Document 15: "Admission and Boarding Home," Annual Report of 1900, unprocessed collection of YWCA of Greater Baltimore, 128 W. Franklin Street, Annual Reports, 1883-1902.
This document reflects the desire of the reformers to emulate their own domestic comforts within urban enclaves. Inherent in the text is the belief that working-class women would benefit from domestic virtue by simulating a home environment. By providing a "home" the YWCA filled the role of protector and surrogate family. The application of domesticity within the discourse of reform reflects the role these women played in the public arena and the strategies they applied to helping working-class women.
ADMISSION AND BOARDING HOME.
We present an encouraging report from the Boarding House and Admission Committee, although the numbers are not quite so large as last year. Excepting during the summer, when there were fewer boarders than usual, the house has been well filled. 375 permanent and 632 transient boarders have been received. The number of nights' lodging supplied is 12,062. In addition to the mere numbers given above, we can report that often for weeks at time we have lodged and taken care of girls, who have come to us with tales of woe, lost money, broken homes, etc. These have been helped to find work, furnished with clothing, sent to their friends, or sent when sick, to a Hospital. Through the kindness of one of the managers, we have been able to brighten up the house and give it the air of a comfortable home, supplying in this way to many girls who are without it, that great need. We still feel the necessity of an additional house for those who for various reasons cannot be accommodated in the Central Building, and shall be glad of any subscriptions for it.
Christmas was a day of unusual pleasure this year. In the morning, gifts were interchanged. A bountiful dinner was greatly enjoyed, and in the evening Miss Weil very kindly gave readings from Kipling, Rosetti and others, which were very entertaining. After this a white grab bag, decorated with holly, was brought in containing a gift for every one in the house, including the visitors. This is the annual present from Mrs. Sidney Turner. Mrs. Wm. H. Buckler sent the decorations for the Christmas tree, which gave an additional present for every one.
Ice cream, cake and candy were served on small tables in the parlor, and with music and social pleasure closed what was pronounced the best Christmas that the House has ever furnished. Miss Christie Bond was in charge, and to her, with the assistance of Mrs. McMillan and Mrs. Young, the success is due. Mrs. Purnell, Miss Maund, Mrs., Cator and Mrs.. Carey contributed the amount necessary for the entertainment.
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