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Settlement Movement: 1886-1986


One  Hundred  Years on  Urban Frontiers

By Margaret E. BerryUnited Neighborhood Centers of America[View Image]
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United Neighborhood Centers of America

 Editor’s Note (1): This booklet was published for the 1986 Centennial of the U.S. Settlement Movement by United  Neighborhood Centers of  America (UNCA). In addition to 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 author, Margaret E. Berry, was a former director of the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, the predecessor of UNCA.

Editor’s Note (2): The photos, images and internal links to individuals, organizations and eras were added to the text to enhance the content of the booklet and provide more information for the user.

 Margaret E. Berry, Former Executive Director of the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers[View Image]
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Margaret E. Berry, Former Executive Director of the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers

The settlement movement began officially in the United States in 1886, with the establishment of University Settlement, New York. Settlements derived their  name  from  the  fact  that  the  resident workers  “settled” in  the  poor neighborhoods they  sought to serve,  living  there  as friends and  neighbors. This exciting new form of service was modeled after Toynbee Hall, establish­ed in London in 1884 by Canon Samuel Barnett. He devised it as a practical tool for remedying the cruelty, exploitation and  bleakness found in city life, and  based  his program on simple but profound principles: that each  person had  the capacity to grow and  the right  to enjoy “the  best”;  that evolutionary rather  than  revolutionary change would  be effective; and that the welfare of the nation  as well as its neighborhoods was dependent on personal com­munication across the  barriers of economic and social class. These  principles were  seized on by others, and settlements spread rapidly in England and to other industrialized nations.

In the United States  the focus was also on city slums and  the amelioration of wretched living conditions. The  idea of “settling in” to learn as well as to help  was eagerly embraced by a variety of caring  groups. Sponsors in­cluded women’s colleges, theological seminaries, college Christian associa­tions, churches, and  the  Ethical  Culture Society. 1 Reflecting  the strength and cultural  richness of immigrant neighborhoods, many programs were also started by indigenous organizations created by Catholic, Jewish and Black populations. There were approximately 400 settlements established from coast to coast between 1889 and 1910. The  neighborhoods they  sought to unders­tand and  serve were exotic and colorful. According to the  Handbook   of 1911 they contained one or more identifiable racial or ethnic groups including Native American, Black, Irish,  English, Scotch,  Jewish,  French-Canadian, Italian, German, Belgian, Dutch, Austrian, Bohemian, Slavic, Scandinavian, Polish, Russian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Roumanian, Dutch, Portugese, Spanish, Basque,  Syrian, Greek, Armenian, Mexican,  Japanese and  Chinese.

These new Americans brought  with them  rich cultural  diversity and  a sense of hope  and  striving which fitted  in to the  “American dream:’ The  settle­ment  program was  geared to upward mobility  and  a commitment to help each  struggling group to  become part  of  the  main  stream. The  cultural complexities of these  neighborhoods also required humility on the  part  of the “settlers,” who had  to learn  before they could give, and who thought in broad  social  terms  of community welfare  rather  than  in moral  terms of “charity” and  “uplift”. The  U.S. settlement movement was also characterized by the  leadership of many women, who found  in this type of service a fitting use of their energy and  skill. Alienated themselves from a society  which  failed to appreciate or utilize  their  abilities,  they found in the settlement movement an acceptable and  satisfying calling.  Jane  Addams, Lillian Wald, Mary  Simkhovitch and many  others, along with  notable residents like Florence  Kelley and  Frances Perkins, found settlement work their  entry into significant national affairs.

Goals  and Values

The American settlement movement looked  at all human life as precious, and saw it as interrelated–from person to family  to neighborhood to city to nation. It saw the nation  as indivisible and the settlements as the “distant early warning stations” which  would  inform the wider society of symptoms of social illness from which none would  be immune. Rather  than dispens­ing charity they were seeking the common national welfare, stressing a reciprocity between classes.  This spirit was closely allied to the social gospel movement.

The  settlement movement asked what was needed in deprived areas  to make a good  life possible. It saw government as the creation of society and as the instrument through which the good life could be brought within  reach of all. If public baths or a playground or a citizenship class proved useful in one neighborhood, surely   it  was  something which  should be  made available  to all neighborhoods. The  function of the  settlement, and of city and national federations, was to interpret the significance of such public social programs and  to push for their  wider provision on the appropriate city, state or national level.

A few settlements saw their task as experimenting with new ways to struc­ture city life. Stanton Coit, the founder of University Settlement, had  a vi­sion of neighborhood guilds made  up of units of 100 families,  which would be self-determining and self-supporting, and able to carry out whatever  local reforms  were needed. In Boston,  the work of Robert Woods presaged many of the concerns of today’s city planners, as he sought to define  the function of neighborhoods and  districts, and  the  place of the  settlement in further­ing democratic decision-making.

