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Caring for Paupers (1881)

The class which suffers at all our almshouses is the class for whom almshouses are presumed to be maintained, the unfortunate and self-respecting poor. A more horrible existence than a modest woman must endure at very many of our almshouses it is impossible to imagine. She lives amid unclean disorder and constant bickering; she is always hearing oaths and vile talk, the ravings of madmen and the uncouth gibberings of idiots; she is always seeing scarred and blotched faces and distorted limbs, hideous shapes such as one encounters in the narrow streets of Italian towns, but which, here, we hide in our almshouses. She is exposed to a hundred petty wrongs; Mrs. Jens’s case, already described, may give the reader an inkling of their nature. Often she is treated with absolute cruelty; in some almshouses she cannot protect herself from the grossest insults.Continue Reading »

Old Age Assistance: A Brief History (1934)

At the end of 1928, after six years of agitation, there were only six states and one territory which had made provision for their aged. They were Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Wisconsin and Alaska. All the state laws were of the optional type, i.e., they left the adoption or rejection of an old age assistance system to the discretion of the counties. For this reason these laws had very limited effect only.Continue Reading »

Old Age Assistance: An Overview

From the earliest colonial times, local villages and towns recognized an obligation to aid the needy when family effort and assistance provided by neighbors and friends were not sufficient. This aid was carried out through the poor relief system and almshouses or workhouses. Gradually, measures were adopted to provide aid on a more organized basis, usually through cash allowances to certain categories among the poor. Mothers’ pension laws, which made it possible for children without paternal support to live at home with their mothers rather than in institu­tions or foster homes, were adopted in a number of States even before World War I. In the mid-twenties, a few States began to experiment with old-age assistance and aid to the blind.Continue Reading »

Henry Street Settlement: Fortieth Anniversary Program

History reveals that humane progress is made and nobility of life created by the march of men and women who have had faith in an ideal of a more complete, more wholesome life, who have been courageous in expressing their beliefs and have consecrated their lives to engendering the realization of their vision.Continue Reading »

Wald, Lillian: Congressional Tribute

  REMARKS  OF HON. SAMUEL DICKSTEIN OF NEW YORK IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, September 19, 1940 Mr. DICKSTEIN.  Mr. Speaker, the untimely death of Lillian D. Wald has left a void in the life of the city of New York and the country at large, which will not be easily filled.  Miss Wald’s… Continue Reading »

Federal-State Public Welfare Programs

The Social Security Act of 1935 initially authorized federal financial participation in three state administered cash assistance programs: Title I: Grants to States for Old-Age Assistance (OAA); Title IV: Grants to States for Aid to Dependent Children (ADC); and Title X: Grants to States for Aid for the Blind (AB). The framers of the Act also recognized that certain groups of people had needs for particular services which cash assistance alone could not or should not provide. To meet these needs small formula grants for the states were authorized in relation to: Maternal and Child Health, Crippled Children, Child Welfare, and medical assistance for the aged. A fourth program of public assistance — Aid to the Disabled (AD) — was added in 1950.Continue Reading »

Family Life Of The Negro In The Small Town– 1926

Even the briefest account of the family life of the Negro must include a consideration of the history back of the present Negro family. This history naturally divides itself into three periods: Africa, slavery, and freedom. While the African period, it must be remembered, does not claim our attention because an unbroken social tradition still affects the present formation of the Negro family -although traces of the African tradition were detected in marriage ceremonies near the opening of the present century —it is necessary to call attention to this period because of subsequent events. In Africa the Negro lived under regulated sex relations which were adapted to his social and physical environment. It was through the destruction in America of these institutionalized sex relations that slavery was able to bring about complete subordination. Continue Reading »

American Foundation for the Blind

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit organization that expands possibilities for the more than 25 million people with vision loss in the U.S. AFB’s priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources.Continue Reading »

Immigration: A Report in 1875

Mr. Kapp has tersely stated the rule which governs the movement of emigration to the United States: ” Bad times in Europe regularly increase and bad times in America invariably diminish immigration.” In the present instance, certainly, there can be no doubt that “‘ bad times in America ” have led to the diminished numbers. However serious the great failures of the autumn of 1873, and the general depression of trade throughout the country subsequently, have been felt to be by those at home, they have seemed much.Continue Reading »

Effect of Economic Conditions Upon the Living Standards of Negroes (1928)

Presentation by Forrester B. Washington, Director, Atlanta School of Social Work, given at the 55th Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare, 1928. “The problems which I will discuss are health, education, delinquency, crime and family disorganization. They follow logically those discussed by Mr. Thomas. In addition, I will attempt to summarize his paper and my own and present our combined recommendations.”Continue Reading »

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