In many ways, Settlement Houses were the “seedbed of social reform” in the first part of the 20th Century.  Residents and volunteers of early settlement houses helped create and foster new organizations and social welfare programs, some of which continue to the present time. Settlements were action oriented and new programs and services were added as neighborhood needs were discovered; settlement workers tried to find, not be, the solution for social and environmental deficits affecting their neighbors.

  • Addams, JaneIn 1893 a severe depression rocked the country. Hull-House was serving over two thousand people a week. As charitable efforts increased, so too did political ones. Jane realized that there would be no end to poverty and need if laws were not changed. She directed her efforts at what she believed were the root causes of poverty. The workers joined Jane to lobby the state of Illinois to examine laws governing child labor, the factory inspection system, and the juvenile justice system. They worked for legislation to protect immigrants from exploitation, limit the working hours of women, mandate schooling for children, recognize labor unions, and provide for industrial safety.
  • Baden St. Settlement Constitution 1901Baden St. Settlement was established in 1901. Although is was always a non-sectarian, neighborhood center, it had its beginnings in the work of women of the B'rith Kodesh Temple on Gibbs Street. Here groups of young women of foreign birth came to learn kitchen gardening, sewing and primary education. When it was deemed best to bring this instruction into the neighborhood in which these young women lived, it was decided that a small settlement house would be the most effective means of teaching housekeeping and attractive home making. The location selected was that from which the girls came--the section of the city north of the railroad extending from Clinton Avenue to Hudson Avenue, and perhaps a half mile further north. So successful were the efforts of Mrs. Katz and Mrs. Garson that by the end of the organization's first year a membership of 150 civic­ minded citizens had been procured. A small house was rented at 152 Baden Street and the name "The Social Settlement of Rochester" was selected. This is the original Constitution and By-Laws for the settlement.
  • Baden Street Settlement 1901-1951A History of Baden St. Settlement in Rochester, New York: 1901-1951. The document describes the origin, the programs established and the how the settlement house responded to the needs of the area residents even as the racial and economic composition of the neighborhood changed.
  • Baltimore Settlements: Lawrence House and Warner House These entries about Lawrence House and Warner House are taken from the HANDBOOK OF SETTLEMENTS a national survey of settlements published in 1911 by The Russell Sage Foundation of New York. This collection of detailed information about settlements throughout the nation and operating circa 1910 was collected, organized and written by two settlement pioneers: Robert Archey Woods and Albert J. Kennedy. Information about these two Baltimore settlement houses is found in the handbook's section for Maryland (pages 100 and 103).
  • Chicago CommonsChicago Commons was established in the fall of 1894 and modeled on Hull House. Founder Graham Taylor had come to Chicago Theological Seminary to teach applied Christianity and wanted to live in an immigrant, working-class area. With his wife and four children, he moved to an Irish, German, and Scandinavian neighborhood in the northwest part of the city.
  • Chicago’s Early Settlement Houses HeritageIn 1953, the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago sponsored a symposium on “Pioneers and Professionals—Chicago’s Contribution to Social Service.” Tribute was paid to Jane Addams, Graham Taylor, Mary McDowell, Sophonisba Breckinridge, the Abbott sisters, and the judges of the Juvenile Court. One speaker, Marion Craine, singled out “that quality in the pioneers that I have come to regard as perhaps our greatest heritage—the ability to relate the individual case to basic problems and then to seek remedies to them.” “Social action was still a new idea,” the speaker continued, “and these early social workers may have become too enamored of it.” But “the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction,” and “today many of us have become so immersed in the individual that we neither see nor feel any particular responsibility for basic causes or their remedies.” She pleaded for “imaginative thinking and a willingness to experiment with ideas…[We] are much too timid about this sort of thing. We are forever fearful that someone will label us ‘unprofessional."
  • Christodora Settlement HouseWritten by Dr. June Hopkins, this article presents a well-documented history of an early settlement house serving immigrant families living in the crowded slums of the Lower East Side of New York City. It is an especially important part of American social we
  • East Side House, New York CityIn 1891 East Side House opened kindergarten; established a playground on the river bank, provided swings, a summer house, etc. Erected (1893) a special building to house a circulating library of five thousand volumes offered by the New York Free Circulating Library Association, and maintained this work with extraordinary efficiency and in the most social and co-operative spirit until the erection of a large branch library in 1903.
