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woman struggling in the toils of distress. When our Lord said that
the love of our neighbor is next to the love of God, he gave to each
of us a mission to the needy. “Go, thou, and do likewise,” is not
a mere counsel or suggestion : it is a command; and in the Great
Day each of us must stand alone, face to face with the Judge, and
must answer him how we have kept, or how we have neglected, his
command in this respect.

At the head of all forms of material relief I place personal visita-
tion to the distressed. In the home of the poor, and not in our own
home nor in our office, but under the roof of the poor man's house,
let us work out our mission to the poor. Here in private we may
see the print of the nails that have wounded his life. Here we lift
from his head the crown of thorns that tortures and blinds him.
Here let us give our brother our best counsel, our love, and, when
needed, what material aid we can of ourselves bestow or procure for

Man does not live by bread alone. Friendship, sympathy, strength, and fresh hope we can freely give, and be none the poorer, but the richer, for giving.

But personal service, though the best, has its limitations. One cannot, in justice to himself or to other duties, always visit nor always give. Hence association with kindred spirits in charitable societies becomes a necessity to most of us. Each can contribute some of his time, his money, or his counsel for the common good of the whole; and this accumulation goes out to the poor as the offering of each one.

Saint Thomas says, “Charity, chief of the virtues, ceases to be even a virtue, when wise order is missing from it.” Probably none are better qualified to heartily indorse this saying of the angelic doctor than this Conference of Charities. The very purpose of this Conference is to study the needs of the poor and to suggest the wisest methods of dealing with them. Each one who speaks here adds his mite to the common stock of information. He does more than that: he gives to every worker in the cause of charity renewed strength in the thought that he is not working alone. To rescue a boy or girl from a life of vice and misery is to add to the happy homes of our country, to raise up a good citizen, to give another good woman as a crown and a blessing to a fireside. Think of their children stretching out into generations of good men and good

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women! Who can measure the gain to our country? No one but God, the common Father of us all. It is in meetings like this that the seed of great good is sown. Some of us may highly resolve to devote more of our life to active charity than before, and in such meetings as this the way to do good work is made clear to us.

Members of the Conference of Charities, who from all over this fair land of ours have come to counsel and encourage one another in the cause of our delinquent, our dependent, and defective fellowbeings, you who voluntarily have become as eyes for them who are blind, who speak for some who cannot speak for themselves, who aim to be a strength to the weak, a shield against those who would oppress them, to you I express the earnest wish that the widening spirit of brotherly love may yearly add to your numbers and increase your strength. May the wisdom of your counsel become so apparent that your influence for good shall be felt from ocean to ocean, affecting public as well as private action in all that relates to the complex problems of charity and correction !

I am grateful that an opportunity has been given me to take even a small part in the meeting, and shall go home to my own work the stronger and better for personal contact with the members of the National Conference of Charities.




We limit public relief in Chicago to the arrangements made by the county commissioners for the care of the poor. I do not say pau pers, for I do not like the word as applied to poor people generally The term “poor” may include paupers and sometimes criminals, b the great proportion of the poor people in Chicago are neither cri inals nor paupers.

I do not believe that the number of those w permanently and willingly depend upon charity, or who seek to by fraud and indolence, is as one to ten of the whole number of

respectable unfortunate poor, who are usually self-supporting, and who always make the best effort at self-support of which they are capable. They ask for temporary aid only in extraordinary emergencies; and, when the emergency is past, they leave the ranks of the dependent and become again self-supporting.

The county provides both indoor and outdoor relief, --- indoor for those who can be better treated in institutions, and outdoor for those who can be better treated at their homes.

The following institutions are connected with the system of indoor relief; namely, a general hospital, an infirmary for chronic invalids and incurables, a hospital for the insane, another for contagious diseases, and an almshouse for the aged and permanently dependent who are neither sick nor insane. The capacity of all these institutions is, in round numbers, four thousand. They are all generally full, except the almshouse in summer. They carry a total of about five hundred names on their pay-rolls. How many are actually employed I do not undertake to say.

The cost of grounds, buildings, and furnishings for these institutions is not far from $3,000,000. The total cost of operating them is $700,000 per annum.

Public outdoor relief is administered through an officer known as the county agent and appointed by the county commissioners. He has an office and storehouse near the centre of the city, with a corps of clerks, book-keepers, and visitors, together with a number of physicians who attend to the sick poor. This county agent issues provisions, fuel, and shoes, also gives orders on the county undertaker for interment, and in special cases furnishes transportation. He gives no money, bedding, or clothing, under any circumstances.

