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of its eleven districts, and a separate city owns a site and because the collection of the funds necessary Lenox avenue place is in a residenfor its support from the resi- tial district. The need for a new hosdents of the district, financial pital in Harlem is approaching the matters will be entrusted to condition accurately described as central committee of fifteen and a long-felt and urgent. central treasurer. This is the plan in force in the charity organization The new wing of the hospital for societies of New York, Baltimore, private patients, which will be a and Boston. Philadelphia and Lon- part of New York Hospital, in Sixdon have the method which has been teenth street, near Fifth avenue, was abandoned in Chicago.
opened for inspection November 22. The board of governors gave an in
formal reception. The wing will be The Sisters of the Poor of St.
ready for occupancy in two weeks, Francis, who conduct St. Francis's
and will have accommodations for Hospital, at 609 Fifth street, have
sixty patients. bought from Mr. Edwin A. Bradley and Mr. George C. Currier the plot PUBLIC HEARINGS OF THE TENEMENT-HOUSE
COMMISSION. of thirty-two lots on the east side of Brook avenue,
from The Tenement-House Commission One Hundred and Forty-second continued its hearings in the assemto One Hundred and Forty- bly hall of the United Charities third street, comprising eight lots Building, Friday afternoon, Novemon the avenue and twelve on the ber 23. Mr. Robert W.de Forest prestreet. The property will eventual- sided and the subject under discusly be improved with a hospital build- sion was, “The Existing Evils of the ing: The block above, on Brook Tenement-House System.” Among avenue, is occupied by St. Joseph's those who testified were Mr. Jacob Hospital.
A. Riis, Mr. Ernest Flagg, archi
tect of many model tenement houses; Commissioner John W. Keller has Dr. E. R. L. Gould, who has made a recommended to the board of esti- special study of the housing condimate and apportionment the pur- tions in the leading cities of Europe; chase of a site on Lenox avenue, be- Miss Lillian D. Wald, head worker tween One Hundred and Thirty- of the Nurses' Settlement, 265 sixth and One Hundred and Thirty- Henry street; and the Rev. W. T. seventh streets, for a new Harlem Elsing, of the De Witt Memorial Hospital. The Lenox avenue site Church, in Rivington street, and was favored under the Strong administration and rejected by the Dr. E. R. L. Gould told of the present administration because the operations of the City and Suburban
Homes Company which is earning Referring to the plan for licensing for its stockholders four per cent tenement houses, he stated that this dividends on an investment of $2,- plan would secure the registration of 000,000 in model tenement and sub- the owners of tenements and could urban houses. He said that it was es- be so administered as to prevent sential in the building of healthful overcrowding, by making the landtenements to include sufficiently lord responsible when more tenants large courts, and that it was almost were found in the house than the impossible to plan tenements which license permitted. contained sufficiently large ventila- Miss Lillian D. Wald spoke at tion and light space on 25-foot front length upon the prevalence of tuberlots.
For this reason the building culosis in tenement houses, saying: of the best tenement houses was to “It is almost an epidemic.” She bebe most expeditiously done on a large came very earnest in describing the scale.
dark and unventilated apartments in Mr. Jacob A. Riis testified that the the over-crowded districts. airshaft in the beginning was an ad- "In eight years' experience, visitvantage over the old style of build- ing tenements each day," said she. ing in that it was a tacit admission “I have seen gas lighted in dark halls on the part of the owner that the in the daytime only four or five tenant had a right to air and light, times. These halls are very foul as but that per se it was not a good well as dark. A person using the thing. He stated that in tenement stairs is in constant danger of stumhouses to-day there is less dirt but bling over children.” Referring to more over-crowding than thirty the airshaft, she said: "I asked a years ago; that at present there is groupof women, who have lived allof no possibility of privacy, and true their lives in tenement houses, if the family life is nearly impossible. The tenement were to be improved in one rooms have grown smaller in the specific way, to name the one thing past few years and there are more they would prefer, and their unanioccupants in a
mous answer was, 'Get rid of the stated that in his opinion stairs were airshaft.' It conveys nothing but preferable to ladders, as fire-escapes, foul odors and disturbing noises for without the assistance of firemen from neighboring windows, and is it was impossible for women and
a menace to health !" children to use ladders, especially in Mr. Ernest Flagg stated that the winter when they are covered with airshaft was not only a menace to snow and ice.
