Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/77

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65
A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF CHARITY

not be gracious and gentle, nor fully enter into individual needs, unless it secures the assistance of a good body of visitors. I do not wish to draw your attention to any special form of organisation, but I believe you will find, the more you think of it, that some form is needed, and that whatever it be, it will have to secure those three as essentials—good investigation, decision by a wise committee, and the help of a staff of visitors.

I shall say nothing further on the first head, Investigation, except that I consider it is done best by a good paid officer. A great deal of the preliminary work is quickly and well done by an experienced person, which it would be difficult for a volunteer to do; neither is it a sort of work which it is worth while for a volunteer to undertake. I refer to verifying statements as to residence, earnings, employment, visiting references, and employers. The finishing touches of investigation, the little personal facts, the desires and hopes, and to a certain extent