The general monthly allowance of outdoor relief for one family is a 25-1b. sack of flour, five pounds of corn beef, five pounds of beans, three of rice, five of oatmeal, one-half of coffee and tea, one bar of soap, and, in the winter, one-half ton of soft coal. The allowance is proportioned to the number of persons in the family and the measure of disability, large families receiving twice this ration.

The appropriation to the county agent's office generally averages $100,000 per annum for supplies and $25,000 for expenses. This, I think, covers all that is technically embraced in public relief in Chicago.

In the "Directory of Chicago Charities," published last year by






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the secretary of the Illinois Conference of Charities and Correction,
there are enumerated two hundred private charitable institutions and
societies, exclusive of churches. This enumeration includes hos-
pitals, dispensaries, homes for the friendless, the aged, incurables,
crippled children, asylums, refuges, reformatories, training schools,
missions, kindergartens, crèches, university settlements, and special
relief societies of the different fraternities and nationalities.

The name of the society or institution generally defines its nature
and limitations, so that there is little, if any, danger of duplication.

The only general relief society, which undertakes to administer relief to all deserving needy persons for whom no other provision is made, is the Chicago Relief and Aid Society.

This society is entirely free from political or sectarian control, and in the administration of its charity makes no distinction as to nationality, color, or creed. It aims to do promptly and adequately whatever seems absolutely necessary in any given case to prevent or to relieve distress. It does not handle supplies of food or fuel, but gives money, bedding, clothing, and shoes.

It owns large privileges in the various private hospitals, in the Home for the Friendless, and the Old People's Home, on account of having advanced to them large sums of money; and, through these institutions, the society accomplishes a vast amount of work.

The objects and methods of this society are briefly outlined in its special charter, granted by the State of Illinois in 1857, also in its constitution and by-laws, and in its general rules and rules for visitors. Section 2 of its charter reads as follows:

SECTION 2.- The objects of this corporation shall be strictly of an eleemosynary nature. They shall be to provide a permanent, efficient, and practical mode of administering and distributing the private charities of the city of Chicago; to examine and establish the necessary means for obtaining full and reliable information of the condition and wants of the poor of said city, and putting into practical and efficient operation the best system of relieving and preventing want and pauperism therein.

Section 1 of the Constitution is as follows:

1. In carrying out the objects of this society as indicated in t act of incorporation, it shall be the end aimed at, not only to aff temporary relief to the destitute, but also, by rendering timely co sel and assistance to deserving but indigent persons, to place t)

above the necessity of aid; and, without positively limiting itself to any one class in the distribution of its charities, the society shall discriminate in favor of those in whom habits of temperance, industry, and thrift give promise of permanent benefit from the aid furnished, and shall not embrace in the sphere of its operations such as are the proper subjects for the poorhouse or for the action of the county officers.

By-law No. 13 provides that "there shall be a Committee on Hospitals and Homes, consisting of three members, which shall have charge of the relations of this society to the various hospitals and homes of the city as have received endowment appropriations from this society."

By-law No. 15. A Committee on Co-operation, consisting of three members, whose duty it shall be to maintain and strengthen friendly relations between this and other charitable societies, associations, or agencies, local and in other cities, with a view to promoting the largest efficiency and usefulness of this society.

From the general rules and rules for visitors :

Each applicant for relief is entitled to charity until a careful examination proves the contrary.

Relief is to be given only after a personal investigation of each case by visitation and inquiry by the superintendent or authorized visitor.

Relief to be discontinued to those who manifest a purpose to depend on alms rather than their own exertions for support.

Able-bodied men are not regarded as proper subjects for relief, but will be furnished employment directly by the superintendent or sent to reliable employment agents, with whom the society co-operates.

Applicants having claims on other charities are to be furnished with a card directing them to the same.

It is an absolute condition of relief by this society that all persons receiving aid are not to ask alms or assistance of the public, either on the street, at residences, or places of business.

In all cases where families or persons, on account of want of employment, have been aided by this Society through a winter, and are by us offered situations, either in the city or country, adapted to their condition in life, with aid to reach such situations, which they refuse to accept, no further relief shall be extended to them.

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This society operates two wood-yards. It has not, within the last twenty years, refused any sober, single, able-bodied man an opportunity to earn board and lodging for a limited time, by working four or five hours a day, leaving him the rest of the time wherein to find

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