Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

Charles Brace

Vintage print of lunch time in farmhouse: boy, girls and children eat together in the kitchen and feed a pet dog
Licensed via Adobe Stock

Helping New York Orphans: What Went Wrong, and Right

The past two weeks I’ve given a largely positive view of how Charles Brace and others helped homeless children in New York (and other northeastern cities). But when orphan trains headed west from 1853 to 1929, sometimes things went wrong. Read More ›
A young American farmer sheep in a pen during sunset
Licensed via Adobe Stock

Go West, Children: How Charles Brace Placed Orphans in Families

Last week I wrote about how Charles Brace set up homes for homeless children but did not see institutionalization as ideal. He wondered whether it was possible to find thousands of families willing to take responsibility for the children of the streets. The problem seemed enormous. Brace wrote: "How were places to be found? . . . And when the children were placed, how were their interests to be watched over, and acts of oppression or hard dealing prevented or punished?" Read More ›
In 1789 a charming five year old chimney sweep toiled through tough days in the bustling streets embodying the spirit of a spirited eighteenth century street urchin
Licensed via Adobe Stock

Caring for Orphans in New York City

Two columns ago I mentioned Charles Brace's concern about high rents in New York City. When Brace founded the New York Children's Aid Society in 1853, he began by setting up religious meetings aimed at orphaned or abandoned boys from 10 to 18 who slept in alleys. Read More ›
Manhattan Midtown Skyline with illuminated skyscrapers at sunset. NYC, USA
Licensed via Adobe Stock

Helping the Manhattan Poor: A History

Much of what we hear in national media concerning homelessness originates in the salons of Manhattan, and if we want to understand why our policy savants sometimes go far off course, we should understand the history of New York City’s successes and failures. Read More ›