He would require health but an actual waste of room. fire-escapes on both front and rear In his opinion abolishing the twentyand believes that outside stairs will five-foot lot would remedy the whol solve the problem.
difficulty. Mr. Flagg presenter"
ures to show that fireproof construc- Rev. Gaylor S. White described tion is actually cheaper than non- the exceedingly bad conditions in a fireproof construction.
section of Brooklyn, near the Navy
Yard, where he resides; and Mrs. J. The third public hearing before A. Miller and Mr. Henry Mosthe Tenement-House Commission covitz testified from long resiwas held on Monday evening, No- dence in tenement houses to the convember 26. The constantly cumula
ditions which need to be utterly tive testimony regarding the evil ef- abolished by legislation, and made fects of the existing type of building numerous practical suggestions of with its narrow airshaft, its common value. waterclosets, its lack of decency and Miss Agnes Daly also testified in of proper safeguards against fire a vein similar to that of an article and disease, was greatly increased which will be printed in the next by the evidence given by people who number of CHARITIES. live in tenement houses and in set- Mr. Edward T. Devine, general tlements, and by the testimony of secretary of the Charity Organizathose who work in charitable soci- tion Society, called attention to the eties. Mrs. Florence Kelley who high rents paid by tenants and the has lived in Hull House, Chicago, consequent narrow margin for savwho has been a factory inspector in ing when income is cut off. While Illinois, and who is now connected the commission might not be able to with the Consumers' League, pro- devise laws that would directly tested that the recommendations of lower rents, it would be possible to previous witnesses were not suffi- provide for greater decency and ciently radical. She would prevent comfort, and for more of the conthe erection of tenement houses of ditions that make for life and health, anything like the present type in sec- without necessarily increasing rents.' tions where they do not now exist. Compulsory increase of light and The physical injuries from climbing air, better ventilation, safety from tenement house stairs make the erec- fire and from infection would not tion of any six and seven story tene- give the landlords an additional ments entirely inadvisable.
hold upon their tenants by which Mr. Frank Tucker, general agent they could exact higher rents. It of the Association for Improving the would not be until the new restricCondition of the Poor, spoke in favor tions actually discouraged new of public baths, which he thought buildings so that the supply of apartmuch preferable to common baths ments is reduced, that rents would in the tenement house, and dealt be raised, and there is ample evidence comprehensively with the general that tenements can be erected acsubject.
cording to a reasonable standard
and still yield a commercial profit on visits to the homes of the children the investment.
in order to know the family condiThere is much destitution directly tions, and to ascertain if the child due to overcrowding, to the lack of could attend public school, the oblight and air and to infected walls, ject being to co-operate with the pubceilings and floors. The experience lic schools and to take only those of the agents and visitors of the children into the industrial schools Charity Organization Society con- who could not attend the former. firms what physicians have said in Through this system of visiting regard to the danger from tuber
1,043 truants were brought in, and culosis and other diseases. The 7,583 persons who were found to be chances for recovery are much less in destitution were helped. because of the lack of vitality due In the eight boys' and girls' lodgto the unfavorable physical con- ing houses, and at the Farm School, ditions under which people are at Kensico, N. Y., 5,163 homeless obliged to live. The tenement boys and girls were given shelter, houses exercise a demoralizing in- the number of daily lodgers averagfuence upon the character of both ing 413. Situations at wages were adults and children, and although found for 797 of these, and 215 there are as virtuous and noble peo- others were given a brief training in ple to be found in the tenement house farm work at the Farm Shool, while as anywhere else, it is a constant
133 were restored to friends. The struggle—a struggle which is harder doors of these lodging houses are than necessary-for such people to
open to any poor homeless boy or preserve their children from con- girl, and a constant effort is made taminating influences.
