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Relief Versus Self-Support Work in Organized Charity

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Publication Date: March 1915

Publisher(s): Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Samuel Leff

Topic: Business (Business and business enterprises)
Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Keywords: Unemployment; Social Services; Communal Organization

Coverage: Illinois


The author describes how the Jewish Aid Society of Chicago has used the method of helping families to establish themselves in business as a form of aid. The Society selected forty families whose wage-earners were found by physicians to be chronically incapacitated for conventional forms of work, and where there was no definite sign of the family ceasing to need relief. It then bought businesses for them, most often groceries or candy stores but also shoe repairing, newsstands, etc, and, while holding the lien, helped the family learn how manage it successfully. Families pay back the cost of the business, without interest, as they are able to, thus preserving the capital of the Society. In the last two years, the program has been very successful at helping families become self-sufficient, improving their morale, and preserving the funds of the Society for further distribution.

Bulletin of the National Conference of Jewish Charities, 5:8


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