Public Assistance

Public Assistance
   Religious institutions provided the bulk of assistance for the needy in early Brussels in distributing bread and, much less frequently, small sums of money. A number of foundations were established, notably the foundation of Saint-Eloy, by tradition founded about 1000, and those run by the parishes (called "Tables").
   The number of beggars and vagrants grew and a riot in 1532 drew attention to their plight. By an imperial decree of 3 January 1539, a "Supreme Charity," composed of two members from the lignages and two from the nations, was established to supervise the work of the foundations. An ordinance of 6 July 1588 enjoined beggars to work, and the city created a "house of correction" (Tuchthuys) in 1625 where vagrants and others were compelled to work. Such individuals attempting to enter the city were turned away at the gates. To house the mentally deranged, the magistracy decreed construction of a home (Simpelhuys) on 31 March 1590. It was remodeled in 1741 and 1768, but conditions remained appalling, and remedial efforts were not begun until the end of the 18th century with construction of annexes for the mentally ill at hospitals, notably at Saint Pierre's in 1789.
   In the early 19th century, assistance for the poor was provided by private organizations — 68 of which were grouped into a mutual aid agency in 1870 under the impetus of Burgomaster Jules Anspach— which serviced the entire metropolitan area. In 1889, the city set up a work exchange, and a committee was created to assist private agencies that supplied social insurance and low-income housing. An intercommunal unemployment fund was established in 1909 and a law of 1925 mandated communal unemployment assistance. A communal unemployment exchange was founded in 1935.
   The unemployed are required to report twice monthly to a communal office. Job training and employment services are administered by the Brussels Capital Region through the Brussels Regional Office of Employment (Office régiona1 bruxellois de l'Emploi/Brusselse Gewestelijke Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling). Rights to unemployment benefits and distribution of such remain a federal government responsibility as part of the national social security system.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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  • public assistance — public assistance, adj. government aid to the poor, disabled, or aged or to dependent children, as financial assistance or food stamps. [1900 05] * * * …   Universalium

  • public assistance — n. financial aid given by the government to persons who are poor, unemployed, etc …   English World dictionary

  • public assistance — noun governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need she lives on welfare • Syn: ↑social welfare, ↑welfare • Hypernyms: ↑aid, ↑economic aid, ↑financial aid • …   Useful english dictionary

  • public assistance — Synonyms and related words: ADC, Medicaid, Medicare, aid, alimony, allotment, allowance, annuity, assistance, bounty, cradle to grave security, depletion allowance, dole, fellowship, financial assistance, grant, grant in aid, guaranteed annual… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • public assistance — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun Assistance, especially money, food, and other necessities, given to the needy or dispossessed: aid, dole, handout, relief, welfare. See HELP …   English dictionary for students

  • public assistance —    money paid regularly by the state to the needy    Not just helping an old lady to cross the road.    See also assistance …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • public assistance — noun Date: 1884 government aid to needy, aged, or disabled persons and to dependent children …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • public assistance — pub′lic assis′tance n. gov government aid to the poor, disabled, blind, or aged, or to dependent children • Etymology: 1900–05 …   From formal English to slang

  • public — public, ique [ pyblik ] adj. et n. m. • 1239; lat. publicus I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui concerne le peuple pris dans son ensemble; qui appartient à la collectivité sociale, politique et en émane; qui appartient à l État ou à une personne administrative. La… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Public Housing —    Low income housing assistance was first provided by private charities. Groups such as the Société anonyme des habitations ouvrières and the Société anonyme de l Immobilière bruxelloise were extended credit by the city s public assistance… …   Historical Dictionary of Brussels

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