Fred's Poorhouse is a welfare-based housing facility owned by Doctor Fred. Located on the outskirts of New York City, it serves as an indiscriminate shelter for the city's Depression-affected jobless and poor.
Background and Logistics
The housing facility originally exists as a hotel which, upon going out of business, is bought by Fred with the original intention of converting it into a hospital. Instead, he decides to repurpose the hotel into a residential facility for the unemployed for the duration of the Depression..
The poorhouse's tenants pay the lowest possible rent, which falls under the cost of upkeep, and as a result the poorhouse financially can only ever break even. The lack of profit means that the available rooms tend to be near-Spartan with regards to furnishings.
Breakfast is included in the rent and served in the lobby-turned-cafeteria, while dinner appears to be available at a price. Transporters from Fred's Clinic, such as Isaac & Miria in February 1935, are responsible for delivering food and medical supplies to the poorhouse on a frequent basis.
The poorhouse's staff are all volunteers, about half of whom are also tenants. Many of its tenants earn hourly wages as construction laborers, several of whom were notably involved in the construction of Ra's Lance.
Aside from Fred's own monetary contributions, the Gandor Family and some of the other local mafia syndicates jointly invest money in the poorhouse so as to curry favor with the locals.
Fred buys and repurposes the hotel sometime before December 1931, though the housing facility is closed during the time he spends travelling before returning to New York on December 31, 1931. He spends early January 1932 treating several patients over at his clinic, including Roy Maddock, and the Gandors ask him to employ Roy at the housing facility as a means for Roy to pay the Gandors back for the trouble he has caused. Fred not only employs Roy as his manager at the poorhouse but at some point hires Upham—another former patient—to work there too.
In February 1935, several of the facility's tenants fall into commotion at the sight and sound of seaplanes firing upon the city and shout about an 'attack' until well into the night. Roughly around the same day, a man named Nader Schasschule arrives at the facility and pays for a room, where he sleeps for a while until a nightmare causes him to tumble out of bed. Roy, whose room is directly below Nader's, hears the crash and comes upstairs to investigate. Once Nader lets him inside the room, he introduces himself as Goose, the name of his old boss Goose Perkins. Roy introduces himself with his real name, and leaves Nader alone.
A few hours later, Nader and Roy meet once more in the cafeteria during the breakfast rush, and Roy fetches servings for both of them before sitting at Nader's table. Nader compliments the food during their conversation, and later meets the cook himself once Roy invites him over. The cook is introduced as Upham, and soon tentatively recognizes Nader as his former comrade. Panicking, Nader leaps to his feet and puts the tip of a fork to Upham's throat. A [[Laz Smith|nearby diner, disgruntled by the interruption, threatens Nader with a gun; however, the altercation ends when another diner smashes a whiskey bottle on Nader's head. Nader drops the fork and crumples to the ground, soon passing out.
Roy and Upham carry Nader to his room, where he regains consciousness and comes to a truce with Upham. They are joined by Doctor Fred and Ladd Russo, the latter of whom has prior business with Nader, and Nader recognizes Fred as the doctor who once saved his life in December 1931. Roy and Upham leave soon after, and with thirty minutes gone by Ladd and Nader talk while Graham Specter—accompanied by Shaft—attempts to regale Isaac & Miria with a story in the hallway.
All six of them head down to the cafeteria at the sound of a commotion, where from the hallway they find Luck Gandor defusing a confrontation between Smith and Maria Barcelito. Once he is successful, he offers Smith and Alkins a job working for the Gandor Family at the casino party at Ra's Lance later that month. Upon hearing the news that Huey Laforet may be involved, Ladd strides into the cafeteria and expresses his interest in Luck's offer.
Once Ladd and his crew leave with Luck, Maria, and their new crew, Nader asks Roy if he knows anyone connected to the Runorata Family. To his surprise, Roy does: one Eve Genoard, who lives somewhere in New Jersey. While Roy does not know where Eve lives specifically, Isaac and Miria do, and they are more than happy to give Nader Eve's address. Nader departs for Eve's home that evening.
Nader returns to the facility in the dead of night, whereupon he collapses at one of the cafeteria tables. Roy assumes that Nader's meeting wth Eve went awry, but Nader corrects him: he successfully arranged a deal with Eve and will be attending the casino party as a gambler. He is unhappy despite his success, wondering why would trust someone like him so easily. The two proceed to have a long conversation about Nader's old desire to become a hero and what it means to be one.
List of Staff and Tenants
Confirmed Volunteer Staff
- Nader Schasschule (February 1935)
- Alkins (seen hungover in the cafeteria in 1935-B)