site However I conducted observations at all sites, which included at least one interaction between day laborers and agency staff and examination of the general physical layouts of each facility noting use of space to limit or access staff, paint seating whether or not there was air conditioning windows toilet facilities access to amenities such as coffee or snacks wall coverings and general cleanliness I also took note of the general public spaces in front of the 25


buildings, noticing features such as levels of debris (which generally were consistent with other nearby business establishments). Organization of the Data from Laborers Three basic research questions none of which could be put in exclusive categories, underpinned what I sought from the data First I wanted to confirm or invalidate the stereotype of day laborers as "bums I believed that this could be gleaned from the interviews and observations conducted in the workplace Second I was interested their level of attachment to the University West Community and sought to discover where and how they lived in the community Lastly I sought information regarding the degree to which day laborers chose to live their lifestyle Data observations and questions were organized in a variation of the categories of Spradley's descriptive question matri x (1980 : 8 283) This was done to identify patterns of behavior within and specific to the labor pool environment. organized information into two fields, which I labeled "environmental," and "cultural knowledge The environmental field included categories of space t ime actor and feeling Within the category of "space" were observations of the physical environment, including pro x emic observations such as how people were seated while waiting for a ticket. Time" pertains not only to the hour of the day or day of the week but also to the duration of activit i es and interact i ons such as how long a laborer waits fo r a ticket. "Actor" was included as an environmental category, as an actor takes physical space and can modify the env i ronment both physically and socially For example the arrival of a labore r with a vehicle can fill or empty the lobby with other laborers An actor who is trusted by management staff may not only clean the area and move objects around but may be 26


approached by other laborers to intercede on their behalf in an attempt to renegotiate a ticket. "Feeling" was a more difficult category as a group of individuals may all feel differently about any incident at any moment in time However, in cases where feelings were not explicitly stated such as "I'm tired ," generalizations were drawn from behaviors generally accepted in cognitive behavioral therapy to be consistent with emotions (Naster, et. al. 1988) such as anger being associated with a raised voice and pronounced physical gestures "Cultural knowledge" was subdivided into two areas: individual, and relating to artifacts. Individual cultural knowledge included categories of goals and actions Goals could be anything from desiring a good ticket to desiring to increase one's education Actions pertain to specific acts of a laborer in the environment for example, a laborer may smoke while waiting for a ticket, or arrive late to the labor hall. Actions were spontaneous. Cultural knowledge pertaining to artifacts included the categories of object activity and event. An object could be a lighter, a broom, a letter, or a car. Activities were nonspontaneous actions taking place in a structured social interaction, hence a social (rather than a material) artifact. Actions and activities frequently were combined, for example, while waiting for tickets an activity laborers tended only to greet those people who arrived at the hall and greeted them first an action. An event is similar to an activity but is planned. A group of laborers car pooling to get to a common labor site is an event. Data were also coded from the perspective of the observer as interpretive, generative or both. Interpretive data was information pertaining to quantities such as time or number of workers It is descriptive information, which is useful in its own right, but it is either not applicable to or does not answer questions of "why or "how" in regard to phenomena without being related to something else. To know that seventy-eight percent of the laborers went out on 27


tickets before seven a.m tells me simply that seventy-two people were at job sites before seven a.m .. Other information and an interpretation of the relationship to the descriptive information is needed to draw any further conclusions Generative data were information such as feelings, or goals Feelings can be physical or emotional (Naster et. al. 1988) and laborers often spoke of feelings in tandem with actions and behaviors For example one laborer spoke of feeling fatigue which he related to his sleeping on the street in the rain during the preceding night. Goals were short and long term plans to accomplish a wide array of things such as securing a ride to a job site or attempt i ng to get a regular job By coding the data as to whether it was interpretive or generat i ve and placing it in a matrix I was able to arrange data in a graphic manner A predominance of information when coded and placed in the matrix is immediately visible as it fills the field to which it is applicable while surrounding fields have less information By entering the data i nto the matrix I was able to i dentify patterns of lifestyle, such as those detailed in Spradley (1970), Howell (1973), Murray (1984) and Singer's (1985) work such as rootlessness toughness political alienation marital instability heavy drinking and present-time orientation Further the matrix was useful for examining the laborers' involvement with the University West Area as the data illustrated characteristics of day laborers' lives for example income where they live and some of their interests such as educational goals Interviews and Observations with Labor Pool Staff My interviews with labor pool staff were in a sense more formal. This information was useful for confirming data from the laborers as well as for gaining 2 8


a greater perspective on laborers' role in, or relationship to the community Again I identified myself and stated my intent to write my thesis discussing labor pools in the University West Area I obtained verbal consent from all parties prior to interviewing them I interviewed various staff at all ten agencies in the area, a total of sixteen people (ten semi-structured, two unstructured, and four informal interviews (Bernard 1995 : 208-236)) I spent approximately twelve hours interviewing and four hours examining sites while arranging or waiting to interview people I often had informal interviews with laborers hoping to get a late ticket at this time as well. In the semi-structured interv i ews I asked all ten agencies the same twenty-three questions from an interview guide I carried (see Appendix C). These questions essentially sought background information of each agency current level of activity as measured by daily tickets and number of laborers going to work, and staff perceptions of laborers. I entered these data into CDC EZ-Text to facilitate organizing and coding the data CDC EZText was designed specifically for managing semistructured data sets and took little time to learn to use (Carey Wenzel Reilly, Sheridan, and Steinberg, 1998 : 14) This software is distributed by the Center for Disease Control at their website (http : //www text htm) and is available for download at no charge. Data were coded in regard to categories of time (such as when things took place or duration), space (location and interior space) money (references to payment or cost), individual behavior (things individuals did) and corporate behavior (things relating to company policy and procedure) and forms of labor (the type of work people did) This allowed me to organize descriptive data found in the answers to my questions such as numbers of tickets as well as to be able to quickly reference generative qualitative data, such as discussions about advantages and disadvantages of labor pools 29


Chapter Four: The Community Setting, Residents, and Resources The context of this study is the eight mile square area to the immediate west, north and encompassing the University of South Florida, known to Tampa residents as "Suitcase City This chapter will describe the geographic boundaries of this area, social characteristics general level of employment and available job opportunities, available services, and specific problems confronting this community. Geography The University Area Community, known prejoratively as "Suitcase City," (Greenbaum, 1997) has been geographically defined in a number of ways by various planning interests (see Gouldman 1994 ; Lavely, Blackman, and Mann 1995; Kunde 1996; Lewis 1997). The broadest definition begins at 1-275 to the west, the Hillsborough River in the east and from Burrell Lake at its northern most point to Fowler Avenue in the south (Lavely, Blackman and Mann, 1995 : 4) This is an area of approximately ten square miles, and is divided into eight census tracts: 110.03, 109.00, 108.03 108 .04, 108 .05, 108.06, 108 07, and 108 08 (figure 1, next page) The present research concentrated on a more specific area within these bounds, approximately eight square miles, if the University of South Florida campus is included This consists of 1-275 in the west, the USF campus and golf course in the east Bearss Avenue in the north, and Fowler Avenue in the South This area delineated by census tracts 108 03, 30


USF CAMPUS 1 mile Figure 1 University West Community (Map courtesy of the Tampa Aids Network) 31