Whether the primary interest was democratic participation in city govern­ment, or educational and social programs which  enhanced personal growth and  improved living conditions, over  the years the U.S. settlement  move­ment affirmed its overall commitment to social reform. A statement developed in 1959 by a cross-section national  committee concluded: “The neighborhood center  stands at the cross-roads where two forces meet that have impact  on individuals and  families.  One  is neighborhood life, in which  the settlement serves as the   locus for enjoyable and constructive association and neighborhood action:  the other, forces in our culture emanating from out­side the neighborhood. Today the role of the  settlement has two aspects as the two faces of a coin; function–that is, its services to individuals and  its neighborhood; and cause–its leadership in analyzing, mitigating, and  help­ing  to eradicate the  factors that make for suffering and breakdown.”2

 Program and  MethodsA Classroom at the Baden Street Settlement[View Image]
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A Classroom at the Baden Street Settlement

Settlements were characterized not by a set of services  but by an approach. If the original stimulus came from sponsors outside the neighborhood, the approach consisted of moving in to the needy  area,  reaching out in a friend­ly way to the  neighbors, and  deciding together with  them what  was wrong and what was needed. In cases where the initiative came from indigenous neighborhood leaders or organizations–and this has been increasingly true in recent decades–the program has been flexible and reflected neighborhood judgment about priorities. Because of this, settlements have ranged  widely  in the activities  they  pro­vided. They pioneered in nursing services, clinics, convalescent homes, milk stations. They established camps and  playgrounds. They taught  English and citizenship. Kindergartens began there, as did experiments in trade and voca­tional  training. Settlement workers  studied  housing conditions, working hours, sanitation, sweatshops, child labor, and  used these studies to stimulate protective legislation. They worked to remedy  abuses by loansharks, pawnshops, and  predatory installment buying practices.  And  always there were  the  activities which brought fun and fulfillment to life–music, art, theater, sociability and play. The list is as varied and as changing  as the needs. In this  hundred years there have been clear trends. In some  periods the program reflected  national  calamities such as severe depressions or world wars. As the century advanced, many activities pioneered by the settlement disappeared  because they were taken over by public authorities (e.g. playgrounds, adult  classes, kindergartens, health clinics). In other cases cer­tain “evils” which occupied a major  part  of  the settlement’s time were eliminated through protective legislation (e.g. tenement standards, municipal sanitation, child labor), leaving the agency free to move on to new priorities. One  dramatic change has  come with the increase in life expectancy,  from 47.3 years  in 1900 to 70.9 years in 1970. This  great  increase  in the  number of aged in the population is reflected in a proliferation of programs like meals on wheels or adult  day centers,  none  of which  existed during the first sixty years. Another change appears in the current emphasis on preparing youth for responsible parenthood, partially reflecting the fact that the average age of sexual maturity in girls occurs between 12 and  13, as compared with  age 17 in 1830.


There have been trends  in staffing, too. In the pioneer houses the residents comprised the staff and functioned under the social and  educational leader­ship of the director. The residents were learners, living in a more or less con­tinuous seminar. Their observations were expected  to carry evidence about neighborhood problems to the larger  society  and  to result  in reform. But as activity programs grew to meet observed needs, staffing  needs also expand­ed and could  be met  only  by recruiting volunteers or  paid  workers with specific  skills.  Residence no longer focused on formal  social  research. The residence, or more particularly  its dining  room, attracted a more diverse  group of residents and  workers  from  other neighborhood agencies,  often with  in­teresting public figures as guests. Learning about  the area and  interpreta­tion of its needs took place in  a more diffuse and informal  way.

The residence as a learning center, however, required staff leadership and later generations of executives were not willing to focus in the residence their personal as well as professional life as the pioneers had done. Without such leadership, the educational function of the residence diminished, and  it was impossible to justify the large subsidies which  had  always  been  necessary. By the 1950’s the place of the residence as a central  element in the  program had  long gone, and  the  word  “settlement” was increasingly supplanted  by “neighborhood center”.3NYA Poster[View Image]
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NYA Poster

The  expanded staffs of volunteer and  paid workers had many different skills–research, social  group work, case  work, community organization, education, recreation, camping, and the arts. Settlements were always short­ handed! During the Depression and  until  World War II many  skilled and desperately needed workers came  from  the  National Youth Administration (NYA) and  the Workers Project  Administration (WPA) forces, including art and theater. Smaller  numbers came in the Sixties through Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA).

Another distinct  trend could  be seen  in the mid-Sixties, with  the  employ­ment of large numbers of neighborhood residents, a trend hastened by the ideology of the  War on  Poverty  with  its emphasis on  training paraprofes­sionals and establishing career  ladders.

Whatever the  skills needed, settlements always had a concern that staff be well prepared. Evidence  appears in 1903 when Graham Taylor of Chicago Commons began Training  Courses in conjunction with  the University of Chicago. These developed into the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, which  became  the School of Social Service  Administration of the University of Chicago.  Resolutions of the  National Federation underline the commit­ment to quality work: a resolution in 1921 supports the efforts of Graham Taylor “to place social work on a professional basis”; another in 1928 agrees to study the  natural group as an “instrument of recreation, education and  character building”; and  one in 1934 agrees  to cooperate with  the  American Association of Social Workers in defining a qualified social agency. Throughout the Thirties and  Forties institutes were  jointly sponsored by the Federation and schools  of social  work and  there  was a close working  relationship with  the evolving  Council  on  Social  Work Education.

Of all specializations, the strongest affinity  was with group work  because of its relevance  to settlement values–its emphasis on human relationships and  on democratic decision-making, including social action.  At first, group workers had  to fight for acceptance from devotees of the arts, who tended to dismiss group work  as being  “without content”.  The  group workers for their  part  viewed  the arts disciples as elitist.  Inspired by the concept of self­ determination for membership groups, these  yeasty  new  professionals ac­complished the democratization of some  of the  national  organization’s own procedures. During the Fifties a quarter of the group work graduates went into settlements: in 1965, 42% of the full-time  workers had a masters’ degree in social work.  This common educational background contributed to iden­tification with  the national movement. In the Fifties, with so much program comprised of outreach with street  gangs and work with block organizations and  tenant groups, there  was also a premium on employment of communi­ty organization graduates. 4Hull-House, Circa 1920[View Image]
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Hull-House, Circa 1920

The concern with  training peaked with  the establishment of the  National Training Center in Chicago in 1960, located first at Hull-House. It was to pro­vide a link between universities and  practice, and  between 1960-67 it had enrolled 1600 workers from 34 states  in 67 varied courses, and  had  provided substantial VISTA and  Juvenile Delinquency training through federal contracts.

