The streets of Chicago's Near West Side were not paved in gold nor paved at all. The 1910 census calculated an average density per block at a staggering 10,023. A tenement might house a dozen people per floor and a sweatshop in the rear or basement. Toilets were shared by several families. Livelihoods were precarious and the death of a breadwinner could be ruinous. In an 1899 application to the Home for Jewish Orphans, founder Jane Addams filled out the form for the illiterate mother, who marked an X next to her name.