108 05 108 06, 108.07 and108.08 is called Univers i ty West (Lavely Blackman, and Mann 1995:3) This selection was done as this area has a concentration of low wage commercial service establishments and low income housing and there are groups such as the County USF, and some residents, participating in development activities here Brief History The history of the area is relatively well documented in earlier works such as Gouldman 1994 Lavely Blackman and Mann, 1995 and in Lewis 1997 There are some points from these works that are relevant to discussion here Of particular note is the relatively rapid development of the area given its generally accepted brief history. Prior to 1960 University West was a rural area consisting of pasture orange groves and Florida scrub (Greenbaum 1997 ; Lewis 1997 ; Lavely Blackman, and Mann, 1995) The University of South Florida at this time was envisioned as a commuter school, and as such, made minimal accommodations for housing i ts students encouraging the unplanned development of apartment complexes in the surrounding area Numerous multilevel dwellings cropped up (Gouldman, 1994 ; Lavely Blackman, and Mann 1995; Lewis, 1997) An abundance of housing soon spurred competition to attract residents which kept the cost of housing low (Lewis 1997). Affordable housing is of course not only attractive to students There has been a great increase in population In 1960 the USF Area had 1 743 ; by 1970 there were 7 879 people ; and this number increased to 21, 774 by 1980 (Lavely Blackman and Mann 1995 :8). At the same time, however the relative proportion of residents who are students has been in steady decline (Lavely Blackman and Mann 1995 ; Lewis 1997) High crime rates in the area 3 2


are blamed as the causal factor deterring students' from choosing the University West as a place to live (Lavely Blackman and Mann 1995 ; Lewis, 1997) Hindering the situation further, the area is part of unincorporated Hillsborough County and there has been a lack of a zoning plan It could be that the growth outpaced the county's ability to organize a zoning plan for the area, accounting for the hodgepodge zoning that predominates the area (Gouldman 1994). It is also the case that the primary source of employment to arise in the area, are service jobs (Lewis 1997 :41 ) This is not to say that all service jobs are low paying subservient positions of limited future development potential. As Lewis notes (1997 : 27) engineers legal, medical staff and management positions are also a part of the service industry In the case of this community however, many of these jobs are not professional positions and can be staffed with unskilled labor The competition for these jobs is difficult for unskilled residents as it includes USF students seeking income to pay for the continuation of their education (Lewis 1997) Infrastructure Gould man ( 1994) and The Florida Center for Community Design and Research (FCCD&R) (1997) covered infrastructure rather thoroughly Although the Weed and Seed Program and some private business activity (such as major apartment renovations, as in the case of the Ashely Oaks on 22nd Street) have made improvements adding sidewalks and street lamps in some areas it is still the case that these amenities are lacking in most parts of the area As noted by the FCCD&R report and the USF Anthropology field school students confirmed the area between 15th and 22nd streets has high speed local traffic and large 33


numbers of children (FCCD&R 1997 : 51) and streets like Fletcher and Fowler Avenues have very few areas to cross safely There are around two-hundred undeveloped lots of various sizes in the University West Area, characterized by thick semi-tropical underbrush and trees These lots are littered with items such as beer bottles, newspapers sofas engine parts and old tires. After a heavy rain standing water is unavoidable Drainage in the area is poor. This was vividly demonstrated during the particularly heavy rains during the winter of 1997\98 when a Subway sandwich shop on Fletcher Avenue had to surround itself with sandbags to keep the standing water which had submerged the parkinglot out of the building. The area has infrastructure of comparable quality to that of a decaying inner-city neighborhood; as well as vacant lots and deteriorating buildings that can be found in both environments (Lewis, 1997). Social Characteristics The eight square miles that comprise the University West area have a population of over 27 000 making it one of the most densely populated parts of Hillsborough County (FCCD and R, 1997 :6). According to 1990 census information, 28 percent of the population over 16 and eligible to work is either unemployed or not in the work-force (US Census 1990) ; 19 percent of the population lives at or below the official US poverty level (US Census 1990) Vacancies account for 27 5 percent of the total available housing in the area Of the 10 894 occupied units 87 percent are renter occupied ( US Census 1990) There are not a lot of property owners living in this area. The area has one of the highest crime rates in Hillsborough County (HCSO, 1996 ; 1997). Property crimes lead the list with larceny contributing to 34


over 50 percent of the total crimes in the area This is followed by burglary at around 14 percent, drug related crimes nearly 1 0 percent aggravated assault at around 9 percent, motor vehicle theft at approximately 8 percent robbery near 5 percent, and forced sex and murder both at less than 1 percent (HCSO, 1996 1997) The crime rate has contributed to its reputation as being a somewhat hostile living environment (Lewis 1997) 1990 census data indicates the ethnic composition to be 64 7 percent "white," 20.3 percent "black," 10.4 percent "of Hispanic origin and 4 7 percent other ethnicities. Lewis (1997 : 38) disagrees with these numbers somewhat stating that a census he conducted found no group to be over 50 percent. His survey concurred with census data, however regarding unemp l oyment figures and he found it particularly notable that 60 percent of the unemployed were males and that an added 16 percent of the population were "underemployed." Unfortunately regarding this last point he does not use economic figures, but uses the evidence of two provider households wherein both husband and wife are support ing the family. This is misleading because there are many two provider households throughout the U S in which both husband and w i fe work Although their standard of living may be threatened if one or the other stops working the household i s not in danger of going into poverty. What is important about Lewis' point is that in the case of the University West Area two incomes are needed for 16 percent of the population to maintain a household inco m e above poverty levels. Despite the ethnic diversity of the area there do not appear to be any ethnic or "racial" tensions at this time in the area The homeless population lives in the various vacant build i ngs and wooded lots in the area I estimate there are around 1 08 homeless people in the area on any given day This estimate is based on the number of homeless men using labor pools and the proportion of homeless people reported to use labor pools as 35


a source of income I arrived at this figure by taking the average number of homeless people in the labor pools that reported living in the University West Area and extrapolated from information provided by a census taken by the Jacksonville Homeless Coalition (Wills, et. al., 1998) as to the percentage of homeless people who report using labor pools as a source of income. This figure was confirmed somewhat by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs office which reported a census of approximately one-hundred such persons in the area last year (Pietsch personal communication1998) Res i dents and members of the Homeless Coalition suspect these figures are underestimates "Some people don't want to be seen (Pietsch, 1998) and so may avoid the police My own figure is based on sample sizes not on face to face contacts. Speaking with homeless men in the labor pools and residents of the area I learned of at least three main camps i n the woods one of wh i ch was reported to have over twenty persons and the other two to have seven to ten persons Homeless men I spoke with reported that they generally avoid these camps, preferring to sleep alone and hidden Some of the vacant buildings also show signs of habitation such as cables running from an apartment to a power pole, sleeping areas, and piles of clothing. The issues of crime poverty, and poor infrastructure found in this area made the Uni versity West Area one of two areas in Hillsborough County eligible for a federal Weed and Seed grant in 1993. The push for this grant came from a neighborhood association, headed by Florida State Representative Victor Crist and comprised primarily of University Area property owners including representatives from apartment complexes owned by out-of-state/absentee landlords (Greenbaum 1997b). The Weed and Seed grant was to encourage the development of the area, first by ridding the area of criminal elements and then by creating programs which address issues proactively the idea being that th i s 36


will prevent the return and future development of criminal activities Local law enforcement stepped up activity in the area, adding a substation bicycle patrols and raids on area business and apartment complexes believed to be participating i n illegal activ i ties These efforts have been agg r essive Fletcher Woods, a comp lex with a couple hundred rental units, which had the reputation of having a la r ge amount of crimina l activity is now vacant and has a new name while undergoing renovations The Captain of Special Operations for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in the University West Area informed me that his unit was very active at this complex conducting raids and sting ope r ations on drug dealers Pastor Roundtree who had a small outreach office in the complex which supplied some food and cloth i ng for people in need reported witnessing at least one raid involving over fifty officers sweeping the complex. She reports that she was later asked to move her outreach as the new owner of the complex intends to renovate She stated that he informed her that he did not want the problems former owne r s had (which he related to low income tenants at the complex) and therefore that it is his intent to increase rents to outpr i ce low income tenants. During the USF Anthropology field school one female student, ("white a mother and clearly in her thirties) conducting a w i ndshield survey was pulled over and told she fit the profile of someone looking for d r ugs. Another student interviewing a prostitute from the area was told that she would be safe anywhere if she carries a camera because she will be thought of as police And in a separate incident confirming this two students, taking photographs of the area for a presentat i on were confronted by a pawn shop owner who thought they were police preparing to conduct a raid on his shop. It is safe to say there has been active "weeding" in the area. 37


