Crispin Street's Open Door
Catholic social work is not a term to be narrowly construed as meaning social work
only for Catholics. Certain of our institutions, such as children's homes, are avowedly for " our own": that is quite clearly understood; but there are others which operate to benefit humanity at large, and of these a splendid example is the Providence (Row) Night Refuge in Crispin Street, E.
Founded by the late Mgr. Gilbert, D.D., in 1860, managed by a Catholic committee and trustees, and in the daily care of the Sisters of Mercy, this piece of social machinery is truly a Catholic rather than a nonCatholic work; yet non-Catholics in plenty are among those whose generosity supports it, for the broad basis of its charity appeals to all.
Founder's Day For those who do not know the refuge, there will be an opportunity to see the work in full swing at the next "Founder's Day" celebration, on Tuesday afternoon, February 16. Anybody interested who would like to have a card of invitation for that occasion has but to ask for it. The secretary, Mr. John R. Walker, has his office at 4 Milk Street Buildings, Chcapside, E.C.
Founder's Day. It is at this annual function that prominent London citizens, whether Gentile or Jew, are proud to be present and to extol the work. Occasionally there has been a royal visitor in the chair: Princess Alice, the Countess of Athlone, presided in 1913; Princess Marie Louise in 1924; and the Princess Royal only a few years ago.
Perhaps the best proof of the City of London's opinion of the refuge, over (yid above donations from the Common Council and many of the. Worshipful Companies. is the fact that at thirteen out of the thirty-eight Founder's Day celebrations so far held, the Lord Mayor of London has been the Chairman.
Here are a few figures from last year's report: During the past winter season in the men's section of the Night Refuge, 26,482 night's lodgings and more than 53,000 meals have been supplied. The corresponding figures for the women's section are 9,904 night's lodgings and more than 20,000 meals. Thus in one season the homeless poor, irrespective of nationality or creed, have been aided to the extent of nearly 36,400 night's lodgings and upwards of 73,000 meals.
One generous benefactor should here be mentioned; hundreds of poor souls will bless her who may never hear her name. Rosamond Lady Trevor has been the good fairy of a transformation scene in the women's dbanitory. She waved a Magic cheque; and lo! old wooden bunks .disappeared, and bedsteads took their places, with mattresses, pillows, sheets, pillow-cases and blankets—comfort in repose for weary and oft-times aged hones.
It is not only from the wealthy and the moderately well-to-do that help comes towards the maintenance of the good work
in Crispin Street. The response to Lord Russell of Killowen's broadcast appeal in December, 1935, included a trifle from a
working man's wife. Please accept my mite," she wrote, " just to show how grateful I am for having received shelter at the Night Refuge some years ago."