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Beggs (Larry) Papers on Huckleberry House
SFH 49  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Materials
  • Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    Title: Larry Beggs Papers on Huckleberry House
    creator: Beggs, Larry (Edward Larry)
    Identifier/Call Number: SFH 49
    Identifier/Call Number: 11
    Physical Description: 5 Cubic Feet 3 boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 box of audiorecordings, 4 folders of photographs, 1 flat file
    Date (inclusive): 1965-2009
    Date (bulk): 1967-1969
    Abstract: The collection consists of correspondence and other personal papers, clippings, ephemera, reports, publications, audiorecordings, posters, and photographs of and about Huckleberry's for Runaways, later known as Huckleberry House, the nation's first runaway shelter for adolescents ages 12-18, founded and co-directed by Reverend Larry Beggs in 1967. The collection documents Beggs' role as counselor, administrator, author, public speaker and youth advocate from an era before the term "youth advocate" was coined; and the response from teens, parents, service providers, and the press to Beggs, his work, and to Huckleberry's. To a lesser extent, it documents the evolution of Huckleberry's as an organization, from a first-of-its-kind runaway project to the multiservice youth agency of today. It also gives a good snapshot of the social mileu of the late 1960s as it relates to middle-class youth and to hippie culture.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.

    Access

    The collection is open for research, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Please call the San Francisco History Center for hours and information at 415-557-4567.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Larry Beggs Papers on Huckleberry House (SFH 49), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Provenance

    Gift of Edward Larry Beggs, 2009

    Related Materials

    Researchers are encouraged to see also Huckleberry's for Runaways by Larry Beggs, in the San Francisco History Center's book collection.