Turbulent  Decades

The  Fifties  and  Sixties  brought a kaleidoscope of events  which  shook the country–and the settlement movement–to the core. Against the background of the undeclared war in Vietnam which  created ever-mounting rage, there were  intertwined movements of profound  significance for low-income neighborhoods. One  was  the  rediscovery of poverty and a crusade for  its elimination. The  other  was  the  Civil Rights  Movement.

The  Fifties  started with  vigor  and  optimism–great  internal migration, tremendous physical change in cities, housing starts, and  the “baby  boom”. National concern for some  urban  problems appeared in federal  programs to combat  juvenile  delinquency through coordinated neighborhood youth services, and  in vast urban  renewal  programs spurred by the Federal  Hous­ing Act of 1954. By 1960 the  nation had rediscovered poverty, and  a liberal and  compassionate administration launched an array  of services. By 1964 programs like Head  Start,  legal services and  job training were in place, with the Office of Economic Opportunity as the central  planner.  The Housing Act of  1965  added more resources, and experimentation  in  meeting urban problems was also sparked by private efforts such as the Ford Foundation’s Gray Areas  project.

This  was a heady time for neighborhood centers: there  was  national in­terest and for the first time, federal  money began to flow in support of local social  programs. Neighborhood centers were  enabled to undertake impor­tant work in juvenile delinquency demonstrations, and to participate significantly in the  rebuilding of cities, since  the 1954 Housing Act required citizen participation be written in to each city’s plan. Settlements again began to see  the “neighborhood as the  client”:  and  moved  massively out of their buildings to provide “detached workers” for street  gangs, and  neighborhood organization workers for the array of block clubs, tenants’ organizations, and other  levels of citizen  organization.5 Whether centers fought urban renewal changes which destroyed stable neighborhoods, or collaborated by handl­ing relocation contracts, for example, settlements and  their neighbors were involved  in crucial  economic decisions. In this  time  of rapid  change, they were increasingly part of many experiments in combining public and  private resources in relation to schools, housing projects and  services to multi­-problem families.6

The War on Poverty which followed proved both a boon and a challenge. Establishment of local community action or neighborhood service  programs under the  banner of “maximum feasible  participation” of those affected challenged settlements ideologically, for many  had  moved  far too slowly in bringing neighborhood residents into their central decision-making. They did respond to  this  challenge, and by 1968 a quarter of  the  local  board members were  neighborhood residents.

The sudden establishment of some 400 publicly funded centers raised long­ range  questions of their  relationship to private ones.  Soon their  ideological fervor diminished as the idea of complete  local control met massive resistance: city governments asserted ultimate control, and  it became obvious that  the victims  of poverty had  limited  power  to attack  problems which lay in  the national economy. These public service centers tended over  time  toward a standardized though useful  program, primarily offering  services of public departments on a decentralized basis. But their existence, plus the hundreds of Community Action Corporations (to set up services for poor people), made it clear that the traditional settlements/neighborhood centers had no monopo­ly on neighborhood service and  action  programs.

Meanwhile, funds from  the  War on  Poverty  also  went  to settlements in relatively  massive amounts. By 1965 neighborhood centers nationally were receiving from public funds a total equal to what  they received from United Ways. The interest of many  governmental departments focused on creative plan­ning for neighborhood services. In 1966  President  Johnson  pledged  a “neighborhood service   center   in  every  ghetto’, and  23  million   was  ap­propriated for HEW, HUD, DOL and  OEO  to mount demonstrations in 11 cities. Additional experimental approaches were set up through interagency cooperation for 14 additional cities. The National Federation was drawn into this  planning process,  including conducting a study funded by the  President’s  Commission on Urban  Problems.7  Before these  initiatives could  bear fruit, the  political climate changed and  federal interest  waned.

In these two  decades, then, the settlement movement had  taken  its big­gest leap  into the unknown. It had  moved  decisively into the complexities of public-private financing involving many federal  and state agencies.  Funds had  been  vastly  increased for undernourished  programs, and  imaginative leadership was stimulated and rewarded. The troubling question  was whether voluntary neighborhood centers could  retain  a unity  of direction and  com­mitment to neighborhood participation, or whether their programs might become a shopping mall of services, determined largely by the availability of public  grants. A broader question was  how  to cooperate fruitfully with an increasing array of neighborhood-focused programs brought into  being by public departments, or by indigenous neighborhood self-help groups.

Civil  Rights  MovementReverend Martin L. King, Jr. Addressing the Thousands of Participants on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963[View Image]
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Reverend Martin L. King, Jr. Addressing the Thousands of Participants on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963

During these two  decades the Civil Rights  movement was a parallel  force. Focused  at first on the South and  the  removal  of legal barriers to black par­ticipation, in the Fifties it brought progress in relation  to jury service, voting, school  boards, and the landmark 1954 Supreme Court  decision  declaring school  segregation illegal. The brave marches, sit-ins and boycotts based on non-violence raised massive resistance which was violent, but  they also brought success, backed  by a national awareness that  long-delayed justice had finally arrived. The 1963 March on Washington  was a symbolic high point of this  phase, which was firmly established by the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965.