by the superintendents to discover Mr. A. A. Hill, who lives in a
the reason of the helplessness of their tenement house on Tenth avenue, charges and to find out the right preparatory to the organization of a remedy for each misfortune. new settlement, also emphasized this The number of children who endemoralizing influence and its dis- joyed the benefits of the summer integrating effect on family life.
home at Bath Beach during the seas
on was 6,508; of these 3,955 reANNUAL REPORT OF THE CHILDREN'S
mained a week each. At the health AID SOCIETY.
home at Coney Island there were The forty-eighth annual report of 7,385 mothers and sick infants; 3,the Children's Aid Society was read 122 of these remaining a week or by the secretary, Mr. C. Loring longer. The number of boys from Brace, at the annual meeting of the the industrial schools who spent a society, on Tuesday, November 27. week at the farm school, at Kensico, From this report we glean the fol- N. Y., was 1,810. The Sick Chillowing statement relative to the work dren's Mission, which seeks out and of the society.
aids the helpless poor living in the During the past year the daily crowded East Side districts during average attendance of children in the the hot weather, aided with food, twenty-six industrial day and even- medicine, and medical advice, 1,157. ing schools of the society was 7,063, At the request of the State Board the total enrollment having been 14,- of Charities, the society has under615. The teachers made 17,950 taken to find good family homes for any orphan children who may be
THE CHILDREN OF THE POOR. given into its charge by the commissioner of charities. During the
Mr. Jacob A. Riis addressed the past twelve months 581 homeless
annual meeting of the Children's children have been placed in homes
Aid and Protective Society of the in the country. Of these, 326 were Oranges, November 16, upon the placed in families for adoption in subject, “The Children of the Poor." the west and in New York state, and He said that many people imag255 were placed in positions at ined that the great cities had almost wages.
a monopoly of the hardened, deHomeless and destitute families, praved youthful offenders, but such numbering 1,013 persons, mostly was not the case, for he had found children, were assisted to reach greater youthful depravity in some friends or employment in the coun- smaller places than in the slums of try, making a total of 1,594 persons New York. He began with a touchsent away from the over-crowded ing anecdote about a band of tatcity. Of the 245 children trans- tered ragamuffins that came to his ferred from institutions, 170 were office one day and wanted "posies.' placed in homes and 63 were re
He followed them to a rear alturned to friends or relatives. ley, where a poor woman lay dead
“Our children,” said Mr. Brace, and these little fellows piled the "are scattered widely through the flowers on the coffin. The speaker United States. Many have grown
asserted the broad principle that no to manhood and womanhood, and children were bad by nature, and that they have done as well as the chil- there was no such thing as total dedren born in more fortunate condi- pravity; it was only the mud of entions, and some have been remark- vironment. ably successful.
Of the 22,12I “I can take you to the East Side,” placed in families, only sixty, so far went on Mr. Riis, “and show you as we know, have been arrested or hordes of youthful thieves, where sent to reform schools—a striking child-crime flourishes. For
months I kept a record of those cases The ages of children placed in which came into the police court, homes were as follows: Under five for a reliable newspaper, and I years of age, 1,018; over five and had in ten months, 278 cases. At under ten, 3,673; over ten, 17,- that time we were engaged in a des430; total,
these, perate effort to have a truant school. 17,206 were boys and 4,915 were I made the charge that there were girls. These children were 50,000 truants five years ago. It ceived from the following sources: was ridiculed, but we have been From institutions, 5,090; from the building fifty schools there in New society's lodging houses, 8,243; York, and we haven't room enough from other sources, 8,788. They yet. have been placed in homes in more “I know that no thief dares take than twenty different states. New the chances that a child will. I was York state received 3,380; Indiana, told by one commissioner of the board 2,827; Iowa, 2,606. Georgia re- of education that child-crime consistceived 52, the smallest number. ed of the stealing of a top or a mar