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and common good ; they must enter into a perfect reciprocity of views and feelings; the knowledge and experience of each must be shared by all, and a general, uniform and systematic method of distributing their several funds to the poor, be adopted and carried into full effect by all, or they will forever fail to detect deceit, relieve distress or prevent poverty and vice. Pauperism, in our day, is a great and growing evil, and it must be met, not by the single efforts of any one Society, however powerful or skilful, but by the united and concerted action of all Societies and of all individuals interested in its amelioration or cure. Your Committee indulge the hope, therefore, that for the purpose of effecting such objects, all our Societies will be willing to cast aside any partial feelings or difficulties which may present themselves, and that they will agree to try, at least for a time, what can be effected by a more systematic and general plan of operation.
They therefore recommend that the city should be divided into twelve or more districts, or wards, as shall be most convenient; that when so divided, twelve delegates, one for each ward, shall be sent from each Benevolent Society to meet the delegates from each other Society in the city in their respective wards ; that the delegates from each Society in each ward shall then constitute a board for the distribution of charity in that particular ward ; that they shall organize themselves by the choice of a Chairman and Secretary; that they shall have the sole care of the poor in their particular ward, and shall adopt such rules as they may agree upon, for gaining information as to the character and deserts of the poor, and for distributing their funds ; but, that in
all cases, each delegate shall alone have the right to distribute the funds of the Society to which he belongs. Your Committee would recommend, that these various boards should meet as often as once a fortnight for the purpose of conferring together upon the cases which occur, and of interchanging knowledge and experience; and also, that a record be kept of the names, characters and wants of all applicants, and of the kind and amount of assistance each has received. When these boards are properly organized and have been in operation for any length of time, the names of all persons requiring assistance in the different districts will probably be known, and then each delegate can select such individuals as he prefers to visit and assist, and it can be understood that they are under his sole and special charge. Thus every poor man will know to whom he is to look for assistance, and each delegate will have time and opportunity to ascertain his real character and wants, and, by the influence of a moral and uniform treatment, produce a wholesome change upon his habits and circumstances.
Your Committee also recommend that all the different boards, thus organized, should hold a general meeting at certain stated times, at which the doings of the whole shall be exposed, and the light and experience of the various committees be spread out for the benefit and future guidance of all those engaged in the important work of charity.
It is also recommended, that all cases of gross imposture shall be reported to the Office of the Visitors of the Poor, and the names of the parties be placed upon the record book in that office.
the relief would be certain, and much anxiety, which the poor feel upon this point, would be avoided. If in any instance the funds of one Society were deficient, or could not be appropriated to the particular case, ample assistance might be obtained, at once, from others; and there would never be any necessity for applying to private individuals, as is now often done.
The practice in which the poor, and especially the worthless and vicious poor, too much indulge, of removing from a part of the city where their character and wants are well known, to another part where they are wholly unknown, would be checked and the evils resulting from it entirely remedied by this new plan; for the Committee of the district in which they are found would know at once that they were strangers, and would immediately set about inquiring from whence they came. Their characters would thus be ascertained from the committee of their own district, and they would soon find that they had gained nothing by the removal.
The Dispensary Physicians would, doubtless, most cheerfully coöperate with the several district committees in imparting any information they might possess relative to the habits, vices and diseases of the poor under their care. This information is very desirable and has heretofore been of much use to standing committees, as it is very often the only information they can rely upon in making up their minds as to the merits and necessities of particular classes of cases.
There would be, also, in every district, a Minister at Large, whose peculiar province it would be to inquire into and minister to the spiritual wants of the poor. The cases in which a minister may effect an incalcula