Page:Lectures on Housing.djvu/60

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48
SOME ASPECTS OF THE HOUSING PROBLEM

did pay. In her fight with the wretched conditions that confronted her, she deliberately refused to wield the powerful but double-edged weapon of money charity. The weapon that she did wield was personal influence and disinterested friendship. Every week she visited her tenants to collect the rent. She got to know them as men and women. By her personal appeal she raised their ideals of cleanliness and order. The stairways, which were the landlady's portion—for the houses were let not as wholes but as sets of rooms—she had kept scrupulously clean, and gradually she saw the example spreading to the adjoining rooms. She let it be known when her visits would take place, and, to please her, the tenants began to make efforts to have their houses decent when she came. Sympathy and advice she gave always, money practically never; and, as a result, the whole tone of the lives of those men and women was changed. They became her friends and lifted their ideal of living dimly towards hers. Here lies the