The Home is an orphanage. When the novel begins, Bud Caldwell is staying there. Readers are told that Bud is being adopted by a family that day. We are also told that Jerry Clark is being adopted. The only other character from the Home that readers get to meet is Bugs.
Bud does not want to go back to the orphanage because it is overcrowded. The most likely reason for the overcrowding is the Great Depression. Bud, Not Buddy takes place during that time period, and orphaned children were quite common. Thousands of children were without parents after parents starved to death or abandoned their kids. Orphanages were filled beyond capacity, and conditions suffered as a result.
Bud's description of the orphanage hints to readers that the rules were very strict there. Meals were especially strict. Bud tells readers that no one could talk during meals. If someone talked, he or she was not allowed to finish the meal.
At the Home, after grace was said, we weren't allowed to say boo. . . At the Home, if you got caught talking during mealtime, you'd have to get up and leave your food.
Once Bud begins being adopted into Calloway's band, Bud really doesn't want to go back to the Home. The band members give Bud a sense of belonging and family, something he hasn't had since his mother died.