Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 169
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 169
 
Unhappily for the great cities, there exists in them all a class that has lost the key or thrown it away. For this class, New York, until three years ago, had never made any provision. The police station lodging rooms, of which I have spoken, were not to be dignified by the term. These vile dens, in which the homeless of our great city were herded, without pretence of bed, of bath, of food, on rude planks, were the most pernicious parody on municipal charity, I verily believe, that any civilized community had ever devised. To escape physical and moral contagion in these crowds seemed

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