Almshouses

Locally administered public or private institutions for care of the homeless, disabled, and elderly without means; often operated in conjunction with a farm, with emphasis on meeting operating costs through the sale of farm produce. Almshouses incurred widespread criticism after the turn of the 20th century for failure to provide differentiated treatment for the varying problems presented by residents.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
34352
Names
almshouses
almshouse
alms houses
alms-houses
county homes
poor farms
poorhouses
poor houses
hospicios Spanish
hospicio Spanish
casa de beneficiencia Spanish

More Definitions

Locally administered public or private institutions for care of the homeless, disabled, and elderly without means; often operated in conjunction with a farm, with emphasis on meeting operating costs through the sale of farm produce. Almshouses incurred widespread criticism after the turn of the 20th century for failure to provide differentiated treatment for the varying problems presented by residents. For earlier institutions where the disabled, elderly poor, or vagrants were confined for reform and work, use "workhouses (institutions)." For institutions established solely for the distribution of alms, use "almonries (institutions)." Buildings where the indigent or otherwise helpless without further recourse are cared for and put to work at public expense; in the United States, established since the mid-18th century and usually funded by local or state governments or parishes; in England, originally under the administration of monasteries for dispensing alms, later endowed by private charities. For buildings where the disabled, elderly poor, or vagrants are confined for reformative and correctional purposes, use "workhouses." For places established solely for the distribution of alms, use "almonries."

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300343487. The J. Paul Getty Trust.