  • Educational AllianceThe Educational Alliance was founded by German Jews in response to an influx of Eastern European Jews whose economic and political hardship started a migration at a point when the U.S. was industrializing and labor was needed. That immigration accelerated rapidly when in 1881 pogroms accompanied the assassination of Czar Alexander II. Eastern and Central European Jews initially settled in lower Manhattan in an area which rapidly became known as the Great New York Ghetto. Over two million Jews came to the U.S. between 1881‑1924. Initially, most settled on the Lower East Side, an already poor area populated with Irish and then German speaking immigrants....Alliance’s early entertainment and theater personalities include Edie Cantor who became Edgies’ poster child for success and a future board member. It also included actor and comedian Zero Mostel, who played Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway. Its Breadwinner’s College (Thomas Davidson School), a progressive and philosophically oriented high school and college program, was run by Professor Morris Raphael Cohen who met Davidson at a lecture given at the Alliance
  • Father's Voice: 1935The "Father’s Voice" is a composed of short entries produced by members of the Father's Club of Madison House in March, 1935. The document contains statements about ridding a local park of tramps and hobos, what the club means to one member and a father's feelings experienced at his son's Bar Mitzvah. There are also two poems written by members.
  • Greenwich House, New York CityBefore founding Greenwich House, Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch had been active in supporting woman's suffrage and social welfare legislation, and she had worked several years in the settlement house movement. From these and other experiences she was convinced of the necessity for an entirely new approach to the problem of settlement work. She vigorously rejected the "Lady Bountiful" theory and and developed her own concept of settlement work as a social movement shared equally by contributors, staff workers, and neighbors in a cooperative effort. She envisioned Greenwich House as playing an integral role in the life of the neighborhood -- being a part of neighborhood life, rather than simply a provider of services to the population of the area.
  • Hamilton Madison HouseThe original Down Town Ethical Society settlement house was established in December 1898, by a group of twelve young men, one time members of the Nurses' and the University settlements, with the moral and financial assistance of the Society for Ethical Culture. "Two primary purposes have actuated the society in its work. One is the thorough Americanization of the residents of the lower East Side, and especially of the younger generation. The other is the strengthening of the home ties between immigrant parents and American-bred children, and the ennobling of the family life by reconciling the differences due to change in social and economic environment.
  • Hamilton-Madison House: Reaching the Hard Core of Poverty...it is the settlement's responsibility to seek out those youngsters and families whose inability to cope with the complexities of urban living makes them chronic problems to the schools, to law-enforcement agencies, to landlords, to their neighbors, and to themselves. These families and individuals are not able to be served by the more structures set up for "the poor", for they can neither conform to clinic or case-work-agency appointment schedules nor travel half way across the city. We are the neighborhood resources that intercedes for them with the courts, the Welfare Department, the Board of Education, or the Health Department, which gives meaning to their lives, which coddles them at times, perhaps, until they are ready to take their place again in a highly competitive society. Our intercession never denies people the right of decision; instead it prepares them to exercise that right as soon as they are able.
  • Hartley House SettlementHartley House was opened by the New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor (AICP) on January 1, 1897, and was incorporated as an independent organization in 1903. Establishment of Hartley House was the result of a gradually increasing feeling among managers of the Association that “...if the homes of the poor could be made more comfortable and attractive, and the home lives more sufficient, there would be less cause for family dissensions and dissolution, less seeking of the saloons by the men, less misery and wretchedness for the women, more happiness in the tenement districts, and less evil in the community.”
  • Henry Street Settlement Pioneers: Lillian Wald and Helen HallFor its first 74 years Henry Street had but two directors, one served 40 years, the other 34. Our current executive director, Bertram M. Beck, follows the tradition of Lillian Wald and Helen Hall by living in the House at 265 Henry Street. (Ed. Note: This entry is an original document prepared and distributed by Henry Street Settlement sometime in the late 1960's when Bertram Beck was the Executive Director (1967-1977).