Neighborhood centers  were allies in this cause.  Many centers served black neighborhoods. The first major  study of black urban life was made in Philadelphia inW.E.B. DuBois[View Image]
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W.E.B. DuBois

1895-97 by William E.B. DuBois for College Settlement. Mary White Ovington, a New York settlement worker,  in 1916 wrote  a study of New  York’s black  population (Half a  Man) which   was  significant for its usefulness to anthropologists who were combating the myth of racial  in­feriority.  Settlement leaders were  supporters of the  Niagara  movement in 1905 which  led to the founding of the NAACP in 1910, and the Urban  League in 1911. They  participated in planning a National Interracial Conference in 1928. Meanwhile, local centers generally worked against  prejudice, and  in the South, many of them moved step by step against legal  barriers to in­tegration. The emphasis locally and  nationally was on “inclusiveness” and there  was satisfaction by 1965 when the  major  legal battles  for  desegrega­tion had  been won.8  The national  movement was represented on one  of the most dramatic frontiers through its Mississippi Project, where  from 1966-1970 it supported leadership to sustain the grass-roots community and political efforts born of the civil rights movement in the three counties around Jackson. What few people  had foreseen was the gathering storm of unassuaged rage which  swept the  northern cities:  between 1964 and  1968 there  was  a total of 150 significant riots. The Detroit  riots left 43 dead,  1000 injuried, and  2,700 businesses destroyed. This evidence of continuing desperate need  provided stimulus for  federal social  programs and  some  economic help   from   the business community. Neighborhood centers were on the front lines  as cities burned.9  They  were  there  in  Washington on the Solidarity March which climaxed the Poor People’s  Campaign in the summer of 1968. They  mourn­ed  the assassination of Martin Luther King which  was a tragic  part  of the nightmare.

The  rise  of  black  nationalism came  during this  period. Neighborhood centers were heavily  involved  in this,  too, as many were viewed  as a symbol of the “establishment” to be taken  over by local residents. The long-standing settlement goal of integration was challenged by “Black Power”, followed to a lesser extent by “brown”, “red”, and  “yellow” expressions of self-hood. This “movement within a movement” was  valued  for its assertion of self-pride, but at times  it came  into anguished conflict  with  the long-held value  of in­tegration. As Ruby Pernell  wrote  at the  time,  “The  revolutionary character of the Black Movement puts  the  passion and  excitement and  struggle back into the Settlement Movement. It places  squarely before  us all the  absolute core of our  local and  national problem in human relations and  social  and economic justice.  Beyond  this  there  is nothing so solid and unyielding: so the  challenge was  to welcome  this  new  force  and  at the  same  time  fight against  the polarization of society, keeping faith in the common good and in social interdependence. Certainly black leadership has played an increas­ingly dominant role on the local and  national scene since  that  time, and  ac­commodations have been worked out.  At the close of this “settlement cen­tury”: race  relations is still a major  problem facing  the  nation and its poor neighborhoods, with  the gap between rich and poor widening and national resolve  apparently weakening.

Entering a Second  Century

The Sixties came to a sad close, the nation exhausted by the economic and spiritual drain of Vietnam. The Poverty Program was dismembered. Disillu­sionment and  the  sense of  political   betrayal occasioned by “Watergate” broadened, until by the end of the Seventies an administration came to power which  viewed  government as a burden “on  the  backs of the  people”,  rather than  the  instrument through which citizens carry out  their common pur­poses.  The subsequent dismantling of social and  economic programs in the Eighties  left all voluntary agencies struggling to maintain earlier  gains, and to assert  their  common purposes. The retreat  from social welfare goals  can­ not be ascribed completely to domestic political  events: it was typical in all the developed countries, according to reports made  in 1985 at the Toynbee Hall  Symposium. 11

In this time  when great  dreams seem  to have been  abandoned, what  can be learned from  a century of heroic  settlement effort?  On  the  urban fron­tiers, neighborhood centers performed illustriously in responding to the social and educational needs of each new wave of immigrants. The settlement move­ment left a legacy for the whole  nation  through its common effort for social reforms, insuring  that  life  for all  has become more  safe, fulfilling, and humane. Progress in social  reform,  to be sure,  was  not steady.  It came at times when cities, states or the  nation were ready to listen to the “distant early  warning signals” sent  by settlements, when there  was a readiness to respond to need, to commit resources, or to undertake social innovations. Such  a period occurred at the  beginning in 1886 in London, when people of conscience and power were moved by what they heard from Toynbee Hall. It was  most dramatically true in the U.S. in  the Thirties, when the whole array of federal programs known as the “New  Deal” burst into life to sustain a desperate nation. It was possible because settlements and others had pa­tiently  worked out the blueprints during the lethargic Twenties.

Today, although the commitment to social reform may be no less, the pro­blems  seem  more  complex or intractable than in the days of the pioneers. They have outgrown the neighborhood or city, and  many can be solved on­ly by national means. There  is no longer  the  same confidence that  people will do what is “right” when they  have  the facts.  Reform  movements have proliferated and  have become specializations in themselves, relying on coali­tions and  mass  communication. Neighborhood centers will still be commit­ted to change, still bear evidence of wrongs to be righted–but they  will be part of coordinated efforts along with others.

What  is constantly being reaffirmed is the continued validity of the neighborhood approach, so obvious it is almost unseen. Neighborhood centers are  there.  They are accessible, rooted  in their geographical neighborhood or district, with ties to the family and  all its members, cross­ing lines of race, religion, national origin and economic status. They are still where the action is. By and large, they have truly “held  their  programs light­ly”. Their  flexible approach is appropriate to large or small  efforts;  it is im­mediate, useful  and  versatile. Sometimes aspects appear in different forms, as in the case of the Peace Corps, or Head  Start.

