After the downfall of the Polish state charity, the single area not prohibited and sanctioned, grew to become a very important part of the social sphere. Warsaw Citizens skillfully exploited that legal gap, joining charity work with activities sustaining cultural heritage and maintaining national identity. Philanthropy became the meeting ground for people of different social strata, nationalities, religions and financial status, it became what connected the residents of multicultural Warsaw.
During the first years of the Almshouse operation Warsaw was in terms of population, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the third biggest city of the Russian Empire. For 30 years, beginning with 1880, the population of Warsaw grew from 330 to 900 thousand. The number of stationed Russian troops increased from 17 to 50 thousand. In the whole country martial law was in force, not excluding the Almshouse. The 1905-1907 revolution resulted in clashes with police and terror. Constrained Warsaw suffocated from overpopulation, all-embracing misery and the lack of perspectives.
Such were the circumstances surrounding the establishment of the Saint Francis de Sales Almshouse.