  • Henry Street Settlement: 1910The organization maintains a district nursing service covering Manhattan and the Bronx; four first aid rooms in the main house and three of its branches, where burns, wounds, and ulcers are dressed, and attention is given to such patients as are able to come to the room; follow-up work from school, hospital, asylum and dispensary; seven country places, three of which are open all the year (described in another section); one milk dispensary with conference for mothers (these conferences are held twice a week under the direction of two physicians, and a nurse is detailed to follow up the cases and teach the modification of the milk in the homes); three kindergartens; upwards of 125 clubs for both sexes and all ages; three libraries (one for reference, two circulating); two playgrounds (one indoors and one outdoors with directors in charge); a gymnasium for boys, girls and young men; a school shop in which there are a limited number of apprentices who are taught fine handwork (the product is sold); two carpentry shops; several cooking classes; several dancing classes; penny provident banks at the main house and three branches.
  • Henry Street Settlement: Certificate of IncorporationThe 1903 official document authorizing the name of the proposed corporation: Henry Street Settlement
  • Henry Street Settlement: Fortieth Anniversary ProgramHistory reveals that humane progress is made and nobility of life created by the march of men and women who have had faith in an ideal of a more complete, more wholesome life, who have been courageous in expressing their beliefs and have consecrated their lives to engendering the realization of their vision. Lillian Wald and Helen Hall are two such courageous women.
  • How A Settlement House FunctionsIn this undated document, Ruth Tefferteller, Program Director, reports: "...Henry Street's uniqueness lies in the fact that it has grown and matured to the extent of specializing in certain areas beyond the multiplicity of services which lie at its heart. For example, out of concern for excellence and in response to human need, we now have a few special departments which evolved from smaller efforts first tried within the center of the Settlement at 265 and 301. From teaching music at 10 cents a lesson at "301" we now have a Music School. In the early days Mrs. Rita Morgenthau and the Lewisohn sisters carried on at "301" with dramatic clubs and street festivals until, in time, a whole department in theatre arts developed within a separate structure, called the Playhouse. And the Mental Hygiene Clinic began with one psychiatric social worker located in a little office off the lobby of Pete's House, to reach the emotionally troubled child in more intensive ways. The drive for serving people in more comprehensive and qualitative ways has run like a golden thread throughout the years, as moral commitments to a neighborhood translated themselves into refining and extending our programs to upgrade more and more individual children, youth and adults...."
  • Hudson GuildThe latter part of this long entry includes an excellent description of how the people of the neighborhood who participate in the programs of the Hudson Guild govern themselves. A description of this settlement house taken from the “Handbook of Settlements” published in 1911 reports: “…The Clubs' Council of Hudson Guild has been a success because real power has been placed in its hands; the power to do things which interest club members. The Council is composed of representatives from all the evening clubs using the house, and also elects the house court, which represents the judiciary. Many philanthropic organizations bring their beneficiaries together and make a pretense at self-government but keep all real authority out of the people's hands. The Clubs' Council has the power and self-developing capacity to be the legislative body of the neighborhood house; and through its committees has the executive functions as well…”
  • Hull HouseJane Addams and her friend Ellen Gates Starr founded Hull House in 1889 on the South side of Chicago, Illinois after being inspired by visiting Toynbee Hall in London.
  • Hull House - circ. 1910This entry is a detailed description of Hull House as it existed in 1911. The entry is taken directly from the HANDBOOK OF SETTLEMENTS published in 1911. This valuable collection of national information about settlements and their activities was organized and written by two settlement house pioneers, Robert Archey Woods and Albert J. Kennedy, and published by The Russell Sage Foundation of New York.