To date, the county does have a community organizer in the area who has been attempting to involve a number of apartment complexes in activities and succeeded in organizing a drug march in May of 1998 There was no media coverage of the event despite a press release There were about fifty residents in attendance overall (people would come and go) primarily children and mothers (there were only four men, including myself who were not policemen ) Over the course of the year of th i s study, I attended various planning meetings relating to the Univers i ty West Area including Weed and Seed's Arts Culture and Recreation Comm i ttee several of the Church of Preparat i on's meetings to attempt to establish an Outreach Center i n the area meetings of the College of Arts and Sciences Community Init i ative, an anti drug march a public forum regarding USF's establishing a charte r school and meetings with the Hillsborough County Homeless Coal i tion With the exception of the Homeless Coalition there was no discussion of Labor Pools in planning meetings about the University West Area unless I ment i oned them When I did br i ng up the topic at the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee meeting the Hillsborough County Parks representat i ve co-chairing the meeting informed me that she was aware that some day laborers were working on the bui l ding of the new recreation center located in the University Area Park on 22nd Street near Bearss. She also informed me that she was aware of the County using day labor in road projects through her discussions with other County officia l s She reports that in the case of road projects day laborers are notorious for walking off a job I was not able to confirm this with other sources in the county Labor pools have not gone unaffected by these activities All offices reported either during interviews or i n conversations w i th th i s writer that after the police conduct a "sweep" along Nebraska Avenue the number of laborers picked up (usually on charges such as having an alcoholic beverage in an open 38


container, vagrancy, and trespassing) is significant enough to cause the labor offices difficulty in hav i ng enough people to go out on jobs. The manager of s i te 1 reported that his laborers tend to get picked up on minor charges enough that he now has an informant in the Orient Street jail who calls and gives a report regarding who is not going to show up for work Major sweeps do not happen with any regular frequency, but clearly the aggressive efforts of the police however well intended are disruptive not only to the lives of laborers but to labor pools and their clients Seed activities have primarily concentrated on infrastructure up to this time. Sidewalks and streetlamps are being placed in the area A park was created on 22nd Street near Bearss Avenue which includes new basketball courts children's climbing type equipment and under construction i s a recreation center which will include not only weight training boxing gym facilities but classrooms for head start programs, evening courses a stage for community presentations computers and the list continues to grow An active community garden was established and until recent l y had a wa i ting list for would-be gardeners A county "Safe Haven ," known also as the Ne i ghborhood Resource Center was established where residents can have access to serv i ces such as consumer credit counseling job tra i ning and G E. D classes. A charter school was planned to open in the fall of 1997 as it was part of the "Master Plan" to have a neighborhood school. Problems and Context I began with a description of this community fo r the purpose of illustrating many of the problems without hav i ng to go i nto a great deal of explanat i on here The issues are varied and complex The competition between apartment developments contributed to attracting people in need of affordable housing 39


which in turn, contr i buted to a rapid rise in population The inability of urban planning (or lack of planning) to keep pace with the rising population of the area has contributed to a poor infrastructure, giving a relatively new urban area (less than thirty years old) the appearance of an inner-city area in decay (Lewis, 1997) It is important to reiterate that there has been a proliferation of low paying service jobs in the area such as in fast food convenience stores, supermarkets, discount and drug stores, hair salons, janitorial work for hospitals and the University and labor pools for which University students and area residents compete (Lewis 1997) The area has a higher than average pedestrian commuter population (FCCD and R 1997 :6), which suggests that a large number of people walk to work. Given the proliferation of low rents and minimum wage and low paying jobs in the area it is not surprising to find that over 20% of the working households in the University West Area earn less than $20 000 annually (US Census, 1990) Var i ous entities have of late been expressing interest in developing the area and addressing these problems These include : Weed and Seed participants of Hillsborough County staff, State Representative Victor Crist and the USF Area Community Civic Association (USFACCA) ; the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department; as well as the University of South Florida's Florida Center for Community Design and Research, Florida Community Partnership Center the University Collaborative the College of Arts and Science s Community Initiative, the College of Fine Arts AmeriCorps project, the Louis de Ia Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, and the College of Education. Private interests include members of the hospitality industry such as Busch Gardens and Best Western ; and finally a small number of residents many of whom are property owners (Gould man 1994). Lacking from this group are representatives of low-income and especially homeless persons. This is not to say that none of these entities is concerned with the issues of poverty and homelessness but simply to point out that such 40


persons have lacked a voice in regard to issues wh ich may concern them For example there has not been a d i scussion of the lack of shelters in the area or of using the vacant housing in the area in a project to assist homeless persons desp ite the fact that all these groups are cogn i zant of large numbers of people living in vacant lots Looking at assets available to people in the community there are a large number of commercial establishments along Fowler, Fletcher Bearss and Nebraska These include the Univers i ty Mall, motels of varying cost laudromats, beauty parlors furniture stores fast food moderate and fine d i ning establishments adult entertainment ," supermarkets gas stations car repa i r employment specialists day labor agencies public storage an an i mal hosp i tal insurance companies and the list could continue The University is available allowing public access to its library and hosting various events at moderate prices throughout the year. There are several medical facilities (including s i x hospitals) and dental offices. However, there i s no i ndigent care walk-in clin i c The park on 22nd Street has an act ive after school program and invites activities from outside agencies such as Interact: a Youth Arts Coalition funded by contribut i ons from the H i llsborough County Parks and Recreation Department (HCP&R) and USF's Uni versity Collaborative This is a program for early teens which uses art and communication skills to explore and express personal and community development issues The Arts Culture and Recreation Committee report that there are 58 churches actively involved in the area, one of which operates a soup kitchen at least once a week The report does not mention however, that 76 percent of these churches are located outs i de the University West Area In regard to social services, the Neighborhood Resource Center is the only provider i n the area. Staff at this agency provide G E. D classes credit counsel i ng some job training (with the intent to have a one-stop job shop" i n the 41


future, involving a collaboration with USF) and referrals to appropriate providers for medical and mental health. Issues of poverty are more than a lack of income; they also include issues of human need (US Census, 1993 ; PICCED, 1998) With this in mind, the University West area is certainly an impoverished area. Census information indicates that the income levels of one fifth of the population are below that considered sufficient to nourish oneself on a daily basis, let alone provide for decent, affordable housing. Affordable housing is another issue Fletcher Woods is not the only complex in the area renovating "to attract higher paying tenants" (quote from manager of apartment complex to student in field school, Greenbaum, 1997b) At least three others with rental units numbering in the hundreds have been reported by residents to be doing this The levels of crime and perceived levels of violence are such that people are willing to tolerate aggressive intrusive police activity. The issue of a neighborhood school is of importance, not so much because children do not have access to a good education (in fact, many elementary aged are children are bussed to Tampa Palms, which is considered by school board authorities to be one of the best elementary schools in Tampa) but because of transportation issues for parents There are unable to participate in PTA activities because there is no bus service to the school. This is a problem which can be most vividly illustrated by simply recounting an experience I had at Tampa Palms when angry parents were speaking with the principal about issues of over-crowded classrooms "Why do we have bus loads of Suitcase City kids here? Getting rid of them would cut down our class sizes stated one angry Tampa Palms mother Her statement was dismissed by school staff. This incident vividly illustrates how a lack of representation has the potential to adversely affect one's access to resources People's lack of adequate transportation in this area place them at a 42


