A common name for asylums for the helpless and needy.
Thus, homes for the aged, tbe destitute, or wayward children are familiar examples of charitable effort.
This name emphasizes a quality which is necessary, but too often absent from such institutions, i.e., that the refuge offered those who have not a normal family life, should, as far as possible, approximate a real home.
Mere food, shelter, and clothing must of course be provided, but beyond this every effort should be made to secure peace and content of spirit, the conscious presence of a mutual sympathy based on human kindness, if not religious charity, and the entire absence of any feeling of inferiority or degradation.
A charity which deliberately falls short of this is almost not charity at all, for it is of the essence of the virtue to do all the good that one well can.
New Catholic Dictionary