  • Hull House as a Sociological Laboratory (1894)Hull House is a social settlement. I need not say that thus far the form of a settlement has been that a number of young men or women, gathered chiefly from the universities and colleges, have taken up residence together in some undesirable quarter of a great city, and have undertaken to make it a better place to live in by the use of whatever powers or resources they might possess, and reciprocally to gain from it all the wisdom they could. To live among laboring people, getting their point of view; to serve their needs, whether it be for better lighted streets or higher cultivation; to study and to interpret present economic conditions by the light of sound historical research; and just now, above all, to try to bring to bear the influence of a "sweet reasonableness" upon the growing strength of labor organizations, -these may be taken as the aims of the settlement of which I speak, difficult, but worth striving for.
  • Jane Addams on the Problems of Charity: 1899Formerly when it was believed that poverty was synonymous with vice and laziness, and that the prosperous man was the righteous man, charity was administered harshly with a good conscience; for the charitable agent really blamed the individual for his poverty, and the very fact of his own superior prosperity gave him a certain consciousness of superior morality. Since then we have learned to measure by other standards, and the money-earning capacity, while still rewarded out of all proportion to any other, is not respected as exclusively as it was; and its possession is by no means assumed to imply the possession of the highest moral qualities. We have learned to judge men in general by their social virtues as well as by their business capacity, by their devotion to intellectual and disinterested aims, and by their public spirit, and we naturally resent being obliged to judge certain individuals solely upon the industrial side for no other reason than that they are poor. Our democratic instinct constantly takes alarm at this consciousness of two standards.
  • Lawrence House BookletEstablished in the Fall of 1900. "Lawrence House is a neighborhood club house. It aims to be a center for things of interest to the people, to provide a place for amusements and social gatherings, to furnish opportunities for instruction in any subject for which there is a demand. In co-operation with its neighbors, it aims to work for the betterment of its particular community as well as the city."
  • Lenox Hill Neighborhood HouseLenox Hill was Established October, 1894, by the Alumna of Normal College as a development of a kindergarten and certain forms of social work growing out of it. "Normal College Alumnae House exists for the mutual benefit of its neighbors and the students and graduates of the Normal College. Its purpose is to give social expression to democracy; so to study its neighborhood as to gain insight into its best life and its special needs, and, as a result of this study to stimulate self-help and co-operation, and wisely to lead and share the movement of the neighborhood toward civic consciousness and righteousness." (Source: Handbook of Settlements)
  • Locust Street Settlement House
  • Madison House and the Great DepressionThis retrospective view of Madison House highlights the contributions of Felix Adler and the Ethical Culture Society. Located in the Lower East Side of NYC, Madison House was funded by the Ethical Culture Society but was governed democratically by club members and staff who planned activities and programs for all ages.
  • Madison House in 1938When I found A Day at Madison House, I was overwhelmed. It captured the heart and soul of all the minutes, newsletters, reports that were in the archives and in the memories of those who loved Madison House. I wanted to take this document and send it to all local governments struggling so hard to fund accessible human and social services. To have under one roof preschool classes; health and dental care; recreation and athletic programs; art, drama, music; financial assistance; adult education courses seemed so logical.
  • Madison House Speaks in 1916In 1916, using personification, a very different type of progress report was prepared to describe the growth and changes experienced by Madison House over its first 18 years. Titled "The Old House Speaks" thats document is displayed belo
  • Madison House: Tops In Every RespectThis retrospective view of Madison House highlights the contributions of Felix Adler and the Ethical Culture Society. Located in the Lower East Side of NYC and home to waves of Eastern European Jews, Madison House reflects in many ways the social, economic and cultural differences within the Jewish community of the time.
  • Mary McDowell SettlementThe unique feature of the program and services to be developed and implemented in this new direction can be found not in any new purpose or objective, but rather, in the crystallization of those basic principles employed by the founders in the establishment of the settlement. It is hoped that uniqueness (from the operational viewpoint) may be found ultimately in: 1) The application of method used in the development of programs and services, 2) In the focus put upon specific services, and 3) n the attempt to be made by staff and board to validate the effectiveness of programs and services to be rendered.