There is much unfinished business for neighborhood centers in local areas. Their  programs are needed, not  so much  to provide universal coverage in services as to be the  “experimental stations” to develop and test ideas for the future. Blueprints are still unfinished for a continuum of support  ser­vices for the aged; preparation for responsible parenthood; job training with entry into the world of work;  low-rent housing for families;  citizens’ advice bureaus. The  ideal  public-private neighborhood service  center  has  not  yet been  designed. The  urban  frontier remains an exciting  laboratory, worthy of the  most  creative  efforts of neighborhood workers.

Many  neighborhoods still need  stimulation and  support.  Neighbors can make use of advocacy on their  behalf, and links with  the broader communi­ty. But this second  century makes  possible–even requires–a different style. The legacy of the recent  “turbulent decades” is an assertiveness on the  part of residents, a pattern of self-help organizations, and  an expectation of democratic participation. This  generally prevailing  spirit  makes  possible a more equal  partnership between neighbors and  staff, sometimes taking  the form of offering  technical  assistance to independent neighborhood groups. No longer is the emphasis on being spokesmen for inarticulate neighbors, but  on  supporting them  as  they  speak  for themselves.

Neighborhood centers  have  a common heritage,   but  they  are  no  longer unique. They  share with many others a concern for improving the  quality of local life, and a direct, pragmatic approach to solving  its problems. This awareness makes it possible  to forge different alliances and seek varied forms in the  decades ahead. Rooted  in an  honorable past, neighborhood centers are  free to choose new paths and new partners.


The  U.S. movement considered itself from  the beginning to be part  of an international community. Owing its own origin to Toynbee Hall, it consistent­ly tried to share its concepts with  other countries. This happened as a mat­ter of course when  individuals traveled–a 1920 letter  from  Robert  Woods, who was on a trip  around the  world,  provided an  appraisal of the  settle­ment potential in  the Philippines, China, India  and  the  Near East!  Ellen Coolidge went to Paris in 1921 to help establish the French federation: Emeric Kurtagh   journeyed in 1937 to his  native  Hungary with  the  same  purpose; Lillie Peck spent 1951 developing a demonstration center  in Bremen. These individual efforts have been  extended through more formal  exchanges­ Altantique, the German Youth Leadership project,  placement of refugee workers during World War II, the Cleveland International Program (started by a neighborhood center  executive,  but extended to all social welfare), and international visitor programs sponsored by governmental departments. Over the  years these  have added up to hundreds of contacts.  A special  exchange has been  the memorial Barnett Fellowship, established jointly in 1924 by the national federations of Great  Britain  and  the  U.S.

The  impulse to share  took on  its most  important institutional form  with the  establishment of the  International Federation, which  held  its first  conference  in London in 1922. Ellen Coolidge, a Board  member from  Boston, and  Lillie Peck, a staff member and  later  executive  of the  National Federa­tion, separately and together visited European countries and  forged links of communication after World I, a process  repeated by Lillie Peck after World War II. U.S. representatives have  participated in all the  international con­ferences, held every four years except for war’s interruptions, and  have  been active  in  the  International Federation. The  U.S. settlements were  hosts to neighborhood workers  who  attended the  Washington International  Conference on Social Welfare in 1966, and  set up a “seminar on wheels” which included some Canadian centers on its itinerary. The centennial year of 1986 will reach  a fitting  high  point  when the  International Federation will  hold its conference in  New  York in October,  a joint enterprise with the  United Neighborhood Centers of America  and  the  United Neighborhood Houses of New  York.

Neighborhood centers in the U.S. were  not generally pacifist,  and  during wars they  worked to sustain neighborhood morale.  At the same time,  they focused  on means  to end war. On a point of contemporary interest, the Board of the National Federation wrote to the President in 1927, urging conciliatory action in regard  to U.S. differences with Mexico and Nicaragua! And in 1921, Jane Addams, who was a pacifist and suffered rejection because of it, head­ed a national committee to suggest  ways that local settlements could celebrate peace  between England and  Ireland.

The United  Nations was viewed with great hope,  and centers supported it through informational materials and educational seminars. In 1952, as a proxy  for  the  International,  the   U.S. Federation was  accredited  to the Economic  and  Social Council  of the  UN as a Non-Governmental Organiza­tion, Class  II. It has  participated ever since  in activities of the  UN and  its various  bodies,  and with the U.S. Mission to the UN.

In the original constitution of the IFS the U.S. was assigned the rather  over­whelming responsibility for work in Central  and  South  America.  This charge has  been  partially met  from  time  to time  through scholarships for South American workers  established by southwestern centers; through participa­tion in Pan American social welfare  conferences; and  most notably through a demonstration project  funded by the  Agency  for International Develop­ ment. From 1964-67 this provided for two workers  in Venezuela,  who  head­ed demonstrations in Caracas barrios and in villages around Puerto La Cruz. This presence was an entree to social welfare developments in South  America generally.

The commitment to a world of peace  and sharing remains the unfinished agenda of all.

 HOW IT ALL BEGAN 1886-1946

 The  following pages,  based  on  research by Albert  J. Kennedy summarize the specific ways in which settlements enriched or improved neighborhood life during the  first sixty  years.  Sometimes they  showed the  way through demonstrations. Sometimes they were leaders or participants in social causes in cooperation with  others. Through the  decades one  can  see  many  goals accomplished as certain  activities  disappear from the agenda. In many  cases as with kindergartens, playgrounds, adult  classes,  sanitation, workmans’ compensation, mothers’ pensions, it is because these  have  become public responsibilities.

