Shanghai Jim (shanghai_jim) wrote in little_details,
Shanghai Jim

Help searching for hobo health care in 1946 California

I'm not sure how to search since I don't know which tack to take. In 1946 California (specifically Bakersfield), where would a homeless white man be taken if he starts coughing up blood?

The character is the companion of my MC, of whom I've written about here before, and he has terminal lung cancer caused by exposure to nuclear weapons materials. He's not mentally stable and has been under my MC's wing as they drift down California's Central Valley doing odd jobs like farm work. I had thought that arriving at Bakersfield they would stay at some flophouse or roominghouse, but when he gets sick I have no idea what anyone would do for him. It's not as if homeless crazy people who are sick get the best care in the present day anyway. Would the county general hospital take him? Would they keep him there, or will they put him in some sort of charity ward or hospice?

My aim is to place him in a hospital or hospice-like setting where basically we will watch him deteriorate while my MC holds out hope. It's a plot device to complicate things for my MC.

Should I search under "charity" or "hospice", or "tramp/hobo/health", or something else?
Tags: 1940-1949, usa: california, usa: health care and hospitals, ~homelessness, ~medicine: historical, ~psychology & psychiatry: historical

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