disadvantage for access to resources This disadvantage can in turn be interpreted as a lack of participation which also has limiting effects upon access as well. Lewis (1997) points out that many families (16 percent), in the area have both husband and wife working to provide income and attributes this to "underemployment" caused by a job market that has an abundance of low paying service jobs which provide little opportunity for advancement. For families with children, this raises the issue of daycare and afterschool care. There are only five licensed child care facilities and only a few private licensed homes in the University West Area (Ott, 1997 : 6). USF has a Head Start program on the west side of its campus, and a daycare center, the Educational Research Center for Child Development (ERCCD), available to residents on the east. Any residents doing shift work, or working hours other than the usual daylight, Monday through Friday job, must make other arrangements For example in one household I met, the father works nights and takes care of the children when they come home from school while their mother is working in the afternoon University West is not an area of "easy living Lewis (1997) argues that "strain, a state of anomie brought on by an inability to meet needs or expectations, has created an environment which has allowed crime to proliferate in this area Considering that over fifty percent of the felonious crimes committed in this area are crimes of larceny, a property crime, and therefore a potentially income producing crime for the thief Lewis' argument is somewhat substantiated. However, despite the high levels of unemployment, the majority of the population are law abiding citizens Although the unemployment rate for the area is generally high the vast majority of people (over 70 percent) of working age do work. Lewis (1997) found in his research that much of the poor population in this community could be classified as "working poor." Services are the largest industry in Florida (Florida 43


Department of Labor and Security 1995) In 1996, personal and business services accounted for 512 255 jobs, 51 percent of wh i ch were in personnel supply services (Floyd Irw i n and Evans 1997) In 1997 business services had the fastest growth rate over the year with much of this growth being attr i buted to leased employment (Florida Department of Labor and Security 1997) Day laborers are low-wage leased employment. The number of day laborers in any given area i s difficult to ascertain because the number of laborers working changes from day to day, and they are generally a constituency that is uncounted as many are homeless o r in transition Without an address one cannot reg i ster to vote Without a professional organization or union there is no representation outside of agencies such as OSHA or the EEO to supervise the work environment. There are 55 labor pools in Hillsborough county that are employment size class C ( 1 00 200) and above Ten or almost 20 percent of these are located i n the Un i versity West area The agencies in the Uni versity West Area report that they put on average 100 20 laborers per day six days per week That translates to approximately 1000 people using day labor as a source of income on a daily bas i s This is 6 percent of the area population between the ages of 16 to 70 The wages vary as laborers take home anywhere from $40 to $70 per day depending on the particular job At an average wage of $42 per day, working five days per week annual earnings total $10 920 Long and Martini (1997) report that average annual earnings equivalent to 50% of the median earnings of full time salar i ed workers is necessary to escape conditions of poverty The 50% of median income for full-time workers in the Tampa Bay area in 1996 was 13 963 50 $115 (Bureau of Census, 1997) It would be an error to presume that the labor pools are responsible for creating this population of work i ng poor Rather, it was this population that attracted labor pools to the area in the first 44


place It would also be an error to view the labor pools as simply exploiting this population Although labor pools are lucrative businesses, in this community they have filled a niche which public agencies have been either slow to provide for, or have neglected These businesses will be described in the following chapter 45


Chapter Five: Findings and Discussion of Labor Pools, the Business This chapter introduces the general background of day labor agencies before entering into a discussion of some of the history of day labor agencies in Hillsborough county and the University West Area. It closes with an examination of information gathered from interviews conducted with day labor agencies in the University West Area. A General Background of Labor Pools Day labor agencies, or labor pools, are a form of contingency labor involving the contracting or subcontracting of laborers. They are classified in labor and economic census data as a business service industry w i th their service or product being labor Driving past such establishments on the street one is apt to notice that many have a sign near the front door proclaim i ng "Day's Work for A Day's Pay The work can be any form of labor ranging from unskilled, such as lift i ng and toting debris in the cleaning of construction work sites, digging ditches, and sorting produce to skilled work, such as carpentry masonry or serving food and cashiering at a banquet. A day can range from four to ten hours The pay can be as low as minimum wage for unskilled jobs and as high as seventeen dollars an hour for skilled labor The success of these businesses depends upon maintaining both a large labor pool and a consistent demand for labor These businesses range from local companies to billion dollar multinational corporations. An example of how successful such a company can 46


be is illustrated by examining the Dunn and Bradstreet Business Rankings for 1998 Examining business services (Dunn and Bradstreet 1998:194) one can see American Express Company ranked at number one with over sixteen billion dollars in sales; Microsoft Corporation at number four with over eleven billion dollars in sales; and Manpower Incorporated (a multinational temporary labor agency and the largest single employer i n the United States (MacDonald and Sirianni, 1996: 13)) ranked at number seven with over six billion dollars in sales. Staff at Ready Staffing Incorporated, a national company, having twenty-seven offices in the eastern United States reports sales of over one million dollars per week (Cairel1998, personal communication). Clearly, there is a demand for temporary labor. Contracts for leased labor are called, "tickets." Tickets require laborers. As the number of tickets and the specifications of the number of laborers required for each ticket varies from day to day, labor pools require variable numbers of laborers to send to job sites. Either variable can affect the other. If there are not enough laborers to meet the work orders then the labor pool can lose a client the potential future tickets If there are not enough tickets to send laborers to work on then laborers leave and sign up with a different labor agency. This can have more subtle consequences as well, as local agencies report that businesses often make consistent use of a spec i fic day labor office, in effect becoming "regular customers ." Regular customers tend to prefer temporary laborers that they have worked with in the past. Reasons stated for this include reducing training hours as the laborer is familiar with the work site and knowing what quality of work will be obtained from the laborer When a regular customer does not receive the laborer known to work site staff it is often the case that the manager, or owner of the labor pool receives a phone call and must placate the customer with assurances regarding the quality of the new laborer's work, and often apologizes 47


with an explanation/reminder that the customer is using a temporary labor agency and that the laborer is under no obligation to come into the agency on any given day A contract can be lost in this situat ion. It is an i llustration both of the temporary agency's need to have access to a large population of laborers who are willing to work anywhere as well as how expectations regarding the quality of labor can be established A Genera l History and Discussion of Labor Pools in the University West Area Interviews were conducted with the ten labor agencies in the University West Area (figure 2 next page) The first office (coincidentally labeled site 1) was located in a small strip mall on Nebraska Avenue This was a national franchise office specializing in industrial work and it first opened its doors in 1984 Staff at the agency report that the site was chosen because of the area's reputation for having a large transient population Staff at the Un i versity West Area day labor offices report that transients tend to need the immediate money which comes from daily work and because some transients have no skills and others have skills they are a flexible and diverse population i deal for staffing a daily labor agency Another agency originally located at site 4 on Fletcher Avenue this one locally owned followed in 1986 It was eventually bought by another Tampa man who eventually developed it into a two tiered agency and moved the office to sites 2 and 3 on Fletcher Avenue One office handles daily construction related labor, and the other, weekly pay leased, skilled labor This agency has expanded by purchasing another day labor company that had offices throughout three southeastern states 48


