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Point Loma Women's Shelter

Feb 08, 2007 03:25 AM
by Mark Jaqua

Point Loma Women's Shelter

   The self-devised and implemented Children's and
Woman's Shelter in Buffalo, N.Y., USA (1899) is an
example of some of the practical work Katherine
Tingley's Point Loma group used to do.  Its from
"Universal Brotherhood" magazine, July, 1899.


    To tell what lies nearest and dearest to one's
heart, by way of a report, is not easy nor simple; and
to go into details of the work at Lotus Home, which
seems to have become a part of my very being, will be
a pleasure, though a mixed one, for the reason stated.

   The Home was organized by our Leader, under the
International Brotherhood League.  Officers and
Counsellors were elected on the 13th August, 1898, and
the following day it was dedicated to the work amongst
homeless and destitute children.

    The work is the outgrowth of the Wayfare (report
of which has been given).  The Managers of that Home
had, for some time, felt that something should be done
which would go to the root of things more than was
possible at the Wayfare, which was only alleviation in
most cases, for the incompetent were incompetent
still, the shitless were shiftless still, the heedless
and improvident would be so still, after a longer or
shorter stay there.

    We found that the reason that so many women (often
these were young and attractive) were continually out
of employment and, as a natural consequence, out of
money, and therefore obliged to avail themselves of
the shelter at the Wayfare, was because they had never
been trained to do any useful work, or to think of
others and of themselves as a part of the great mass
of Human beings indissolubly bound together in the one
Great Life, and mutually dependent one upon the other.

    At this time Mrs. R.V. Pierce, who has been
prisident of the  Board of Managers of the Wayfare
since its inception, and the writer of this report,
began writing to our Leader and asker her what she
would suggest to have us do to make our work more
helpful to suffering Humanity and of more permanent
usefulness.  We felt incompetent to cope with this
great question, and having absolute faith and trust in
our Leader, we were ready and willing to follow where
she would lead in the larger field of of opportunity.

    It was owing to her wisdom and foresight that the
plan of carrying out the second object of the
International Brotherhood League was laid before the
persons interested in the work in Buffalo.

    In the meantime we began to look uyp a suitable
house for the purposes of the larger work, visited
many real estate offices, and scoured the surrounding
country far and near for a shady and homelike place. 
For it was midsummer and very hot, the first thought
was that it must be a well-shaded house.  At last the
house we now occuply was secured - not because of its
shade trees, but because it is a handsome and roomy
new house, and the rent far less than we anticipated
it would be.

   Lotus Home is situated in a very choice locality,
and one well adapted to the work, being a quite spot,
surround by wide fields and farm lands, yet with two
trolley lines of street cars going by the doors.  It
is on Delaware Abenue, one of the finest and best
known avenues in the city of Buffalo, and on the
direct road to Niagara Falls, numerous wheelmen pass
in a constant stream daily, particularly Sundays and
in the afternoons and evenings of week days.

    The house is a three-storied brownstone mansion,
with drawing and reception rooms, wide reception hall,
cozy office, large dining room with conservatory,
kitchen and pantries on the first floor.

    On the second floor are six fine, large chambers
and bathroom.  These are the K.A.T. Room, the House
Mother's or Superintendent's Room, the W.Q.J. Nursery,
the Blue Day Nursery, Rest Room and Nurses' Room - all
opening into a wide, light hall.

    On the third floor are four more beautiful and
airy chambers and a large attic.  The cellar must not
be omitted, for it is a very important part of the
house, extending under the whole structure, and is as
light and bright as the rest of the house, and large
enough for laundry, fruit room, and more than room
enough to contain the winter's coal, as well as giving
plenty of room for all kinds of useful work needed to
be done in and for the Home.

    We think ourselves very fortunate in having a
house that combines in itself all the sanitary,
artistic and commodious arrangements in the interior,
as well as being beautiful and giving an impression of
strength and durability exteriorly.

   The grounds, as yet are innocent of all attempts at
ornamentation, and only a fine lawn and young shade
trees surround the house.  Immediately next to it is
another house, the exact counterpart of Lutus Home; 
the houses having been built by two brothers.  Thses,
with the stable in the rear for the use of both
houses, occupy an entire square......

    In the Nurseries, each child has its own crib - a
white iron one, with hair mattress;  five of these
have been donated by members of the Universal

   The first Baby made its appearance at Lotus Home in
September - a plump, good natured little Girl, whose
good fortune it was to be forn on the 13th day of
July, and also to be the first Lotus Bud at the Home; 
perhaps that is why she has always been so sunny, for
a happier and sunnier baby never lived, than our

   Next came little Paul, frail and delicate, but
determined to live, as though he feared that if he
lost this body, he might not get back to Lotus home
next time;  now he is sturdy and strong and seems to
appreciate the loving care and patience which kept him
in his little body, for he laughs and crows at the
slightest provocation.

    Wee, wee Edith came next, and to see her is to
love her, for her eyes fairly beam with good will and
happiness at the mere thought that she is at home THIS

   Then came our katherine, dignified and stately for
so tiny a blossom, and all said, "that must be
Katherine, see how she holds her head, just like some
one else we know," and so Katherine she is.....

   Then came little Merry Christmass, Frances, and
three-year-old Elizabeth, who is a real little helper,
for one has only to say "Will you?" and she starts to
go and do it.

    Last, but not least, came our George, and many a
fancy has been woven as to what he will be, for he
looks like a soldier, and will strike for Brotherhood,
there can be no doubt.

    Many more could have been ours, had our means
permitted of it, but our funds have rather limited us
in carrying out what we might have done with more
money at out disposal.

     The possibilities of the work are so great and
far-reaching that every effort is being made to build
the foundations strong and true, and as far as
possible to work along the lines laid down by our

    There is an indescribably joy in working at Lotus
Home - it seems to be a place set apart and in a world
of its own, and there is a something in the atmosphere
that says "this is a real work," and all the cares and
anxiety sink into insignificance at the though of the
privilege of helping in the great plan.......

               - Theresa Younge Stevens, Sec'y  

           ("Un. Brotherhood" mag., July, 1899)


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