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It costs $500 per inmate to build large brick buildings, and this $500 per inmate (making $10,000 for 20 inmates) will provide good farms of 100 acres each with good buildings thereon for the accommodation of 20 inmates and a farmer and wife. We will also have the land on which the inmates can earn their living, thus it is cheaper to buy farms than to build large brick buildings.
We are asking the legislature this year for $50,000 for additional farm colonies to accommodate at least 100 inmates. On these farms they will earn their entire maintenance, and this will release 100 beds at the asylum for cases which are greatly in need of training, and can not otherwise be accommodated.
RENTED FARMS There are no less than eight farms within a radius of five miles of the asylum. Six of them are within two miles of the asylum and four of them border the asylum farm. They range in size from 100 to 400 acres and all have good buildings thereon, which can be purchased for $70 per acre or rented at an annual rental of $400 to $1,200 each. At present we are renting three of these farms at a considerable saving to the state, both for bed or housing cost for inmates, as well as annual maintenance cost. To build new for twenty inmates and two employes (man and wife) which each of these farmhouses will accommodate would cost $10,000 or to purchase such farms outright would cost about $7,000 to $18,000 each, the interest on this at 6 per cent equals $420 to $1,080, and under rental the state receives taxes from the owner to more than equal the difference between the rental price and the interest cost. Then, too, the owner must keep up repairs, insurance, etc. Of course we appreciate that under rental conditions we do not improve the property ideally as we would like. But these are not ideal times in providing additional care for the feeble-minded and almost any economical scheme that we can devise and put over and thus extend bed capacity and earning power for this class of state wards is better than sitting idly and pessimistically awaiting vaguely ideal possibilities.
In fact we can take these farms on shares and the owner's one-third share of the net value of the crops will reimburse him for the rental price and thus carry out the scheme with no direct cost to the state.
GIRLS' COLONY The following announcement was made at the opening of the first Colony:
ROME, N. Y., October 7, 1914. A Working Girls' Home has been established at 209 West Thomas Street, telephone number, 172-J, where girls are available for domestic work, sewing, and other forms of labor by the day, week or month. The girls going out from this place to work are capable of doing all kinds of domestic work except special cooking. They are only able to do common cooking.
Their services may be secured by telephone. The rate is fifty cents per day and their services will be available for employment at any time on short notice.
Settlement for services will be paid direct to the manager of the Home. Bills will be regularly rendered weekly for such services.
These girls are not markedly defectives, but are girls who have been orphans or have never known a normal home, and when late in life they have gone out into the world they have been unable to get along because of lack of proper home training and normal worldly experiences, as a result of which they were sent to this asylum for study, care and training, and we are sending them out to work, after having been thoroughly trained and tested here to see if they can get in touch with the world under normal conditions and thus learn to be self-sustaining and possibly have their entire freedom.
This colony is carried on in a rented house in the city, which constitutes the girls' home and social center. It is presided over by a housekeeper, or matron, with a social visitor to inspect their work, their street deportment, and to accompany them to moving picture shows and other social diversions and to assist them in purchasing their clothing. We hope in this way to have many of these girls learn through experience normal social reactions and family life and thus to return the services of many of these willing and competent domestic workers to society. In this way we lighten the load and make state care and supervision possible for all of this class of dependents who positively need such care. Incidentally in connection therewith we have established the most positive test possible as to the ability of some of these cases to rehabilitate or support themselves. We can never be positive of the social reactions in a considerable number of these border-line cases until some such world test has actually been applied.
Of the 67 girls who worked through this colony during the last year 42 remained at the end of the year and 25 were returned as follows: Nine for social offenses, such as flirting on the street, boisterous on the street, noisy at the colony. Only two were really serious social failures; nine of the younger girls, because they had not had sufficient training, and seven others were returned because of sickness or because their services were worth more to the institution than they were getting outside,---namely, $4.50 a week. These preferred to live and work at the asylum.
The very marked improvement occurring in these parole cases is most favorably commented on by all who come in contact with them and there is no doubt but that it is the lack of these normal experiences in life which caused their previous failure.
These girls served 226 families in Rome during the year, a number of the girls worked one or two days per week at different places, about half of them having regular places where they stay continuously.
They earned $3,278.91, thus making themselves entirely self-supporting,
with all bills paid and money in the bank to the colony's credit at the end of the year. Each girl, in addition to having paid for all her own clothing, had an individual savings bank account. One girl had as much as fifty dollars in savings to her individual credit.
