Skip to main content

Leaving Scattergood

In New Home

A newspaper article about the first guests

The hostel could only house 20-25 guests at one time. Guests were expected to leave the hostel approximately four months after their arrival. This was possible due to Scattergood's job placement program.  The staff spent a lot of time searching for jobs all over the Midwest.

Very few guests were placed in jobs that were of the same status as their prior work, let alone in the same field. Often highly educated people were placed in less-skilled jobs, such as the former professor who was given the job of a ski-instructor in Minnesota. One of the guests, Walter Shostal, was convinced that the staff at Scattergood did not even consider looking for jobs that were within his line of work.

After the United States joined the war in December 1941, it became easier for Scattergood guests to find work. The U.S. economy was beginning to thrive and more jobs had opened up for the refugees. As the war went on, fewer refugees were able to come to the U.S. and there was no longer a need for a transition center such as Scattergood. The Hostel closed on March 15, 1943, bringing an end to the haven in the heartland.