Dates  given  refer to a specific  event,  or more  often,  to the  period when an activity  was  most  prevalent.

HEALTHAlice Hamilton, M.D.[View Image]
[View Image]
Alice Hamilton, M.D.

From Alice Hamilton, M.D. Professor of Industrial Medicine, Harvard Univer­sity  Medical  School: “I should never have taken up the cause of the working class had I not lived at Hull­ House and learned much from Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, Julia Lathrop, and others. Life at Hull-House had accustomed me to going straight to the homes  of people about whom I  wished to learn something and talking with them in their own surroun­dings, where they have courage to speak out what is in their minds.”

Improvement of Sanitation and Public Health

Made  efforts  to  improve   sanitation and  enforce   health   codes (1886-96) and established pioneer pasteuriza­tion station (1897). Dr. Alice Hamilton investigated Chicago typhoid epidemic (1902) and  others assisted in New  Orleans yellow fever epidemic (1905). San  Francisco nurses made sanitary inspectors (1906). Dr. Hamilton embarked on life work  on control  of lead  and other poisons (1918).

 Local  Medical Services

Instituted kindergarten medical in­spections (1886-96) and  baby-saving campaigns (1886-1906). Set  up  milk stations  (1903).  Pressed for school doctors and  nurses (1897-1902). Established baby clinics (1903), even­ing clinics (1910), dental  clinics (1908), pre-natal clinics (1910), birth  control clinics  (1927) and  child  guidance clinics (1927-36). Pressed for municipal milk and baby stations. In­stituted health exams  for camp.


Lillian Wald led in organizing public and private  visiting nurse services and  many  settlements established neighborhood nursing (1897-1906). Midwifery studies done (1905-6) which  resulted in Boards of Health assuming supervision. Convalescent homes established (1907-16).

Health Education

Instruction centers in hygiene established (1917-26). Provided educa­tion for housewives and storekeepers in storage and display of meat and vegetables (1897-1906).

Health  Insurance

Participants in  movement for  compulsory insurance to meet cost of sickness (1937-46). Barnett  (interna­tional exchange) Fellow Dr. Douglas Orr studied British system (1938). Na­tional  study of family health and medical  practices directed by Helen Hall, “When Sickness Strikes.”  Both studies important base  for  national legislative testimony.

EDUCATION AND  RECREATIONJohn Dewey (1859–1952) Philosopher Faculty 1904–1930; Emeritus 1939[View Image]
[View Image]
John Dewey (1859–1952)
Faculty 1904–1930; Emeritus 1939

From John  Dewey.  Professor  of Philosophy, Columbia University: ‘The  foundation  of social settlements  marks a genuine  epoch in the life of the coun­try. Aside from the special useful activities in which different settlements have engaged, it is quite impossible to measure their influence upon public opinion and sentiment in creating  a sense of social  responsibility.”

Early Childhood  Education

Established kindergartens  in  every settlement until  public  schools  ab­sorbed them about 1897. Acted as in­terpreter between schools and im­migrant  parents;  organized  school lunches; campaigned for adequate buildings and sittings for all children; helped take  school  census; worked for removal of schools from ward and city “politics” (1886-96). Pioneered in preschool education from 1917 on, with play schools, Montessori schools,  parent  education, increased education  in day nurseries, and beginning of after-school care for children of  working     parents (1897-1926). Federally funded nursery schools were  established broadly in settlements in 1933 and nursery, preschool and day care programs were  thenceforth  part   of  the core program.

The “exceptional”  Child

Scholarships for ambitious children were part of settlement offerings from early days to the present. Many als sponsored trips, international visits, and other enrichment to broaden educational horizons. A school for shut-in children was started  at Hull-House in 1905, and for retarded at Henry St. in 1901. Set­tlements made studies of children with problems, and since the Thirties have provided leadership to schools for  therapeutic groups.


Started program of athletics, tumbl­ing and boxing. Gyms made  basket­ball a major sport (1886-1906). Built many new  gyms;  basketball teams competed with colleges; gyms pro­vided training areas for police, firemen, school  athletic instructors, playground leaders and  sports writers  (1907-16). Built many new gyms and swimming pools;  increas­ed athletic leadership provided by WPA (1927-36).

Increasing  Neighborhood Recreational  Resources

Borrowed  land and provided super­vision for play; formed playground associations; set up demonstration playgrounds and furthered develop­ment of neighborhood playgrounds; promoted establishment of public baths, and set up vacant lot garden­ing  (1886-1926).

Recreation as a Public  Function

Helped secure laws authorizing public and school  playgrounds; secured  municipal  playgrounds; established public and school baths; started vacation schools; pressed for municipal gyms (1897-1906). Loaned leadership for first school play centers. Promoted establishment of city departments of recreation and/or parks. Induced boards of education to expand concept of play to include social activities, arts and adult educa­tion (1907-16). In Great Depression sponsored massive  provision   of leadership for recreational and artistic activities.


Started camps in early 1900’s until by 1946 settlements provided important share of total camping resources.

Play Opportunity as Part of Environment

Promoted  slum clearance and neighborhood rebuilding (1927-36).


Author Lewis Mumford[View Image]
[View Image]
Author Lewis Mumford

From  Lewis Mumford, Author: ‘The  colonization  of the slums by means of the settlement house was an important event; not merely did it give the slum dweller himself his first glimpse of art, literature, drama, music, play; not merely did it  provide  a  place  for clubs and social groups to meet. Something else happened. The success  of the settlement house called atten­tion to the fact that more prosperous neighborhoods  were in fact equally devoid of the elementary organs of  association; civically speaking, every  middle-class neighborhood was a nonentity, too.”


