The Destitute

The Destitute are the lowest of the low.  They have no job, no money, no property and are beggars or residents of the Work Houses.  Many have suffered injuries that have left them maimed or crippled while others are brought down by any of a variety of diseases that are slowly draining away their lives.  Though in theory anyone can become Destitute, most originate from the Lower Classes and often have few if any employable skills.  What money they earn is often as prostitutes, mud larks (scavenge the banks of the river for valuables washed down the sewers) rat catchers, rag pickers, etc.

Industrialization has created many jobs in the huge factories and mills, but the jobs are often unskilled and dangerous.  Workers routinely lose fingers, hands, even whole arms when caught in the looms and machinery that have no safety devices or shut off switches.  Injured workers are easily replaced from the ranks of the unemployed and the maimed worker is out on the streets with no job, no money and no future.  Disfiguring burns and blindness occur in the steel mills while shattered limbs and poisonous vapors in the mines create their toll of cripples and beggars.   Tuberculosis or “Consumption” leaves many unable to work and with little strength to even beg.  Venereal Disease, most especially Syphilis, brings on blindness, madness and death.

Most of the Destitute scrape by in the warmer months by begging, stealing or prostitution.  Living on the streets, under bridges, beneath the wharves, in abandoned buildings etc. Often rousted by the police.   Come winter they often seek Charitable Shelters or the Work Houses for food and warmth.  If they are turned away then death in the next freeze is likely.

While Player Characters may BECOME Destitute they do not start that way.