Off the record, the Los Angeles committee and area residents mobilized to provide help to the refugees arriving every day from the Bay Area. The Citizen Relief Committee had set aside $30,000 to help care for the destitute and children from the quake zone. Mostly the committee wanted men from the north to stay put and “shift for themselves.”
Los Angeles citizens actually provided considerable assistance. Local Catholic Churches were tasked with receiving and classifying refugees for needed assistance. A Women’s Relief Committee dedicated its efforts to the destitute refugees. (Many arrivals had the means for transportation and other help; but others had lost everything to the earthquake or the fire). The women encouraged residents to donate clothing and supplies. The faculty of a small college outside Pomona (Lordsburg College) opened its buildings for 500 refugees. Homeowners in Inglewood pledged to house 100 arrivals. Seventy-five ministers agreed to take 5000 people in their church buildings and at the YMCA. Several local physicians offered their waiting rooms for overnight stays by the refugees.
A Los Angeles “doctor train” was one of the city’s most immediate and effective responses to the disaster in the north. The City Council chartered a special train to take 100 physicians and 150 nurses to San Francisco to provide medical relief.
“Homes Thrown Open to the Refugees,” Los Angeles Times, April 22, 1906,
“Hundred Thousand Pledged from Here, “ Los Angeles Times, April 19, 1906.