CRIME: Piety in Hell's Kitchen

Bums in Manhattan's dreary, beery Hell's Kitchen seldom visited the Community Mission. The Mission — two big, bare-walled rooms on the street floors of two houses on West 40th Street — offered the thinnest of soup and sermons. But scores of Hell's Kitchen kids found it a charming place. Every afternoon they were invited inside to play. There were always comic books in the hymnal box; nobody objected if small fry yelled in the gospel hall or rolled empty garbage cans along the front sidewalk.

The neighborhood was a little hazy about the Mission's exact creed. Most of the people...

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