Letters to Judith Robinson

Judith Robinson was very involved in promoting and supporting John Frank’s House. She wrote multiple articles about the house and constantly encouraged, and often guilt tripped, her readers into donating to the house. Robinson worked for the newspaper, the Globe and Mail, which reached a large audience; notably by 1936 when The Globe merged with The Mail and Empire, the newspaper had around 196,000 readers (13). With such a sizeable amount of readers, Robinson was able to educate many Canadians about John Frank’s House. Numerous readers responded to Robinson’s news about John Frank’s House with donations to the house and letters to Robinson usually thanking her for her support of and her coverage on the house. Many readers especially appreciated how Robinson was reporting on and aiding homeless men as they felt the Canadian government was not. Listed below are various letters and donations listed to Robinson addressing her connection to John Frank’s House.

Constructive Criticism Letter

Constructive Criticism Letter


Dear Miss Robinson 

The enclosed is offered as constructive criticism of your recent request; in the belief that the main idea is to help John Frank’s House to help themselves. The “rollers” described can be improved on + would not suit a larger loom, but the idea is there. I originally wrote the article in the hopes of selling it, but only tried once, as I haven’t much time. If you can do so, put the proceeds towards raw materials for John Frank’s House, please do so. 

Yours Truly, Ch. Burton. 

Although this letter critiques some of Robinson's ideas about John Frank’s House, the writer of the letter also recognizes that Robinson’s main idea about helping homeless people instead of just ignoring them like the government does is wise. The writer also suggests ways to improve Robinson’s ideas and aid the people at John Frank’s House. Even though this letter is not all praise like the other ones, it shows that Robinson was causing her readers to contemplate the homelessness issue, since they sent her letters about it.


Letter about Donation

This letter exhibits how many people felt the need to donate to John Frank’s House and thank Robinson for her work for the house after reading or hearing about one of her articles about it. The letter shows how much Robinson was involved with John Frank’s House as the author writes that he received a note from her in which she details how the donation money is being put to use at the house. Despite John Frank’s House not being Robinson’s project, she still took the time to write letters to those who donated and explain what was occurring at the house.

Sympathizer Letter

Judith Robinson's work regarding the John Franks House gathered so much attention that she subsequently received letters asking for her assistance in different regards. Judith received a letter from a sympathiser asking for her assistance to help or “see that he is not forgotten”. The unknown which the sympathiser is referring to is an old man who used to sell newspapers by a corner road in Toronto which unfortunately got struck by a vehicle. 

There is evidence from this letter from the sympathiser that Robinson had gotten a reputation of providing assistance to the people who may have been forgotten and left out from society.

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