NYC Settlement House History

As we recognize the work that is done through NYC's settlement houses, we constantly ask ourselves, what is a settlement house?

This timeline intends to give our visitors more information on our 38 settlement houses around New York City. It will detail what our settlement houses have been and will continue to do to greatly impact New York City.

Grand St. Settlement Dental Clinic

In 1917, Grand Street Settlement was the first settlement house to operate a Settlement Dental Clinic. During the 1980s, Grand Street Settlement was the head of the Dental Assistant Training program in collaboration with New York University.

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center

Founded in 1974 by Mary McLoughlin, Patricia Burns, and Janet Athanasidy, these ladies jumped to create a community center at Kingbridge Terrace. The building was revitalized and was able to provide education and cultural activities for all community residents. Today, KHCC provides services for all members of their Bronx neighborhood.

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House was founded in 1984 by the Alumnae Association of Normal college (now Hunter College of the City University of New York) as a free kindergarten for immigrant children. Now, Lenox Hill serves over 200,000 community members in need, including: economic, social, emotional, and physical need.

University Settlement Society

Hailed as the first settlement house in the United States in 1886, University Settlement was a haven to struggling immigrants on the Lower East Side. Today there is a paid staff of over 500, and is a pioneer in social services. They offer an array of programs, including a creative center, adult literacy programs, swimming programs, youth programs, and more.

The Educational Alliance

Educational Alliance served the entire population of Downtown Manhattan, although originally intended for Eastern European Jews, since 1889. There were opportunities to participate in the arts, recreation, and theater. As the population of Lower Manhattan changed in 1940's, so did the Alliance: they began to employ trained professionals, aimed to curb teenage delinquency in the 1960's, and acted as one of the first organizations to offer Head Start.

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House

Originally the King's Daughters Settlement House, it was founded by Jacob A. Riis, a social reformer, in 1890. Currently, it's mission is to strengthen communities in Western Queens and act as a "catalyst for change." Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House focuses on youth services, senior services, and immigrant services.

East Side House Settlement

This settlement house is one of the oldest non-profits in NYC. It orginiated in Manhattan's Upper East Side in 1891 and relocated to the South Bronx, one of the "poorest congressional districts in the country." East Side House serves over 8,000 residents of Manhattan and the South Bronx.

Henry Street Settlement

Henry Street Settlement was established in 1893 by Lillian Wald to care for the poor. Her philosophies established Henry Street as one of the nation's models for service to children, families, and the poor. Today, Henry Street serves 50,000 members of its community annually, and are developed to help individuals learn to help themselves.

Union Settlement Association

Established in 1895, the Union Settlement Organization is one of the largest settlement houses in NYC. They serve over 10,000 people annually, focusing on East Harlem communities. Union Settlement prides itself on meeting the demands of the changing demographics of the neighborhood, helping everyone from infants to senior citizens.

Hudson Guild

Since 1895, The Guild has focused on those in need who work or go to school in the Chelsea-area, and helps to knit together the multi-faceted community with a holistic approach. The Guild serves over 14,000 people each year in five main service areas: Adult, Arts, Children and Youth Services, Mental Health Services, and Community Building. It seeks to empower each individual and family to "achieve their highest potential."

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