  • More Than Sixty Years With Social Group Work: A Personal and Professional HistoryCatherine (Katy) Papell was a significant force in the development of social work with groups beginning in 1950. Building on her early experiences working and directing settlement houses during and immediately following World War II, Dr. Papell became a skilled practitioner and strong advocate for social group work and its place in the social work profession. For her recollections she said: "Personal history is not Truth with a capital T. It is the way the past was experienced and the way the teller sees it. I will try to share with you more than 6o years of group work history that I have been a part of and perhaps a party to. Others may tell it differently for many reasons..."
  • National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood CentersIn 1886, Stanton Coit founded America's first settlement house, the Neighborhood Guild (later renamed University Settlement) on New York City's Lower East Side. Over the next 15 years, settlement houses were established in cities as places where socially motivated middle-class men and women could live, or “settle,” among the poor. Settlement house staff resided in the same buildings in which neighborhood residents participated in programs and activities.
  • Nurses In "Settlement" WorkWe are about to move from the tenement into a house near it, that an opening may be made for other nurses to share the privileges of living among the people. The house is given to us to use for the purpose of a nurses' settlement; and we hope zealous women, who have added the nurses' training to their other preparations for usefulness, will realize the privilege of joining our family. The plan of the house is as follows: One room is to be reserved for a dispensary for small nursing cases, such as come to us in great numbers to be treated. A physician comes at regular periods for such special cases as do not require treatment in the large regular dispensaries. Classes in nursing, making of poultices, care of bed patients, elementary first aid to the injured, household hygiene, and care of children, will be held for the mothers and the girls and boys of the tenements.
  • Origins of the Settlement House MovementThe idea of a settlement—as a colony of learning and fellowship in the industrial slums—was first conceived in the 1860s by a group of prominent British reformers that included John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Kingsley, and the so-called Christian Socialists, They were idealistic, middle-class intellectuals, appalled at the conditions of the working classes, and infused with the optimism, moral fervor; and anti-materialist impulses of the Romantic Age: people who read the soaring poetry of Wordsworth and Tennyson, the conscientious novels of Dickens, the liberal political thought of the Utilitarian philosophers Bentham and Mill.
  • Philip Schiff: 1954 Presentation Like all of you, I came from the same neighborhood and from the same type of family and home environment....While our lives were seared and singed by economic conditions we, nevertheless, with few exceptions had the great ethical values drilled into us also by Howard Bradstreet, “Spunk” Kinoy and Pop Klein. Struggle was part of our daily existence with only Madison House standing between us and social breakdown. It was the House which helped alleviate the serious family and home conditions common to all of us during the darkest days of depression. In this cauldron of desperation and despair, there was burned into our consciousness the urge to carry on, no matter what the sacrifice involved.
  • Settlement Houses: An IntroductionResidents and volunteers of early settlement houses helped create and foster new organizations and social welfare programs, some of which continue to the present time. Settlements were action oriented and new programs and services were added as neighborhood needs were discovered; settlement workers tried to find, not be, the solution for social and environmental deficits affecting their neighbors. In the process, some settlements became engaged in issues such as housing reform, factory safety, labor organizing, protecting children, opening health clinics, legal aid programs, consumer protection, milk pasteurization initiatives and well-baby clinics. Others created parks and playgrounds or emphasized the arts by establishing theaters and classes for the fine arts and music education. A number of settlement leaders and residents conducted research, prepared statistical studies, wrote reports or described their personal experiences in memoirs.
  • Settlement Houses: How It All BeganThis is a portion of One Hundred Years on the Urban Frontier: The Settlement Movement (1886-1986) By Margaret E. Berry. The information is based on a 1946 report of research by Albert J. Kennedy and summarizes the specific ways in which settlements enriched or improved neighborhood life during the first sixty years.
  • Settlement Houses: The View Of The Catholic ChurchBut there is no need to go back to the past to find sufficient argument why I, or any churchman, should support the idea of the community center and its humane activities. If a churchman will not be faithful to his solemn profession, where shall fidelity be found? And we profess to be Americans, to accept as holy the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution. If we clergymen cannot condemn and hold up to scorn the mouthing hypocrite who praises our republic and glorifies our democracy while ignoring the fact that multitudes of our citizens are left in ignorance of our Constitution, live in unsanitary conditions, and are given no opportunity toward a life worth living, or a liberty worth possessing, or a happiness worth enjoying-if we do not speak, who will?