{8 USF CAMPUS Figure 2 Labor Pool Sites (Map courtesy of Tampa Aids Network) 49


The remaining seven agencies sites 4 10, opened in the 1990s They report that the reason they selected this neighborhood is in part due to a zoning ordinance passed in the city of Tampa during the late 1980s that rates labor pools in the same zoning category as adult entertainment establishments This makes opening a new labor pool in the city of Tampa very difficult. It is in part for this reason that these businesses opened in unincorporated Hillsborough county The owner of site 5, who has owned other day labor agencies as well as worked as a day laborer at various times in Tampa over the last twenty years gave an anecdotal report about events at this time Look i ng away from h i s computer removing his ball cap to scratch his thinn i ng white hair he turned his gaze to his manager. Digging a cigarette from a pack he picked up he begins speaking as he lights it. Smoke envelopes his face as he recounts events "It was back when they were 'cleaning up' Kennedy Boulevard you remember that." He went on to say that essentially the city council believed that labor pools were attracting derelicts and criminals to the area plaguing it with petty crimes He informed me that along with the alleged derelicts there were a number of small businesses in the area, such as independently owned groceries depended in part upon the commerce of the laborers to remain open. "Now you don't see anything down there, it's dead The manager of site 7 reporting that he has been in the business for over ten years also recalled this per i od. He reported that at that time there was a labor hall in Tampa (which is still operating, but now has another name) that had a "bunk house He states that this is not uncommon at labor pools in Texas but is rarely seen in Florida Apparently there were a number of "incidents" at the Tampa bunk house which caught the attention of the papers and city council members The St. Petersburg Times (Koff, 1987) reported on one particularly 50


notable incident which was not caused by the boarde r s of the rooming house but acquaintances seeking cold beer. Three men in a car reportedly were attempting to t r ade warm bee r for cold beer and when denied they fired a shotgun at the men on the porch The four men on the porch were injured Other than this incident the paper did not directly att r ibute criminal activity in the community to day laborers or the rooming house However the manager of s i te 7 believes that the zoning ord i nance was primarily initiated in response to incidents related to day l aborers and the rooming house In 1988 an ordinance was passed to rezone labo r pools and bloodbanks in the city of Tampa The manager of site 7 stated that he found it somewhat ironic that the first labor pool opened in Tampa was in the 1 960s by a man who is now reportedly a milliona ire and considered in social circles to be one of the Tampa elite. Michele Og i lvie Senior Planner at the H i llsborough County City-County Planning Commiss ion confirmed that the city offic i als did intend to lessen the number of labor pools i n Tampa, drafting Chapter 27 272 of the zoning code in 1988 (Ogilvie 1998 : personal communication) This o r dinance restricts temporary agencies and blood donor clinics to light industrial areas and calls for a publ i c hearing prior to author i z i ng such establishments She also reported that less than three percent of Tampa is zoned as light industrial area Ironically, c i ty and county agencies use not only temporary clerical staff in conjunction with full-time city and county staff on a daily basis but subcontracted day laborers for construct i on projects. Temporary staff are used frequently enough to have their own pay code in the database used to mai ntain a record of purchases for the city and county (Speth 1998 : personal communication) Construction projects such as the new stad i um i n Tampa and the recently built courthouse provide tickets i n the form of subcontracted labor on a daily basis to day labor agencies throughout Hillsborough county Although labor agencies are 51


not at liberty to divulge the names of their clients (not because of confidentiality issues but because of competition issues as agencies do not wish to be underbid by competitors for labor services) laborers freely discuss the projects they have been working on. Contractors frequently subcontract labor for a number of reasons none the least of wh ich is that they often require flexible staffing to complete a project sometimes needing more or less staff to meet deadlines or costs The advantage of temporary staff unlike regular full-time staff is that there is no need to lay anyone off. A contractor simply has an agency supply the number of laborers he may need to complete a project and no more. In the University West Area, there are nine day labor agencies and one leased staffing weekly pay office Two of these agencies are branches or franchises of multinational companies with offices in Europe, Canada, and Mexico as well as throughout the United States Four agencies have offices nationwide, two have them statewide, and two are owned and operated locally An aggregation of permanent staff at these agencies totals around 35 people Twenty-five percent of these are residents of the University West Area Offices are open for an average of 6.4 days per week in a range of 5 to 7 days The general hours of operation average out to be 16 8 hours per day in a range of 13 to 24 hours Overall there seems to be a relatively friendly competition between offices as evidenced by several of the offices sharing supplies for laborers such as brooms and shovels, as well as occasionally sharing laborers These offices report that if they have more laborers than tickets then it behooves them to send the laborers to another office that requires more workers as laborers have their need to work met and will give the first office a degree of loyalty as a result. Unless the person was intoxicated or appeared otherw i se impaired, all agencies reported that they would attempt to place anyone who had the desire to work into 52


some form of employment. This is to a certain extent part of their business It was also the case however that staff at all of the agencies reported feeling an emotional satisfaction in seeing a laborer obtain a higher paying full-time position They all concurred that it is a positive event for a day laborer to leave day labor for something more permanent. Numbers regarding laborers are difficult to obtain given the transitory nature of the jobs Offices report a variation of plus or minus twenty laborers on any given day creating an aggregate variation of plus or minus two-hundred The mean number of workers going out on tickets per office is 97.2 with a standard deviation of 50, in a range of 35 to 200 workers per day The aggregate daily workforce from all ten offices is therefore 960 to 1070 (see Table 1) Average# of day Percentage f r om the l aborers 20 per d ay Univ e rsity West Area Site 1 100 70% Site 2 150 65% Site 3 65 65% S i te 4 80 80% Site 5 40 100 % Site 6 200 60% Sit e 7 100 90 % Si t e 8 50 90% Site 9 110 90% Site 10 65 85 % Tota l 960 79 50% Table 1 When the percentage of laborers from each office that is from the University West Area is averaged out a figure of 79 5% is derived for the percentage of laborers residing in the University West Area Given that the University West Area has a population of approximately 12 560 people considered to be in its labor force (U. S Census Bureau 1990) it appears that approximately 8% of the labor force is using labor pools as a source of income 53


Agencies report that just as the numbers of laborers fluctuates so too do the number of daily tickets The range is reported to be 35 to 200 tickets per day with a mean number of 75.6 10 Aggregate figures are therefore 756 00 tickets transacted daily The mean number of hours worked by a laborer is 7 9 in a range of 6-9 at all ten offices Several offices reported that the average ticket grosses $9 00 per hour. With these figures we can estimate a conservative figure for the gross daily business sales coming into the University West Area for these agencies We do this by multiplying the average ticket $9 X 7 9 hours X 972 200 laborers which equals $69 109 20 14 220 of business sales on a daily basis This figure is bolstered by the report from three offices that they had gross business sales ranging from over one million to over four million dollars last year Agencies report that overhead ranges from twenty to thirty percent of gross wages These include expenses such as rent, salaries taxes and workman's compensation insurance Wages for laborers can vary according to relevant work experience One office reported that the daily wages his office pays out tend to average about $6 50 per hour. Starting wages can vary from the m i nimum wage of $5 15 to $5 50, but presently they tend toward the $5 50 as there is generally more work than there are laborers I spend half my day apologizing to businesses for not being able to completely fill tickets," said one manager, "so I try to pay them a little more with the hope that the word gets out and I can get a few more laborers Eight out of the ten offices reported that they offered some form of incentive to attract laborers ranging from an increase in wages as just mentioned to free coffee weekly door prizes like bicycles or work boots, or a canteen with inexpensive sundries. Twenty percent of the agencies reported that they had health insurance available to laborers, thirty percent reported that they have been attempting to 54


find an insurer that will work out a policy to make available to laborers and fifty percent said they don't offer any benefits other than "a guarantee of daily work ," in other words no benefits Sixty percent of the offices said they offer at least some basic work safety training as well as occasional training specific to skilled jobs In the case of specialized training, the expense is either split between the labor agency and the contractor, or billed to the contractor entirely The laborer is never expected to foot this expense Laborers are not charged for equipment unless it is lost or broken. Any agency charging for equipment essential to a laborer's completing a job risks being in violation of the Florida Statutes, Labor Pool Act of 1994 This same act limits the working day to a ten hour maximum entitling the laborer to overtime for any work over ten hours in a day. Seven out of the ten offices sold bag lunches ranging in price from $2 50 to $3 00 The Labor Pool Act also specifies that laborers cannot be forced to buy a lunch and that lunches if sold cannot charge more than the actual cost of providing the lunch (Labor Pool Act, 1994 : 448 24 (4)) As the same catering company supplies all the lunches it is unclear why there is a variation in cost. It is however, the practice of one company, which coincidentally has the least expensive lunch, to sell some items at below cost as the loss provides some profit in tax benefit and alleviates paperwork regarding the sale of retail merchandise. Six out of the ten offices provide transportation to and from the job sites for laborers at a cost ranging from $1. 00 to $1. 50 each way. Three provide rides at no cost. The weekly pay office requires that employees are able make their own accommodations to get to work but will give a temp a ride at no cost if it is an emergency/short term problem. One way bus tickets sold for $1. 25 are generally available for purchase at all the offices. 55


