GIRLS' HOME OPENS IN NEW QUARTERS. ~ Object of the Organization Is to Afford Refuge to Friendless and Inexperienced Working Girls.

January 26, 1908

Object of the Organization Is to
Afford Refuge to Friendless
and Inexperienced
Working Girls.

After many months of enforced idleness, the Girls' Home Association, an organization for maintaining for young women a good boarding place at a moderate price, has resumed work. In a beautiful new home that fairly shies with fresh paper and paint, the association opened its doors last week to receive all who come. The home, which is located at 612-614 West Eleventh street, was bought several months ago. It was known then as the "Endicott," and was an old-fashioned three-story brick residence. It was so old-fashioned, in fact, that many a woman would have been discouraged in the attempt to make it modern and comfortable. Mrs. John W. Wagner, the president of the association, realized the possibilities of the quaint home, and after three months of untiring effort she has succeeded in making it a most attractive place.

"And the house, with its furniture, amounting to $12,000, is all paid for," Mrs. Wagner exclaimed enthusiastically as she displayed the comforts of the home.. "We can accommodate fifty girls now and more if necessary, for we are never to turn away any girl who wants to come. We are going to find a place for them all somehow. As soon as we begin to turn away, the great object of the home has failed."

The last home of the association was at 1432 Baltimore avenue. This house, which was owned by the association, was left thirty feet "in the air" when Baltimore avenue was graded and it was necessary to vacate. Thirty girls were living in the home at that time.


The present home, since it has been modernized, will prove much more cheerful than the old. On ground floor the partitions on one side of the house have been torn out to make a long living room, which extends the entire length of the house.. This room has been decorated in shades of dull blue. In one end is a fireplace with cozy corners on either side. A huge window seat with the coverings and pillows in dull blue burlap occupies the other. Several good water colors hang on the walls and pretty soft blue sanitary rugs cover the floors.

On the opposite side of the hall from the living room are the long dining rooms and kitchens, all as complete as the most fastidious housekeeper could desire. It is in this kitchen that the members of the board of the association will teach the young women how to cook. The cooking school is to be open every afternoon and any young woman may attend. Ultimately, too, the home wants to teach these girls how to become mistresses of their own homes. The two upper floors of the home are all sleeping rooms, have pretty sanitary rugs, a dresser, a bed and washstand and comfortable chairs. Each room has a large closet. Mrs. Wagner and her corps of assistants have taken a great deal of care in making the home sanitary. Everything in it is washable. A great deal of care was expended, too, in the selection of the decorations, and rugs and papers harmonize beautifully.

Every girl in the house will pay $3.75 a week for her board. Provision has also been made for the young women out of work. Two dormitory rooms have been set aside for them. They will be taken care of by the association until positions can be found for them and they are able to pay their own way. The home is only for girls of small means, and when it is found that the young woman is earning more than $10 or $12 a week she will be persuaded to go somewhere else.

The Girls' Home Association was originally founded to help the young women who come into the city from the surrounding country and villages in quest of employment, without friends and many with little or no means and with but small appreciation of their own helplessness. This will be one of the great works of the present home and in all of the depots in the city neatly framed little signs will be put up bearing the name of the house and the location. "Instructions on Cooking Every Afternoon"; "An Attractive Home for Young Women of Limited Means"; "Girls Out of Employment Temporarily Cared For," are the inducements held out to the new arrivals. A house mother will superintend the care of the home and it is expected that the girls will co-operate with her in everything. Only good behavior is required of the young women, for there are no house rules.

The Girls' Home Association is to be self-supporting as far as possible, but an income of $60 a month has been subscribed by a number of business men to met the monthly deficit.

The first home for working girls was opened in 1901 in a leased house at 805 Forest avenue. Fifteen girls lived there. The girls organized a club called the Hybho Club." They got the name by taking the first letters of the words, "Help yourselves by helping others." In June, 1902, the club bought the property at 1432 Baltimore avenue, and in August the "Girls' Home Association was formally incorporated.