The harsh conditions of life in Zaldara, unfortunately, often produce orphans and foundlings. Many of these unfortunates find themselves living hand-to-mouth on the streets or being scooped up and deposited into mental asylums. There, however a few institutions that have been established, primarily by the various temples in the city, to care for these poor souls.
Foundling Homes: Run by temples, these homes are established to keep poor parents from murdering their own infants. Some seek to rid themselves of the shame and hardship of an illegitimate birth. Some simply can’t afford another mouth to feed. Occasionally, parents who have fallen on hard times will leave their older children in these places. Parents can leave their children in front of the home or slip them through a turning receptacle in the door. The priests and priestesses then care for the infants and place children with willing homes. Often, the infants are sent to rural families for wet-nursing. The treatment of children varies. They could be treated like the children of the home or as servants.
Almshouses: These institutions were established to not only help orphans but whole families who had fallen on hard times. The temples collect alms for the poor and pay them pauper’s wages for various odd jobs—mostly either tedious, messy, or dangerous work.
Hospitals: These institutions are established by the temples and other charitable organizations to care for travelers, the aged, dying, and indigent children. They essentially work similarly to sanitariums or resting homes.
Schools: Some temples set up for schools for poor children, not just orphans, but including them. Many times, children from the school are sent out to beg for alms to support the school. Some of the older children are also apprenticed out to Guilds, giving them an opportunity for a better life.
It is primarily the temples of the city that establish such institutions, though occasionally one of the trade guilds will sponsor a school in hopes of recruiting new apprentices and fulfilling their civic ethics of service.
The establishment of such an institution requires nothing more than what would be for any other business venture, though, most of these institutions rely on alms and other charitable contributions. Temples and guilds perform these duties out of a sense of charity and civic duty, not profit.