The Great Depression had a devastating effect on Americans across the United States during the 1930s. Unemployment figures were very high, and many people did not have the money to pay their rents or mortgages. As a result, many Americans were homeless. They began to build their own communities on the outskirts of urban areas, with homes built out of cardboard and scraps of wood and metal. Because these people believed that President Herbert Hoover had not responded to their needs or done enough to stop the depression, residents of these shanty towns called their communities "Hoovervilles."

Ohio was home to a number of Hoovervilles. The more famous ones in Ohio were located at Circleville and Cleveland.

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