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St. Vincent’s Home for Boys

Brooklyn Daily Standard Union
17 February 1871

St. Vincent’s Home for Boys
First Annual Report of St. Vincent’s Home for Boys
How They Live There.

   The principal object of the institution is to provide a home with religious and
moral instructions for friendless and destitute boys, who are compelled to earn a
scanty livelihood by their daily labor and to enable them to become useful and
honorable members of society.  It does not propose to confer alms, but for a nominal
sum the comforts of a Christian home are provided for those who most need it, and the
good influence of the institution will be felt long after its founders and present
managers have gone to their reward.  The experience acquired in the management of the
home proves that idleness and bad company are prolific sources of evil to the poor
boys of our city.  The object of the home is to stretch forth a helping hand to this
class of boys, and the experience in the Institution thus far demonstrates how well
it has been accomplished.
   Our present Home will accommodate but thirty inmates, besides those in charge; for
several months we have been almost constantly full, and have been sometimes compelled
to turn away those who sought our shelter.

What They Do

   From 8 to 9 o’clock in the evening the boys receive useful and practical
instructions in their religion as also in the elementary branches of the English
language, spelling, writing, arithmetic, geography, etc. two evenings in the week.
Last winter the Franciscan Brothers in Baltic street kindly volunteered their
services. The boys are instructed in music and declamation by a young clergyman in
the city, when his other duties will permit.  The cleanliness of the boys is strictly
attended to while they are in the Home.  The necessary closets, wash and bath rooms,
with hot and cold water, are on the premises.  The dormitory is supplied with thirty
good, comfortable beds.
   During the coming year we hope to add to our attractions a Gymnasium and Library,
and also with aid from a generous public to fit up and open the principal building on
the property known as No. 7 Poplar street, when we will be able to provide for a much
larger number of boys. For two meals and lodgings, each boy is charged ten cents; on
Sundays there is an additional meal without extra charge, but none are rejected
simply on account of their inability to pay, care being always taken in such cases to
be guided by the dictates of an enlightened Christian charity. Industry and manly
self-reliance with faith in the power and goodness of God are carefully inculcated.
   The clothing of the boys is washed and mended gratuitously, and new-comers, when
in need are furnished with clothing donated by generous patrons. A fund was
established last winter from which money was loaned the boys who were out of
employment to start themselves in business, and premiums were given to those making
the largest returns each week. Premiums were also given by the Trustees and others to
the boys for good conduct. During the past nine months, 183 boys have been admitted
into the Home. Situations have been procured for 11 of that number. 19 have been
returned to their parents or friends, some procured situations for themselves, and
some left of their own accord. There are in the Home at present 26.
   After having received the sanction and hearty approval of our Right Rev. Bishop,
and the clergy of the diocese, the project of opening a “New Boy’s Home” was proposed
to the Council of Direction of St. Vincent de Paul Society, in June 1868, and was
adopted by them as a “Special Work.” A very desirable property near the Fulton Ferry
and known as No. 7 Poplar street, the lot running through to Vine street with a house
fronting on that street was purchased by the Council in October 1868. The work of
collecting funds by the Conferences was vigorously commenced and warmly responded
to.  The twenty-six Incorporators whose names are appended were appointed and a
charter under the General Law was procured from the State in July 1869. The Vine
street house was fitted up, and having been blessed by the Right Rev. Bishop, was
opened for the reception of the boys on the 26th of October 1869.
   And the trustees take great pleasure in adding that to the newspaper press of both
cities, without a single exception that they are aware of or without regard to class
in politics or difference in religion, they are largely indebted for their
wide-spread publicity and favorable notices they have given to St. Vincent’s Home for

The following are the names of the Incorporators:

Rt. Rev. Jno. LOUGHLIN
Very Rev. J.F. TURNER
Rev. Francis J. FREEL
Richard TERNAN
Thomas CODE
Francis CURRAN
Thomas HORAN
Patrick H. QUINN
Thomas O’BRIEN, Jr.
Bernard BOGAN
Michael J. LOWREY
Michael KIRWIN
William ORR
William BROWN

The following officers were elected for the first year:

President - Right Rev. John LOUGHLIN
First Vice-President - Bernard BOGAN
Second Vice-President - Francis CURRAN
Recording Secretary - James K. O’MAHONEY
Corresponding Secretary - Charles J. O’RIELLY
Treasurer - P. H. QUINN
Spiritual Director - Rev. Francis J. FREEL

Total Receipts - ..      $13,128.27
Total Expenditures -  $13,055.17

Balance -                             73.10

Margaret Ransom