Agencies generally u r ge laborers working a regular ticket to arrive an hour early to the hall. Agencies report that this g i ves them a reasonable amount of time to reass i gn the ticket in case the original laborer does not show up They believe this gives them adequate time to arrange a ride to the work site in case a laborer does not have transportation Laborers are not paid for t his time, although the l aborers I spoke with did not cite th i s as an i ssue or a problem Offices reported that the time a labore r waits to collect his or her check at the end of the day varies depending on how crowded the office i s Th i s also seems to vary from office to office The longest wait r eported was thirty minutes and that came from the office with the highest number of reported tickets. The shortest was less than one minute, which was from one of the smaller offices The mean time of all the offices was ten minutes None of the offices paid in cash and none of the offices offered check cashing services There was a general consensus among managers that the sooner they could get people paid and on their way the better The owner of site 5 spoke briefly with me about laborers walking off job sites, as this is a situation which he has had to resolve in the past. He emphasized that this can be a complex situation In some cases the laborer may be asked to do something unreasonably difficult dangerous or simply be tir ed of being verbally abused He gave the e x ample of one site he visited where his employees had walked off the j ob. He found that the contractor was attempt ing to get the laborers to dig a ditch w i thout shovels As a resu l t he terminated his agreement with the contractor In other cases he has found abuse on the part of the laborer and had to terminate the laborer He stated that this situat ion generally is a case where a labo rer shows up at a site decides he or she does not want to work there (for any number of subjective r easons corresponding to 56


the work not meeting his or her expectations) and simply leaves the site A report that a laborer walked off a job always requ i res some investigation Dur i ng an anti-drug march I attended a resident i nformed me that she occasionally worked in labor pools She was at that t i me considering making some extra income with the labor pools as she had been told that a certain tomato crop was in and a local supermarket would be generating tickets to sort the tomatoes Sorting tomatoes is considered a good ticket for a laborer because it is indoors and takes little effort She also i nformed me that on one of her tickets she helped put together gift baskets for the Martha Stewart catalogue She reported that she only found one of the agencies in the area to be unpleasant to work for as she felt that the staff were disrespectful and rude She said that she wouldn't work there again Along both Nebraska and Fletcher Avenues there are a number of businesses that report and are reported to be frequently patronized by day laborers There are at least seven well known fast food establishments in the area Laborers report they prefer the ones which have 99 cent hamburgers or serve coffee and are open all night. Two motels i n the area reportedly provide weekly laborer rates I spoke to the manager of one of these establishments who confirmed that he gave day laborers a break in the rates if they stay a week at a time. The daily rate is $25 but laborers do not have to pay for Sundays In this case a day laborer, working an average day 7 .9 hours at $6. 50 per hour is spending appro x imately 49 percent of his income on housing alone Five of the ten labor pool offices in the University West Area are closed on Sundays He reports that he is the cheapest motel in the area and that although the bungalows appear to have had finer days, needing pa i nt and being encroached upon by vegetation he never has a vacancy for a full day There is a trailer park further north on Nebraska that has weekly apartment rentals starting at $65 One 57


of the labor agencies reports that he consistently has employees who live in that park. There are numerous establishments that provide check cashing services along Nebraska and Fletcher. These include gas station/convenience stores a liquor store and at least two of the several pawn shops. One of the owner's of labor pool with the greatest reported number of daily workers estimated that five percent of its day laborers have bank accounts. Conversations with laborers revealed that they also use storage facilities, including the ones located on Nebraska, to store personal items of value. Laborers and staff at labor pool agencies reported negative interactions in regard to the businesses they serve. Laborers although certainly desiring to have a higher income did not expect to get it from working in the labor pools Both laborers and labor pool managers reported that occasionally it was also the case that the regular staff at a job site attempt to assign laborers details that they themselves do not wish to do because of the potential danger Laborers are encouraged by managers at day labor agencies to report to them if they find themselves in this situation All of the labor pool offices kept records of various clients that commit such abuses and reportedly refuse to contract with these clients. Unfortunately the labor pool agencies have not consolidated their lists so there is nothing preventing such a client agency from negotiating a new contract with another agency Labor pool agencies also reported having difficulty obtaining payment from some clients. These clients were similarly kept on a list at each agency There was no information shared as to the number of times these sorts of incidents occur Difficulty in collection of payment for services does occur frequently enough that one agency a multinational company has a policy of obtaining a contact person with a subcontractor's contractor, e.g in the case of a construction company doing work for the County, a County representative would be made a contact. This is done so in the event a subcontractor does not 58


pay, the contractor will be leveraged to pay the labor pool office for services rendered. Labor pools are not social service agencies They are business service agencies, organized to make a financial profit like most business are Their product is a service the provision of people to do labor Labor pools have taken advantage of a niche. In the University West Area these agencies act as a form of broker (Eames and Goode, 1977 : 137) linking disenfranchised people, such as the homeless and recently released exconvicts with jobs as general and skilled laborers or in the hospitality business The existence of recent regulatory legislation indicates that at one time at least some agencies were taking advantage of people to the extent that legal intervention was necessary All the agencies in the University West Area appeared to be in compliance with the regulations at this time although it is unlikely they would have simply told me if they were not. Two of the ten agencies made general accusations against one office in the area It is claimed that these two offices have noticed that they gain laborers from the accused office at the end of the week laborers who claim to have worked forty hours and would have been entitled to overtime had they been sent on a ticket -the implication being that they were purposely denied a ticket to avoid paying overtime I did not hear this complaint from laborers It easily could be true but it does not appear to be common practice Agencies inform laborers in writing and verbally when they are hired and throughout their employment with the agency about wages/pay rates about costs such as transportation about the difficulty of the work and of any stipulations regarding being hired full-time by a client agency For example some require workers to continue to work for the day labor agency on a regular ticket with the client for six weeks before allowing the client to hire a laborer as the i r own employee Managers inspect job sites, and query workers regarding issues 59


of safety This is of course to their own advantage as well as the laborer's because the cost of a workman's compensation case due to inj ury on a job site to which the day labor agency would be held accountable can be very expens i ve As prev i ously mentioned, si x of the ten offices regularly offer some form of safety training to the laborers. In sum day labor agencies offer a l egal source of income to almost any able bodied person who walks into their offices Presently in the University West Area agencies do not appear to be exploit i ng staff any more than an employee a t a regular job," can be explo i ted This possibly due to legislation which mandates fines for abuses of employees At best although the wages are less than one would find at a comparab l e regular j ob day labor offices offer d i senfranchised persons such as homeless men a legal da i ly income and the potential to obtain contacts which can provide them with r egular work 60


