Joseph Conrad, "The Nigger Of The "Narcissus": A Tale Of The Forecastle":
the two young Norwegians looked tidy, meek, and altogether of a promising material for the kind ladies who patronise the Scandinavian Home.
I've searched through various dictionaries and completed various google-searches but couldn't find the answer. Is it something like a brothel? Or maybe a community? It's the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century. Great Britain. The Norwegians are sailors back to Great Britain after a long trip.