Between 1881 and 1898 the chief increases took place in the endowments of hospitals; orphan asylums; infant asylums; poorhouses; almshouses; voluntary workhouses; and institutes for the blind.
The law considers as charitable institutions (opere pie) all poorhouses, almshouses and institutes which partly or wholly give help to able-bodied or infirm paupers, or seek to improve their moral and economic condition; and also the Congregazioni di caritd (municipal charity boards existing in every commune, and composed of ~embers elected by the municipal council), which administer funds destined for the poor in general.
From the general confiscation were exempted the buildings actually used for public worship, as episcopal residences or seminaries, &c., or which had been appropriated to the use of schools, poorhouses, hospitals, &c.; as well as the buildings, appurtenances, and movable property of the abbeys of Monte Casino, Della Cava dci Tirreni, San Martino della Scala, Monneale, Certosa near Pavia, and other establishments of the same kind of importance as architectural or historical monuments.
There are parish poorhouses in Dunrossness and Unst, besides the Shetland combination poorhouse at Lerwick.
From the city, takes the place of workhouses, and has many cottages in which live those of the city's poor who were formerly classed as paupers and were sent to poorhouses, and who now apply their labour to the farm and are relieved from the stigma that generally attaches to inmates of poorhouses.
The commissioner must inspect once each year all penal, correctional and eleemosynary institutions, including public hospitals, jails, poorhouses and corporations and organizations doing charitable work; and the commissioner appears as next friend in cases affecting the property of orphan minors, and has power to investigate complaints against public and private institutions whose charters may be revoked for cause by the commissioner.