Today we have "homeless people", who were perhaps always with us but rendered invisible by the media. On the Bowery deals with the pathetic denizens of a couple of really vile city blocks in lower Manhattan. Chronic, advanced alcoholics mill about on the sidewalks. They live in filthy clothes and survive from drink to drink, scrounging the money as they go along. Some of them apparently receive money from the outside, but we see others making "squeeze" from poisonous Sterno cooking fuel. If they have thirty cents they can sleep in a flophouse, and if they don't they collapse on the sidewalk. Many of these guys just get so wiped out that they fall down as soon as they exit the bars.
There is a story of sorts. A fairly young fellow (30? 35?) named Ray (Ray Salyer) arrives with a suitcase and some cash from a railroad job. He's soon chiseled and fleeced by Gorman (Gorman Hendricks), an elderly, sharp operator who befriends Ray, secretly steals his possessions and then arranges to play the hero by giving some of the cash back to him, as a gift. Ray finds a day's work unloading a truck, and almost joins a church mission that promises a clean room and food for a few weeks for those willing to cut out the booze. Ray instead goes on an even worse bender, and narrowly avoids being picked up in a police sweep.