Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 226
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 226
 
in certain districts “entirely neglected,” and that the number of such children “increases beyond the power of philanthropic and religious bodies to cope properly with their needs.” In the Tompkins Square Lodging House the evening classes were thinning out, and the keeper wailed, “Those with whom we have dealt of late have not been inclined to accept this privilege; how to make night school attractive to shiftless, indifferent street boys is a difficult problem to solve.”
  Perhaps it was only that he had lost the key. Across the square, the Boys’ Club of St. Mark’s Place, that began with a handful, count seven thousand members to-day, and is building a house of its own. The school census man announces that no boy in that old stronghold of the “bread or blood” brigade need henceforth loiter in the street because of there not being room in the public school, and the brigade has disbanded for want of recruits. The factory is being more and more firmly shut against the boy, and the bars let down at the playground. From Tompkins Square, nevertheless, came Jacob Beresheim, whose story let me stop here to tell you.

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