It required about one-third of the earnings of these girs to support the colony, including the payment of salaries, rent, provision, and other necessities.
Each girl is given 25 cents each week for spending money and 50 cents per week for the savings bank, the remainder of all money collected is placed in the bank for general expenses, clothing, etc., and each girl is given money from the general fund for all necessary or reasonable purposes.
I do not hesitate to declare that the results of our year's experience amply justifies us in deciding to go on with the work. The general interest manifested in the experiment, if such it may be called, is especially indicated by the many letters of inquiry among which may be mentioned those from the State Boards of Charities, of Maine, Virginia and Indiana, and the State Department of Education of Connecticut. The assumption is warranted that organized charity is awaiting avenues of social relief along these lines.
FINANCIAL REPORT, GIRLS' COLONY, OCTOBER 1914 to OCTOBER 1915 Total amount earned during the year. .
Balance in bank.
375.00 321.84 434.49
SECOND YEARLY STATEMENT OF GIRLS' COLONY, OCTOBER 1, 1915, TO
OCTOBER 1, 1916
Receipts Received from 247 customers.
$5,418.82 15 boys earned...
$494.00 91 girls earned.
Fifty-three girls have a total of over $1,000 in the savings bank to their individual credits.
Colony Institution Number of girls passing through...
91 Number of girls paroled through .
17 Number of girls discharged after parole
7 Number of girls discharged direct from
11 Number of girls returned from parole.
6 Number of girls returned from discharge.
2 Number of girls remaining on parole.
4 Number of girls remaining in colonies..
Girls designated institution did not pass through colony training.
Eighty-five out of 91 still out at end of year, leaving only six partial failures two of which are serious.
On September 1, 1916, a second girls' colony was opened in a large rented house, two city blocks removed from the first girls' colony, where ten girls between 16 and 18 years of age are to remain one year in home training before they go out to work. We hope they will thus become even more efficient domestic workers. In addition to these ten young girls there are eight older working girls living at this colony. A portion of their earnings with a portion of the earnings of the other colony will be used to support this second colony and make possible this better training of ten of their younger sisters in need. The older girls will be stimulated to set good examples to the younger ones and the younger girls will be stimulated to do their best to hold their place and to later have the same chance the older girls are having, especially the larger freedom and finer clothes, which especially appeals to girls.
Night school has been established at the old colony where sewing, cooking and book work are carried on, and we have been pleased as well as surprised to find the interest the girls manifest in these activities, even the
girls who room and sleep where they work come in for this work in preference to going to the movies or other social diversions.
FORM OF AGREEMENT FOR Boys I, hereby agree to take
to work for me, with the understanding that after he has been with me four weeks I will decide whether or not he proves satisfactory, and I agree to pay him $10 per month for ten months and he is to remain with me for the remainder of the year for his board and spending money.
I agree to report at least once in three months on how the boy is getting along and make complete settlement and take receipts for all clothing bought for the boy and keep close track of the spending money I give him, which is not to exceed 25 cents a week or $1.00 at any one special occasion, and the balance of money due him at the end of each quarter will be left at the asylum for the boy, the understanding being that it is to be placed in the Savings Bank to his individual credit.
FORM OF AGREEMENT FOR GIRLS I, hereby agree to take
to work for me with the understanding that after she has been with me four weeks I will decide whether or not she proves satisfactory, and I agree to pay her $3.50 per week. I
agree to report at least once in three months on how the girl is getting along and make complete settlement for her services. I will keep accurate account of all money given her and take receipts for all clothing bought for her and keep close track of the spending money I give her, which is not to exceed 25 cents a week for general spending money, or $1.00 at any one time for special occasions, and the balance of money due her at the end of each quarter will be left at the asylum for the girl, the understanding being that it is to be placed in the Savings Bank to her individual credit.
NOTICE TO EMPLOYERS The boys and girls who are sent out from this institution to work in Rome, and on parole elsewhere, are boys and girls who have proven themselves trusty at this institution and pretty capable workers along the lines of general institution work, such as domestic work, farm and garden work, etc., and while we do not consider them expertly trained in these lines of work, we do consider them good helpers. Of course, they need a little supervision to direct them in their work, at least until they learn to do the work in the way which their employers would like to have them do it. They also need supervision and direction in their street deportment.
Our object in sending these boys and girls out is that they may learn to live outside in the world and become self-supporting, and at the same time release beds at the institution for more needy cases, especially younger