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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 10, 1913, Image 22',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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ANOTHER RAY OF LIGHT FLASHED ON THE
METHODS OF THE UNITED CHARITIES
Why not make her support the Peter
Then the persecution commenced.
Mrs. Douthergy was threatened with
arrest. The United Charities de
manded that slie support Mrs. Peter
son and her three children on her
munificient earnings of $6 a week.
Mrs. Douthergy refused. "How
cauld I feed and shelter si on $6 a
week?" she asked, with tears in her
Unable to shift the burden on Mrs.
Douthergy's shoulders they started
to dun Mrs. Peterson's family.
Mrs. Peterson's sister was the next
to receive a visit. "Why don't you
help your sister?" the investigator
"When lam able to spare anything
I shall give it to her myself and not
through the United Charities," was
Mrs. Peterson got work. Unable,
to leave the children at home alone
she brought her husband back from
Oak Forest. "I had to have some
one to keep an eye on the children,"
she said, "I couldn't live on prom
ises. "I was lifed of the United Chari
ties and wanted them to leave us
alone. But they wouldn't do it. They
went to all my relatives and made
them sore at me.
"Look at this," she said, and hand
ed the 'reporter a letter dated Jan.
It read as follows:
"You are doubtless acquainted
with the circumstances of your niece,
Mrs. Peterson. Relief to be given
must be considerable and we want
you to co-operate and give something
definite each week. The rent has
b6en due-since the first of the month.
(Signed) "Caroline L. Bedford:,
"Ass't Dist. Supt."
"As if my family wasn't doing its
best,"' she 'said.
''Please read the postscript
Further light on the methods of the
United Charities in "distributing
charity" and preventing "justice" is
given in the story -of Mrs. Frank
Peterson, 1152 West Harrison street.
About eighteen months ago Frank
Peterson was dying of tuberculosis.
His wife, unable to support her dying
husband and three little children,
Frank, aged 9, Harold, 7, and Ruth,
3, applied to the United Charities for
They would do nothing for her
until they "investigated." Several
weeks went by. Finally they came
and made an offer. "Send your hus
band to Oak Forest," they said, "and
we will get you a mother's persion."
"Mrs. Peterson preferred to keep
her husband at home, to give the
dying man her personal attention, a
wife's care. But necessity forced her
to send him away. She had her chil
dren. Once the husband was gone, the U.
C. refused to do a thing for the wife.
She begged them for work, although
almost too ill to stand on her feet.
After some delay they ga,ve her a
ticket for four days' work at the
Mary Crane Nursery.
"I was told," she says, "not to tell
them that I was illr. I kept still, I
needed the money to feed my babes.
"I worked one day and was told not
to return. I had done my best, but
was too 111 to keep up the pace set
by the management. For nine hours'
work I'received $1."
MrsDouthergy, 56 years old, the
mother of Mrs. Peterson, was stop
ping with" her daughter. She is a
widow and has a girl aged 12. She
is a.hard-working woman whp sup
ports herself and child on the $6 a
week she earns.
The investigators got husy. Here
was a woman independent enough to
take care of herself and child. Too
proud to be a recipient of charity.
Why not shift the responsibility?
--. ASMt? .. 'i'v'-i'aattA