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Travelers Aid Society of San Diego (1914-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Travelers Aid Society of San Diego (1914-)
Variant Name: Travelers Aid Movement, Travelers' Aid Society

Historical Note:

The Travelers Aid Society of San Diego was formed in 1914 as a non-sectarian, protective organization incorporated under the laws of the State of California to safeguard travelers, particularly women, girls, and boys, who by reason of inexperience, ignorance, illness, infirmity, or other disability, are in need of assistance while traveling. At the time of its founding, its aim was to provide information, advice, guidance, and protection to all travelers irrespective of age, race, creed, class, or sex. Women workers knowing multiple languages were employed by the Society to meet trains and steamers coming into the city to aid and conduct inexperienced or confused travelers at any hour of the day or night to their destination within the city, or to find transportation to other points. When necessary, the Society provided temporarily for the traveler through an investigated list of homes, institutions, boarding houses, and hotels. This mission continues unchanged to the present day; further modes of travel are accommodated, and general enhanced social service referral is also practiced.

The Travelers Aid was founded to deal with the great influx of people into the city of San Diego in 1914. These travelers, drawn by the Panama-California Exposition of 1915-1916, came for pleasure or to find work in the booming town of San Diego. Emigrants to the city continued to pour in after the Exposition, and San Diego saw more and more tourist and traveler activity through World War I and the Great Depression. During and after World War II, San Diego's permanent and visitor population swelled. Originally part of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), the Travelers Aid Society was part of the USO and provided significant services for armed services officers and their families. Travelers Aid was also associated with San Diego Community Chest as a social service agency.

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