By Marvin Olasky
"A richly documented, debatable historical past of the welfare state...." --Publishers Weekly
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Extra resources for The Tragedy of American Compassion
The poor who did deserve support were worse off than they would otherwise ha\'e been. Tt 1 RN1:--:c; Crrms INTO COL'NT1n-s11>E 27 A new group, the New \c>rk Association for lmprovinµ; che Condition of che Poor (AICP}, grew ouc of these concerns with promiscuous charity. le put into effect the Chalmers district plan, and thus made large projects workable. AICP volunteers promoted participation of the working poor in savings banks, benefit societies, and life insurance programs, so that families could remain independent during unemployment or after calamities.
And thus, the final leg of a stool on which every poor person could sit-a three-legged stool of family, church, and neighborhood-was put in place. But that stool was steadiest in the countryside and in small towns. As cities grew, more organization was necessary if those in need through no fault of their own were to be helped. When the Constitution still was young, orphanages were established in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and other cities. And some groups began providing small monthly allowances to supplement the earnings of widowed mothers who worked for a livelihood.
The family room was a good school to me, for there I found the daily papers and a fair library. The student concluded his letter by writing, "I shall ever acknowledge with gratitude chat the Childrcn['s] Aid Society has been the instrument of my elevation. To be taken from the gutters of New \ork City and placed in a college [Yale] is almost a miracle. "5<> Ocher children did not have such promising futures. ' My answer is, chat she is just the one who needs the care. " 57 Soon, Brace's Children's Aid Society was flattered by widespread imitation of its methods.