Cold Weather Causes Distress Among Poor 1900

Brooklyn Charitable organizations Seriously Handicapped by lack of City Funds
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Notwithstanding the comparatively mild winter and the unusual opportunity for out door work afforded in Brooklyn, the present cold snap has brought with it much distress among the poor. This distress is alleviated by the several benevolent organizations with much success, as fortunately, the cold weather is not accompanied by the presence of snow and high winds.

But a great handicap was placed upon these charitable associations by the withdrawal of city aid, particularly as the public has not yet by private contributions made up the deficiency. The winter has thus far been unusually mild, thus making work on public and private improvements possible, where heretofore they have been stopped by the elements. This possibility for work has in a great measure lessened the demand upon the private charities. Nor do the effects of a cold snap make themselves shown at once, for the worthy poor will make their means go as far as possible before asking for aid. But should this cold snap continue for several days, as the Weather Bureau says it will, the demands for assistance will grow heavier each day.

William I. Nichols, general secretary of the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities, said this morning that he had not discovered any evidence of unusual suffering in Brooklyn, although the bureau was doing a greater work than ever before. He said that the cold snap had not developed anything very alarming among the poor, and that he was able to furnish work in the wood yard, laundries and workrooms to all who applied.

"As long as outside work continues," said Mr. Nichols, "the distress will not be as great as it would if a blizzard should strike us or a heavy fall of snow come. I have found no occasion for emergency action on the part of the benevolent societies in Brooklyn, which, I believe, are capable of taking care of our poor. But these societies must now depend upon the people of Brooklyn, for we all feel the loss of public help. The citizens of Brooklyn should understand that, now that the city will not contribute to our work, they must be more liberal in their contributions. Now is the time for them to understand the condition, so that when the need of extraordinary work arises we will be in a position financially to meet it. If the benevolent societies receive this support as generously as I believe they would if the people at large understood the conditions, the societies I am sure will be able to afford all the relief necessary."

Albert A. Day, general agent of the Brooklyn Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, asks the public to help the association. He said that yesterday nearly 400 cases of relief were attended to that the agents were working very hard and that the association must meet the necessities of the worthy poor under any condition. Continuing Mr. Day said:

"Our visiting agents are finding some very distressing conditions which the present cold weather renders all the more sorrowful.


Website: The History
Article Name: Cold Weather Causes Distress Among Poor 1900
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle February 2, 1900
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