    Historical

    Huckleberry's for Runaways was founded and co-directed by Reverend Larry Beggs in 1967 as the nation's first community-based runaway shelter for adolescents aged 12-18. Begun as a three-month project sponsored by the Regional Young Adult Project, a church-based coordinating group that included the Glide Foundation, and funded by the San Francisco Foundation, the shelter was opened in anticipation of the large number of young people from across the nation expected to arrive in San Francisco for the Summer of Love. Located in a Victorian house at 1 Broderick Street in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the shelter was named after Mark Twain's fictional runaway character, Huckleberry Finn.
    When Beggs-- whose full name is Edward Larry Beggs--became co-director with Barbara Brachman, he was a young Congregational minister with experience in family therapy and a firm commitment to the autonomy and decision-making capabilities of teenagers. In February 1969, with the publication of his book, Huckleberry's for Runaways, and his subsequent book tour and media appearances, he became a national spokesperson and consultant for Huckleberry's and runaway youth issues. When he left the organization in July 1970, his title was Executive Director, and Huckleberry's was well under way in its evolution from a crisis shelter into a multiservice youth organization under the umbrella name Youth Advocates, Inc.
    When Huckleberry's began, it was illegal to harbor a minor without parental consent, and it was also illegal for a minor to run away. Runaway youth routinely were arrested and taken to Juvenile Hall. Huckleberry's was a community-based alternative to the criminal justice system that didn't fit within then-current legal and bureaucratic structures. Although Huckleberry's had a policy of requiring parental permission for a young person to stay overnight, there was a police raid on Oct. 20, 1967 in which the staff and youth of Huckleberry's were arrested. The community response to the incident included legal representation by Assemblyman Willie Brown, who later introduced state legislation to allow emergency youth facilities to offer short-term stays for minors in crisis. Beggs' 1969 book, together with his media appearances, publicized and provoked a national discussion on the issue of runaway youth, resulting in the passage of the National Runaway Act in 1974, which decriminalized teen runaways and funded Huckleberry's and other runaway shelters for which Huckleberry's had served as a model.
    In 1969, after struggling to maintain funding and find a stable address, Huckleberry's incorporated as Youth Advocates, Inc., and applied for and received funding from the San Francisco and Rosenberg Foundations. The shelter's name was changed to "Huckleberry House," and it became a resource center, offering expanded residential and drop-in services in additon to the crisis shelter. Its clientele was also shifting towards local, rather than mostly out-of-town, youth. In the 1970s, the organization expanded its scope and its funding sources even further and evolved into what the 1973 annual report refers to as a "service system." In 1972, it began contracting with the City and shifted to a fee-for-service model. With this model, it began to formalize and professionalize its implementation of comprehensive services for teenagers and their families, including advocacy counseling, psychological services, as well as medical, legal, educational, and referral services. It also expanded its residences to include short and long-term group homes at other locations in the city, as well as a shelter in Marin County called 9 Grove Lane. In the 1980s, a house at 1292 Page Street, also in the Haight, was purchased as the site for Huckleberry House, which had remained the hub of the agency. This address is the site of Huckleberry House today. In 1998, Youth Advocates, Inc. changed its name to Huckleberry Youth Programs, the organization's current name.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection consists of correspondence and other personal papers, clippings, ephemera, reports, publications, audiorecordings, posters, and photographs of and about Huckleberry's for Runaways, later known as Huckleberry House, the nation's first runaway shelter for adolescents ages 12-18, founded and co-directed by Reverend Larry Beggs in 1967. The collection documents Beggs' role as counselor, administrator, author, public speaker and youth advocate from an era before the term "youth advocate" was coined; and the response from teens, parents, service providers, and the press to Beggs, his work, and to Huckleberry's. To a lesser extent, it documents the evolution of Huckleberry's as an organization, from a first-of-its-kind runaway project to the multiservice youth agency of today. It also gives a good snapshot of the social mileu of the late 1960s as it relates to middle-class youth and to hippie culture.
    Most of the personal papers consist of letters to Beggs from teenagers, young adults, and parents asking for help and advice, writing to Beggs or Huckleberry's before or after visiting, or responding to Beggs' 1969 book, Huckleberry's for Runaways, and/or his television appearances. Beggs' responses are often included as notes written on the letters or as typed copies. There is also a folder of correspondence related to Beggs' speaking engagements. Other personal papers include materials related to the publication and promotion of Beggs' book, including materials for a revision planned for the late 1990s that was never published; together with a folder of correspondence and rough planning notes on Huckleberry's 20th and 25th anniversary reunions, a handful of unpublished articles and bibliographies, and some autobiographical notes.
    The small amount of organizational records consists of miscellaneous files, ephemera, and reports of Huckleberry's for Runaways, Huckleberry House, and umbrella and offshoot organizations Huckleberry Youth Programs, Nine Grove Lane, and Youth Advocates, Inc. covering the 1960s-2000s.
    Clippings are mostly from San Francisco Bay Area newspapers, about runaway youth, Huckleberry House, and the program counterpart at 9 Grove Lane in San Anselmo, Marin County. There is one folder of clippings of book reviews of Huckleberry's for Runaways and one containing clippings and related material on the police raid of Huckleberry's on Oct. 20, 1967.
    Publications--primarily covering 1967-1969--consist mostly of popular magazines, a newsletter, a pamphlet, and an art exhibit guide about runaways and youth culture, some of which feature Huckleberry House specifically. Also included is the 1968 mass market paperback book We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us Against by Nicholas on Hoffman about "the hippie scene." There is also a 1967 issue of Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development titled Suburban Runaways of the 1960s, annotated by Beggs, whose research "guided the policy formulations of Huckleberry's for Runaways." (per Beggs' notes)
    The collection includes a small amount of photographic material, including prints and contact sheets by photographers John Gorman and Bob Fitch, of Beggs and other staff and clients at Huckelberry's, taken for the book and published articles. Additionally, there are a few snapshots that were enclosed with correspondence or photos collaged as part of posters or other assembled files.
    Posters are mostly homemade collages containing photos, letters, and clippings of the house, the clients, and Beggs, along with two commercially-printed posters.
    Audiorecordings consist of five reel-to-reel tapes of various sizes and in DVD-RW format), 1967-1969, containing client interviews, media interviews with Beggs, interviews with people on the street, family sessions, Beggs' appearance on the Mike Douglas show in March 1969, and a news conference on the police raid of Oct. 20, 1967.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in seven series: Series 1: Correspondence and Personal Papers; Series 2: Organizational Files; Series 3: Clippings; Series 4: Publications; Series 5: Posters; Series 6: Audiorecordings; and Series 7: Photographs.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Social work with youth -- California -- San Francisco.
    Runaway teenagers -- California -- San Francisco.
    Youth Advocates, Inc
    Huckleberry House, Inc
    Huckleberry's for Runaways
    Huckleberry Youth Programs