Set up choral groups (1896). Found­ed 43 music schools and departments by 1916 and 83 more by 1926, leading to establishment of national office, publications, research  and  training  in social  music (1928). Helped develop Federal Music Project, which provid­ed quality teaching to group serving agencies.

Graphic  and  Plastic  Arts

Provided leadership in campaigns to open New York and Chicago Metropolitan Museums on Sunday (1892). Held exhibitions and  drawing classes (1886-96). Studios developed such  as Hull-House Gallery,  Green­wich House Pottery,  Phila, Sketch Club, Hull-House Labor Museum (1891-1906). Folk craft guilds organiz­ed producing rugs and embroideries; art  departments increased and needlework guilds reached high point with exhibit of arts and  hand­ crafts shown in chief cities  (1925-6). National  exhibit of pottery  (1929); ex­hibit of   children’s drawings at Chicago World’s Fair  (1933); Metropolitan Museum inaugurates neighborhood art exhibits (1933). Karamu House Players present Cleveland  Art Museum with fund for Black art and two scholarships. Sup­ported WPA Art  projects (1927-36). Art programs and  exhibits  continue (1937-46).


Hull-House Players tour culminates in appearance at Abbey Theater in Ireland (1901). Theater started at Educational Alliance (1906). Neighborhood and  city festivals;  in­ter-settlement drama leagues (1907-16). Seven new little theaters established in  N.Y.; children’s theaters, puppet and marionette theaters, tour­naments of plays, city-wide festivals (1922 ff).  High point  of little theater companies and  settlement stages, foreign-language dramatic and operatic groups, city-wide tour­naments and  festivals and  open-air theater in  N.Y. Significant sponsor­ ship of dramatic groups using WPA workers (1927-36).


Settlements started immigrant domestic science  classes  (1886-96). Set up home-making departments and  domestic arts schools, and  per­suaded public schools to take on cooking  classes (1897-1906). Increased home-making departments, and also in schools. First edition of Settlement Cook Book, Milwaukee (1907-16). Mothers’ clubs develop Chicago Homemaking Institute (1926) and Better Home Exhibit (1928). Increase of classes in dietetics, nutrition, and clothing renovation with WPA teachers (1933).


Participated in development of art­ dance movement (1907-16). Delacroze classes and  dance for small  children (1917-26). Dance troops expand with WPA leadership (1927-36). Pasadena Mayan Dancers and Karamu Dancers at Washington  and at New York World  Fair (1937-46).


Started small libraries, story hours, picture loans (1886-1906). Started neighborhood libraries and exten­sions including homes, school rooms, playgrounds, camps and prisons (1897-1906). Settlement libraries turned over to public authorities, and  settlements pressed for local branches. High point in club and  house newspapers (1907-16). Poetry  promoted; cooperation with libraries in story telling, exhibits, pro­grams for unemployed (1927-36).


 From  James  Ford,  Professor of Social  Ethics,  Harvard  University: “Except for census  data, the statistics  of municipal departments, and the reports  of engineers, architects and physicians of the nineteenth century, research  into the economic and social  factors of housing virtually began with studies by university graduates made in settlement houses. Virtually all leaders in housing reform in the 1890’s and early 1900’s were persons with a settlement  background.  At  first they were the residents, but subsequently boys and girls of slum neighborhoods who had enjoyed the advantages  of settlement activities  became leaders in housing reform.”

Assuring  Decent  and Sanitary Housing

Made  studies and gave testimony (1896-1906); organized housing associations; acted as inspectors (1902); published tenants’ rights (1903). Sponsored model tenements and remodeled houses (1907-16). Organized neighbors to remedy violations; worked on state codes (1916-26). Succeeded in  revision of N.Y. State “model” law which outlawed vertical fire escapes, rooms without windows, apartments without toilets  (1930-35).

Leadership  in City Planning

Helped accomplish  defeat of obsolete tenement law (1907). Supported start of neighborhood planning and first national city planning  conference (1908). Worked for establishment of city and state  housing commissions (1918). Studied displacement in slum demolition (1936).

Provision of Low-rent Public Housing

Helped in formation of state and na­tional public housing associations (1910-33). Gave leadership in  ex­periments in large scale building operations; agitated for state­ sponsored slum clearance, and use of public funds for housing (1916-26). Worked for passage of National Public  Housing Law (1937).

Helping  “Projects” to Become “Communities”

Cooperated with public  housing authorities nation-wide by providing social, recreational and community organization services in projects from 1937 to the  present.

From Robert C. Weaver, former  Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and  Ur­ban  Development: “I want to express to you my appreciation for your significant help during this session in support  of HUD legislation. New tools were provided . .. regular ap­propriations supplied funds for the continuation and expansion of existing pro­grams . .. and a start on new programs was made possible.  All of these results were accomplished  largely through the support which you and your associates gave as these measures  were considered by Congress.”


Charles A. Beard, Historian[View Image]
[View Image]
Charles A. Beard, Historian

From Charles A.  Beard,  Historian: “Anyone familiar with the course of social legislation since 1886 and the personalities associated with it knows that settlement workers and persons influenced long ago by pioneers in the settlement movement have taken leadership in social thought and action. It would  be an interesting record to have the names of American  social thinkers since 1886 who have been deeply  affected  by the discussions and activities of set­tlements. I can say for myself that I  was introduced to a new world at meetings in the Hull-House during the summer of 1896.”

