Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/513

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"SCIENTIFIC CHARITY."

tics already collated by them will best serve to indicate their methods and the value of their work.

Charity organization societies have been formed in cities embracing about one seventh of the entire population of the United States. Thirty-four of them, representing cities containing one eighth of the population of the country and probably one sixth of its pauperism, reported to the fourteenth National Conference of Charities and Correction, which met at Omaha in September, 1887. From careful estimates it is supposed that these cities contained about 456,000 paupers. Over 63 per cent of this number actually came under the cognizance of the charity organization societies of the cities indicated—that is, they dealt with 57,000 families, containing about 285,000 persons. Not all of the societies made full reports, or they made them in such a form that the facts contained were not easily comparable with those reported by the others. Twenty-five societies, however, agreed in classifying under four heads the cases that came before each. These societies made a careful analysis of nearly 28,000 cases, including something over 100,000 persons. The result by percentages of the classification above referred to was as follows:

Should have continuous relief 10·3 per cent.
"temporary" 26·6 "
Needing work rather than relief 40·4 "
Unworthy of relief 22·7 "

Charles D. Kellogg, who made the report to the National Conference, goes on to say: "For several years there has been a very close correspondence of published experience between Boston and New York, and in these cities the percentage of those needing work rather than relief has been 53·4, and of the unworthy, 15·8. . . . On the other hand, there is a notable unity of opinion that only from 31 to 37 per cent, or, say, one third of the cases actually treated, were in need of that material assistance for which no offices of friendly counsel or restraint could compensate. The logical application of this generalization to the whole country is that two thirds of its real or simulated destitution could be wiped out by a more perfect adjustment of the supply and demand for labor and a more vigorous and enlightened police administration. Subsequent and wider experience may modify this conclusion, but hardly can wholly overturn it; and, while it stands, it is of the highest significance in the solution of the poor problem." Not only are these deductions of "the highest significance in the solution of the poor problem," but they contain important suggestions for the philanthropist's should-be friend, the student of political economy.

But it was felt by the charity organizationists that a still more