Chapter Six: Findings and Discussion of Day Laborers "I came to Tampa from Alabama to be a beach bum ... no one told me it wasn't near the beach ... so now I'm a labor pool bum . Ron Laborer at site 1 1998. Speaking i n broad terms the men working i n the labor pools can generally be said to share some of the characteristics of Spradley s (1970)"Working Stiff' tramps. These include a penchant for alcohol frequent arrests rootlessness, and a present time orientation Unlike Spradley's "urban nomads," however, they are not a separate culture unto themselves within the University West Area community. They are people who have become disenfranchised for any number of reasons, ranging from personal tragedy, to never having acquired the knowledge and skills needed to maintain regular work Therefore they find themselves struggling to cope with poverty The bulk of the interviews I conducted began on a Friday in March at s it e 1 On my first day I arrived at the site at five a m It was thirty eight degrees outside Four men were standing outside the door to the labor hall sipping from styrofoam cups of coffee puffing cigarettes and occasionally waving their arms and shuffling their feet to fight the chill. They were dressed in layers of clothing light cotton or denim jackets and flannel shirts overt-shirts All of them were wearing jeans with assorted stains and heavy shoes All were appropriately dressed for construction or janitorial work No one appeared intoxicated and I found this to be consistently true at these early hours throughout my observations 61


Two of the men, Will and Nate are Euro-American and were talking to an African American named Bill. All three men are over forty with Nate being the oldest at sixty-three Juan a Hispanic man the youngest of the group, is over thirty-five years old He was somewhat disheveled in appearance w i th unkempt hair and was somewhat malodorous in his so i led, layered clothing He stood alone by the door, casually watching the parking lot watching the people then watching the parking lot again. Both Juan and Will slept on the street over night. Will told me that by the time he was able to get off work yesterday and get a ride, he couldn't get downtown to a shelter before seven p m., when the shelters close Juan did not want to talk about it. Nate has been living in the University West Area for seven years He shares an apartment with four other men but says he does not have any friends He does not attend church and does not have a membership in any organizations reporting that he prefers to "keep to (himself)." "Being around other people," he said, "just gets you into trouble While driving to his work site he asked me to stop at a convenience store to buy tobacco I noticed that when he returned from the store and entered my car that his face paled and he grimaced. I asked him if he was in pain "It'll pass ," he replied He reported that it was a back injury but did not go into detail other than to say that it was an old injury and the pain simply comes and goes. He does not have medical insurance of any sort. Nate is a high school graduate He spoke about having taken an aptitude test at one t i me in his life and he tested at the equivalent of a person with a fou r year college degree "We're not all dummies just because we work in labor pools He had managed an electronic repa i r and service shop in the midwest before moving to Florida to help his father with his business It was a move he thought would help him escape his problems with substance abuse "a 62


geographic cure Distance, however did not help him and he found himself on probation for possession of cocaine shortly after his father's death He ended up spending time in prison for a violation of probation The violation was because he had been arrested for a murder charge for which he was acquitted, and although he had been acquitted, in Florida it is still considered a violat ion of probation to be arrested in the first place whether or not one is found guilty of the crime After spending a couple years in prison, his business had fallen by the wayside and he found it hard to find regular work with a felony conv i ction behind him That is how he came to labor pools Will has two years of college studying engineering and was self-employed in California as a tool-maker. His life became complicated when he became injured and shortly thereafter caught charges for driving under the influence He was uncomfortable giving details. He shared that he came to Florida hoping to get a new start and get his life back on track. He reported that he has been living on the street in the University West Area and in downtown shelters for the last seven months Like Nate he prefers to keep to himself and stated that he did not have any friends. He had recently accepted a full-time position with one of the contractors for which he had been doing day labor, and was presently doing day labor to supplement his income He hoped to save enough money in the near future to get an apartment and a car Two and half months later I met Will again at site 1. He reported that he was attempting to get his regular job back as he had spent the last sixty days in jail on an open container charge He was confident that he would get the job and was helping the manager at site 1 in the interim Bill has been living in a trailer park near Nebraska Avenue for ten years He used to have a steady job work i ng at a local restaurant. It was lost i n a fire 63


and Bill needed an income quickly "I needed money fast and th i s is a legal way to get it." Juan loaded and unloaded trucks for a local moving company for several years until he had to work with a new driver He wouldn't do anything ... was doing all the work, he just drove ... so I quit. Now I'm working in the labor pools Day laborers come from a wide variety of backgrounds At site 1 I met three Cuban balseros (people who fled Cuba by rafting across the Florida Straits), recently arr i ved and looking for a place to live as well as people who have lived in the University Area for their entire lives They have a variety of work experience and skills which range from occasional reports of having been business owners living a comfortable life, to people who were born in poverty and have spent their lives struggling to survive. The ethnicity that predominated these offices tended to reflect the ethnicity of the neighborhoods nearest the site locations (US Bureau of the Census 1990), with offices on Nebraska having a majority approximately 60 percent Euro-American and offices on Fletcher, nearer to the University, having approximately 60 percent African American Th i s observation was further validated by labor pool staff Out of thirty laborers interviewed at one site, the ages ranged from 17 to 63 Under half (42%) of the laborers were between the ages of 17 to 35 One in five reported that they did not have a high school education or its equivalent and 1 00% of these were less than twenty-five years old. This is significant when one considers information from the census bureau indicating that young workers are more prone to lower wages and that a lack of education decreases job mobil i ty (McNe i l and Bernstein 1994 ; Posey and Bernstein 1995; Ryscavage Masumura and Bernstein 1995) Three percent did not speak English One fifth reported that they slept either on the street or in a shelter the night before Those who slept in the street (1 0%) stayed near the labor pools on 64


Nebraska Avenue. As previously noted, all shelters are located in the city of Tampa; there are none in the University West Area. Ron, a thirty-five year old Euro-American spent one night under the awning of a labor pool office in an attempt to get out of the rain. "I was in the woods over there when the rain started to come down," he said as he pointed across Nebraska Avenue "so I figured I'd get some cover here, but I'll be damned if I didn't get wetter with the w i nd blowing my blanket way off over my head and the rain splashing on the cement. . I think it may have been worse." If one includes those living in weekly room rentals as in a transitory living situation, then the number swells to over 73% of the laborers living in transitory shelter ranging from camps in the woods to weekly room and trailer rentals In my observations I found 20% of the laborers were female This figure is corroborated by managerial staff at site 1 I also noticed that women tended to show up later than men to report to work Male laborers told me that generally women are single mothers who have to arrange childcare of some sort and that is why they are late. Over time I had conversations with ten women who confirmed this although none of whom were themselves in this situation During a week of observation at site 1 I did not observe one laborer to be drunk or otherwise intoxicated when showing up for work between the hours of five and seven A.M .. This was not the case however as the day progressed. At least at site 1, the bulk of the day's tickets are assigned between the hours of five and seven A.M . Laborers who appeared at labor halls intoxicated were sent away consistently The consumption of alcohol seems generally accepted after work or if one does not get a ticket to go out on All sites had at least one discarded empty alcohol container such as a beer bottle, within twenty five feet of the front of the establishment. At one agency I observed two empty bottles in the bathroom. It is not clear however how the consumption of alcohol compares 65


