How The Other Halfs Live

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“How the Other Half Lives” Discuss the plight of the tenement waifs and children. A tenement is described as an apartment or a house that is “occupied by three or more families that are living independently and doing their cooking on the premises; or by more than two families on a floor, so living and cooking have a common right in the hallways, stairs and yards.” (Riis 13) The rooms of these houses/ apartments were 10 square feet or less and were occupied by twelve people. Many times the children had to sleep on the floors. The conditions of the tenement were horrible. Many of the rooms consisted of one or no windows, which made it to have little to no light or ventilation throughout the building. This made it hard for the air that the waifs and children had to breathe unsanitary. There was no room for furniture but many of them could not even afford the furniture any way. To find room for new tenants, tenement owners often made back lots, attics, and basements into living areas to make a few extra dollars. This consisted of small spaces that waifs were confined to in their rooms because there were so many people living in the same building. The building didn’t do too well when it came to cold or bad weather. The buildings were made of brick so when it was cold outside the draft would sleek through under the doors or through the cracks and freeze the entire room which would cause the children to come down with bad fevers and other illnesses. The sanitary conditions were very similar to the other living conditions; they were both extremely harsh and almost unbearable. Between the dirt gathering with the sewage and the bacteria along with the dirty outhouses lead to the spread of diseases and eventually to the demise of some inhabitants. The overall conditions of the tenements waifs and children were near unlivable and were plagued by disease and crime. It
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