  • Settlements and Neighborhood CentersThe broad social aims of the settlement are those common to all social work: strengthening of family life and democratic society through helping individuals achieve happiness and security, developing satisfying relationships through group experiences and organizing programs for the well-being of the total community....The specific objectives of the settlement today are: (a) to help the people of a neighborhood to live together in such a way to become a source of enrichment to one another in their social relationship; (b) to discover and develop indigenous leadership which will operate for the good of all people across racial, religious, and nationality lines; and (c) to help people fulfill their citizenship responsibility to one another and the wider community through effective patterns of individual and group action.
  • South End House, Boston, MAThis is a long entry that uses original source materials to describe the first twenty years of programming, neighborhood betterment and other accomplishments by the staff and volunteers of South End House (1891 -- 1911). The materials used include: The Development of USES – A Chronology of the United South End Settlement Houses: 1891 –1966, by Albert Boer and the HANDBOOK OF SETTLEMENTS, published by The Russell Sage Foundation of New York in 1911.
  • The Heritage from Chicago’s Early Settlement HousesThe settlement crusade for social justice was firmly rooted in what the residents learned from neighborhood life. The reforms they proposed or promoted were realistic and practical, in part because many were tested in the neighborhood first. If a program proved worthwhile, the residents persuaded schools, labor unions, civic organizations, and the municipal, state, or federal government to take it over and expand it. But the point of origin was usually the neighborhood contact. The diversified program of the settlements put them in touch with a cross section of their communities. They sponsored day nurseries, kindergartens, and play schools; mothers’ clubs and women’s organizations; clubs and classes for children, teenagers, and young adults; discussion groups, educational classes, and civic reform organizations for the adults; free legal services, informal employment bureaus, dispensaries, and clinics.
  • The Settlement Movement: 1886-1986This booklet was published for the 1986 Centennial of the U.S. Settlement Movement by United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA). In addition to387245_10150392847552318_1227685911_n being a history of the settlement movement over a period of one hundred years, it includes valuable references and sources of additional information about settlements.
  • The University of Chicago Settlement ProjectThis lengthy report is significant for several reason: 1) it was written by a "resident" of the Chicago Settlement in 1925 0r 1926, thirty years after the founding of the organization; 2) his opportunities to interview and observe Mary McDowell, the original Head Worker, and compare her work and vision with the then current programs was exceptional; and 3) the author's relationship and perspective of the other residents, both paid staff and the volunteers who lived and worked in the agency, shared meals, worked with the neighborho0d people and otherwise interacted on a daily basis, offers an insight seldom reported in the history of settlements of that period. No specific information about D.E. Proctor beyond this report is available.
  • Toynbee HallToynbee Hall, in London, represents the beginning of the settlement movement where educated "university" men chose to live, work or visit a very poor and depressed neighborhood and share their education with the residents of the neighborhood. It was a visit to Toynbee Hall that motivated Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr to establish a similar project in Chicago's slum: Hull House.
  • Union Settlement, New York CityUnion Settlement Association was founded in 1895 by alumni, faculty and students of Union Theological Seminary in response to the desperate conditions of immigrants living in East Harlem and struggling to make a new life in America. Within one year of opening, Union Settlement programs were serving 2,000 community residents each month.
  • University House of PhiladelphiaMembers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Christian Association (CA) founded University Settlement House in 1898. The mission of the CA, as its charter stated, was to promote "spiritual welfare of the students of the University of Pennsylvania by encouraging Christian fellowship and cooperation." The organization linked its mission for Christian advancement with such social services as operating settlement houses for the poor and providing summer camps for kids from less fortunate families in the vicinity of the University campus.