in this population to blue collar patterns of alcohol consumption or even to that of university students. In conversations with thirty laborers ninety-five percent did not consider themselves "drunks," and resented that people at construction sites often referred to day labor agencies as the rent a drunk office Jack is an African-American male in his early forties a military veteran receiving a pension who worked in the VA Hospital as a lab technician prior to going to prison on domestic violence charges He claims that he came home from work one evening and found his former best friend in bed with his former wife, ... and just snapped Because of his charges, he was told he could not return to his job at the VA He's looking for regular work "I'm done with my pity party I put a daughter through college, I don t want her to see me as a labor pool man In casual conversations men tended to reminisce about past successes, whereas women tended to be more focused on present circumstances Neither males or females stated that they wanted full-time work as a goal, but were interested in getting out of labor pool work All laborers have stories about undergoing some form of abuse on a worksite. Frequently they felt that they were treated with less respect than regular employees, and staff at labor pool agencies concurred with this opinion There were a number of anecdotes about people who prefer to work in labor pools over regular jobs, because they like the flexibility, but none of the people I interviewed, or spoke with in casual conversation, claimed to be such a person During my observations on site, I noticed an average of four people per day filling out job applications for positions as day laborers Younger laborers expressed interest in getting G E D.s and older laborers spoke of a desire to increase skills in areas ranging from math to masonry and machinery. Laborers often wore worn clothing and some were 66


occasionally somewhat dirty and malodorous prior to going to work, but the work of general labor tends to be dirty and hard work During conversations laborers generally stated that they did not make enough money to stop living day to day They refer to this as "the labor pool trap In this situation laborers report that they are unable to make enough money to be able to take a full-time job Quite simply put to take a full-time job generally means waiting two weeks for the first paycheck As many laborers live in apartments for which they pay by the week and have other expenses of living to contend with daily laborers find themselves dependent upon daily money The validity of this situation as an absolute trap is quest i onable An employer if unwilling to loan an employee money up front which can later be taken from the check could start a person at work a week closer to the end of a pay period so that the laborer could earn money in one week or less This would negate having to wait two weeks. However no one, laborers or labor pool staff, reported that this occurs It i s the laborers' perceptions of feeling trapped that is important as it reflects a sense of powerlessness over the situation "caught in a trap," unable to overcome his or her circumstances I need a miracle from God one woman told me "I' m the oldest I have ever been and the worst off I have ever been She said the same thing many others said, "It s a vicious cycle ... You make $5 50 per hour pay $3.00 for a lunch, take out taxes and you pay $25-30 per day for a room and you're broke." As a whole, this group is a population predominantly of men (80%), who are either homeless or living in a transitional housing situation. They tend not to participate in local groups such as churches or social clubs preferring to "keep to (themselves) which suggests a rootlessness They are characterized as hard -living individuals ; their language is peppered with words generally considered profane and it is not uncommon for them to have criminal records or to be 67


arrested on charges such as vagrancy or having an open container of alcohol. They appear disheveled and have difficulty obtaining "regular work." Despite this characterization, day laborers work an average 32 to 40 hours per week. They report to the labor pool office between five and seven a.m., to go to work sites where they do hard labor for low wages Few of these men receive benefits or entitlements of any sort, as they are "able bodied men ; "not looking for handouts;" or the benefits are, "more trouble than they're worth Day laborers participate in the local economy, purchasing goods and services as well as contributing to its growth with their labor, and yet they live on the margins of the community. They express feelings of frustration as they attempt to earn enough money to meet day to day expenses Unable to escape a present-time orientation day laborers feel trapped in a situation of poverty Conclusion The observations and interviews of laborers and labor pools in the University West Area reveal that there is a relatively large marginalized population that consistently have been ignored or overlooked by social service providers They live in the woods, in vacant housing, on the street and in apartments they must rent by the week because they do not have enough money for a security depos it. This is striking in a "target area" that is replete with development activities from local, state and Federal interests. This population, clearly in a condition of poverty, has had no representation or voice in activities regarding the future of this community. The histor i cal trends regarding the development of the University West Area suggest that there has been relatively affordable housing attracting not only students but persons of limited income (Gouldman, 1994; Lavely Blackman and 68


Mann, 1995 ; Lew i s 1997). Add to this the historical evidence reported by labor pool staff regarding the efforts of the City of Tampa to "clean up" areas such as Kennedy Boulevard supported by the Zoning Act of 1988 as well as the problem that homeless shelters, all located in Tampa have been operating at maximum bed capacity since they began operation (Homeless Coalition personal communication, 1998) and it appears that this marginal population moved from the C i ty of Tampa to the University West Area It is beyond the scope of this project to answer why this population living on the margins of the city while building it has been ignored or avoided This study was designed to (1) identify this population; (2) to understand their relationship with the community ; (3) their means of subsistence ; and (4) their l i nk to "regular'' work. By pursuing these four questions I draw out a discussion of the issues homeless men in this community face This is particularly timely in the face of Florida's forthcoming Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency Initiative (WAGES). WAGES is a "welfare reform" initiative the state of Florida is beginning in October This program is intended to help welfare recipients to reenter the workforce by stopping their entitlements, and substituting aggressive case management to assist clients with finding work (WAGES webpage 1998) The underlying assumption is that hard work w ill lift welfare recipients from poverty Day laborers contradict this assumption. Hard work alone is not enough to escape poverty This project addresses the issues and problems fac i ng homeless men in the University West Area community By contextualizing who they are how they are linked to the community and what they have been doing there I hope this study w i ll serve as a reference and initial guide i n the planning of services, by i nte r ested actors such as the Homeless Coalition and the USF Community Initiative. 69


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Appendices 78


Appendix A I began my initial interviews with the following equipment: My car a Honda Civic Sedan ; and a full tank of gas A Sony Microcassette tape recorder ; Memore x c60 tapes ; AA batter i es Two stenographic note pads for jott i ngs and other notes A regular sized (8 5X11) note pad Several Informed Consent Forms Ball point and felt t i pped pens (felt tipped for writ i ng in irregular situat i ons requiring constant ink flow, such as jotting while driv i ng) Loose leaf binder with graph paper separators writing paper and sleeves to hold any documents A Swiss Army Knife A small flashlight ; AA batteries ( the sun i s not up at 5 a m in Mar c h ) Thermos full of hot coffee ; extra styrofoam cups ( for riders ) ; napk i ns ( for spills) Business cards which identified me as being affil i ated with USF and the Community Init i ative. 79


Appendix B General questions asked of day laborers. Why are you doing day labor instead of a full-time job? How long have you lived in the University West Area? Do you have your own place such as an apartment, to stay? In what way do you believe education to be important? Would you like to increase your education? What are your favorite things about this area? What are your least favorite things about this area? How do you feel about the neighborhood overall? Do you have a favorite place to relax outside of what you call home? Do you belong to any clubs, groups or church? 80


Appendix C Interview guide for day labor agencies. How big is this agency? This office? Is it locally state, nationally or internationally owned? When did this agency come to the University West Area? Are there other branches in the Tampa Bay area? What made the University West Area a desirable place to locate your business? Is your office staff from the University West Area? What percentage of your temporary workforce is from the University West Area? How many active temporary employees do you estimate are working for you on a regular I daily basis? Do you have a high level of office staff turn-over (+30% per year)? Temporary staff turn-over ( +30% per year)? What is the average number of tickets that run out of your office daily? What is the range of activities a labor can expect on a ticket from this office? How many days does the average ticket last? Are you open seven days per week? What shifts (day, evening night) are run out of this office? What is the average number of hours laborers work on a ticket? How much time do laborers spend waiting for a ticket here (at the labor hall)? And how much time do they spend waiting to get paid at the end of the day? 81


Does your agency offer any training to temporary employees? Does your agency provide or offer benefits such as health or vacation time to employees? Do you provide equipment or transportation for employees? Is there any charge? Do you provide lunch? Cost? What is your policy if a laborer is offered a full-time position while on a ticket? How does an area business arrange a contract with your agency? What are the benefits or advantages for a business that uses your agency? What are the disadvantages for a business using this type of agency? What makes this a good business/what are the advantages for the community? What are the disadvantages? 82


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