Page:Homes of the London Poor.djvu/57

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55
VOLUNTEERS IN THE ORGANIZATION OF CHARITY.

by the applicant of himself and his circumstances. The form will then contain a statement of the names and ages, occupation, and earnings of every member of the applicant's family, his present and his previous address, the parish relief he receives (if any), the name of the club or benefit society to which he belongs (if there be such), the particular help he asks for, and the ground of the application. The form is immediately forwarded to the Charity Organization Society, who thoroughly investigate the information it contains by means of a paid officer. It is returned with its statements either verified or contradicted, and now shows, in addition to what it contained before, the report of the relieving officer, that of the minister of any denomination with which the applicant is connected, and his character as given by his previous landlord and other references. On the day when the application is first made, and the Charity Organization Society apprised of it, a post-card or other message is sent to the visitor of the street or court where the applicant resides. This informs her of the application, and also that she is expected to send in on the ensuing Friday any information regarding the case which she may already have, or may learn from a visit paid during the week. She at the same time gives her advice as to the best way of dealing with the application. The Relief Committee (of the constitution of which we will speak presently) meets every Friday evening. They have before them not only the valuable information of the Charity Organization Society, gathered, sifted, and examined by their paid officer and representative Committee, but also the detailed account of a volunteer, who brings to bear on the case a fresher and more personal sympathy than a paid agent ordinarily possesses, who has much more patience to listen to, and probably more patience to elicit the little facts on which so much may depend. Any one


Organization Society is throughout this paper spoken of as the Charity Organization Society. This seemed the simplest way to distinguish it from the Relief Committee.