Families made homes wherever they could and out of whatever materials were available.
Some workers took advantage of temporary shelters or tent camps provided by government relief programs after 1940, while others were able to access housing provided by employers.
Hastily constructed, makeshift shelters were common, although migrants usually had to pay weekly rents even for small patches of dirt or underbrush where they could park a car or lay down a pallet.
Even in structures made of burlap sacks, tin, and old boxes—or blankets slung over ropes spanning between palm trees—the new arrivals worked to make the accommodations as comfortable as possible.
Clean water for drinking and bathing was often hard to find, and in many instances the companies and land owners providing space for worker camps would only make water available a few hours a day.
Families cared for each other with what they had and made the best of extremely difficult situations.
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Wife of packinghouse worker, migrant from Missouri said "We have never lived like hogs before but we sure does now, it's no different from hog livvin." Canal Point, Florida.
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Photographed at the utility building of the Okeechobee Migratory Labor Camp.
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Migrant packinghouse workers' camp in swamp cane clearing. Housing two families (twelve people) from Tennessee. No lights, no water, no privy. Wash water is hauled from dirty canal, drinking water is hauled from packing house. Belle Glade, Florida.
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A single room cabin cost 2 dollars a week and a double room cabin cost 4 dollars. Water had to be hauled.
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