  • University of Chicago SettlementPerhaps the first outstanding instance of the Settlement’s service to the community, through Miss McDowell, was its successful petition to have a public bath-house erected in the area (12,000 persons used it in August, 1900). Another instance was the successful campaign to have the alleys and streets of the district cleaned, and trash and garbage hauled away. Efforts on the part of the Settlement resulted in a series of events which led to the present system of neighborhood playgrounds. The Settlement was instrumental in the establishment of summer schools or “vacation schools,” and vocational schools where classes in manual training, domestic science and vocational guidance were held. ...It sponsored nutrition and hygiene classes, provided a nursing clinic and visiting nurses and the services of cooperating doctors, all before these functions were recognized as a municipal responsibility. The Settlement even served as a hospital ward on two occasions, once during an epidemic of whooping cough, and again during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Miss McDowell led the campaign for the abolition of the great garbage dumps in the area and for the filling in of the notorious “Bubbly Creek”—a stagnant branch of the Chicago River into which was poured raw sewage.
  • University of Chicago Settlement: 1896 Here, as in most other settlements, no definite religious work or instruction is attempted. The kindergarten, under the direction of Mrs. Mary B. Page, was the first thing undertaken, and has been a pronounced success from the start. Two choruses (the Orpheus for adults and the children’s chorus) are conducted by Miss Marie Hofer, with excellent results. The day nursery is supported by an association of south side women. It has been in operation since the early days of the settlement. The same association maintains sewing and home dressmaking classes. There is also a dispensary, a free lending library (a private enterprise of the settlement) and a university extension center, where lectures are given by university professors. Two or three lawyer friends of the settlement have hours in which they give free legal advice to those who need it. Occasional art exhibits and weekly Sunday concerts of the best music are helpful in developing and gratifying a taste in these directions. The cooking classes have outgrown the limits of the settlement kitchen, and recently were moved to larger quarters. Clubs of various sorts have been organized.
  • University Settlement - 1911University Settlement was committed to good government as well as services to the neighborhood. It was reported: The early clubs were stimulated to protest against corrupt candidates, and residents have endeavored to awaken an enlightened public opinion in the various good government campaigns. The settlement allied itself with various organized efforts,—the City Vigilance League, Good Government clubs, etc. Mr. Reynolds was a member of the Committee of Seventy, in 1894, chairman of the executive committee of the Citizens' Union in 1897, and later chairman of important sub-committees. Residents have appeared frequently before the legislative committees in support of measures looking toward the betterment of political conditions. Perhaps the best service of the house has been the training in citizenship given its boys and girls, as a result of which the settlement now looks with pride on the excellent records of a number of its young men in various branches of public service.
  • University Settlement of New York CityDuring the year 1886, in the heart of the Lower East Side, upwards of 3,000 people lived in a single square block. The tenement buildings of the area normally had four apartments on each floor; a typical apartment would consist of one small room that was well-lighted and ventilated, and several others that were wholly dark, and might house a family of five or more, and perhaps a boarder.
  • Visiting Nurse Service Administered by the Henry Street SettlementIn 1935, the staff of the 264 Henry Street Visiting Nurses gave care to 99,362 patients in the boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx and Queen. To these people they made 517,016 visits. In ten years the service has increased by 170,00 visits--in thirty years it has increased by 475,000. Dr. S.S. Goldwater, Commissioner of Hospitals in New York, has said, “The chronic diseases constitute the major health problems of today.” The interpretation of this statement and its tragic significance can readily be seen by a glance at the chart on the opposite page [Six Chief Causes of Death] which shows that five of the major causes of death are due to chronic diseases and one, the sixth, pneumonia. No effort has been made, even in symbol, to soften the shock which its study brings.
  • What The Settlement Work Stands For Finally and briefly, then, I would venture to say that, considered upon American soil, the settlement may be regarded as a humble but sincere effort toward a realization of that ideal of social democracy in whose image this country was founded, but adapted and translated into the life of to-day. (Julia C. Lathrop, 1896)
  • Women, Settlements and PovertyThis article uses primary source documents from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s to discuss women’s roles in the reconceptualization of poverty in America. It studies the belief drawn from colonial religion that poverty was a result of personal immorality and traces the changing public perception through the turn of the 20th century. The view of poverty that evolved, a conceptualization based in the social research of women settlement house leaders, was one that also considered environmental contributors to individual poverty, thus redefining poverty as a multi-dimensional social problem.