Ameliorating Suffering  During Depression

Offered relief, work relief, soup kit­chens, advocated  public works (1892). Set up thrift  shops and  work rooms (1907-16). Supported work  relief and advocated advance planning of public works to meet cyclical unemployment (1920). Raised money for relief; worked to make  relief ad­ministration more flexible and humane; testified for unemployment legislation before   municipal, state and federal committees (1930-33). Made  national study under chair­manship of Helen Hall, documenting signs  of coming  catastrophe, and published findings in Studies in Unemployment and popular version Some  Folks Won’t Work,  providing base for important Congressional testimony.

Preventing  Exploitation  of Labor Force

Made studies of domestic service and employment offices, industrial ac­cidents, sweatshops, women  and children in industry (1886). Further studies of hours, factory conditions, irregularity of employment, health of women in night work (1886-1916). Promoted legislation  such as nation’s first factory act in Illinois (where Florence   Kelley  was  appointed as chief  inspector in 1896).  Promoted passage of Mass. minimum wage law (1910) and  reduction of  working hours  for women  (1907). Influential studies included: Florence  Kelley, Some Ethical Gains Through  Legislation, 1903; Robert  Hunter,  Poverty, 1904; Louise B. More, Wage Earners Budgets, 1907; M.L. Nassau,  Old Age Poverty in Greenwich Village, 1913; Mary K. Simkhovitch, City Workers World, 1917.

Cooperation  with  Trade Unions

Supported stockyard  strikers  (1904) and garment workers.  Provided meeting space for unions. Supported labor and helped to arbitrate strikes in Boston, Chicago and NY in building trades, teamsters, printers, clerks, and  produced pioneers in ar­bitration   (1897-1906).  Helped to organize unions of women, and to develop National Women’s Trade Union League  (1903).

Insurance  Against  Personal Economic Catastrophe

Worked for passage of Workman’s Compensation in N.Y. State (1914); for mothers’ pensions through state legislation (1916). Promoted Organization for Old Age Security (1925) and  helped  pass N.Y. State Act (1936).

Consumer  Protection

Made studies of pawnshops, loan sharking, insurance, cost of funerals (1886-96). Made  further studies on evictions, installment buying, with resultant state protective legislation in 1903. Studied cost of milk (1937). Par­ticipated in founding of city and na­tional Consumers Leagues (1896-1906). Promoted savings  clubs, coal clubs (1906). Supported postal savings;  Mass.  savings bank in­surance (1907-16). Promoted cooperative stores (1918-29). Sup­ported rent strikes (1908). Worked for state consumers’ bureaus, national consumers’ conference  (1939) and na­tional study of food  prices (1941).


From Stanley M. Issacs, Former  President, Borough  of Manhattan, Member of City  Council, and  long-time President of United  Neighborhood Houses of N.Y.: “United Neighborhood Houses has obtained practical results in governmental  fields, such as more adequate fire protection, better sanitary conveniences and other vital improvements in old law tenements. We have influenced city, state and federal hous­ing, the administration of relief,  the services  of the departments of health and educa­tion. We have stimulated  additional  recreation facilities in unserved areas of the city. The Housing Authority was persuaded to pay greater attention to the recreational and cultural needs of children  and adults in their developments. We have been able to give some protection to low income consumers. A catalogue of such successful ac­tivities during the last four decades would fill  many pages.”

Training for Democratic Participation as Citizens

Emphasize clubs and councils  to give training in democratic decision making and delegated authority (1886 and ff). Extended to neighborhood clean­ up projects, classes in English  and citizenship, help in naturalization, discussions  of  public  affairs (1897-1906). Promoted extended use of schools for citizenship classes. Fought  for woman suffrage (1907-16). Prepared newly enfranchised women for citizenship through classes  in English and naturalization. Par­ticipated  in youth movements such as American Youth Congress (1937-46). (Period of massive European im­ migration lasted  from  1886 until halted in 1914).

Neighborhood Improvement  and Morale

Coit organized small area guilds for reform (1887).  Clean street clubs, sanitary associations, backyard playgrounds promoted (1887). Women’s  clubs act on behalf of streets, playgrounds, sanitation, bet­ter schools, and finance kindergartens, medical  chests, and training  for playground leaders (1887-1906). Improvement association work for paving streets, sanitary reforms, additional schools and playgrounds (1897-1906). John Elliot of Hudson Guild organizes block associations to deal with civic and social needs (1907). Chicago Juvenile Protective  League organized citizen’s committees to act against ‘moral hazards’ e.g. segregated prostitution areas  (1917). Active in neighborhood and  district war councils and draft boards and  helped maintain morale of soldiers and civilians (1917). Defended immigrant neighbors from attacks on their patriotism.  Sup­ported rent associations (1923). Pro­moted district councils, public  hous­ing committees and  associations of the  unemployed (1927-36). In World War II were air raid wardens,  pro­moted conservation of resources (e.g. Victory Gardens), and  helped main­tain morale of soldiers and civilians.

Political Action and Voter Education

Participated in movements for reform candidates in city wards (1886-1906). Participated in “good  government” movements and woman suffrage movement  (1886-1907). Influenced political  parties to include reform ideas in their platforms-of major na­ tional  importance in relation to Pro­ gressive Party  platform in 1912. Woman  leaders appointed to public commissions and  participation in campaigns (1917-26). Active  in  ex­ amination of candidates’ records on social  legislation (1927-36).

Publications and  Studies

Hull-House Maps  and Papers (1895). R.A.  Woods,  The City Wilderness (1895), and Americans in Process (1902). A.B. Wolfe, Lodging House Population of Boston. W.E.  DuBois, The Philadelphia  Negro (1901). University Settlement Studies,  N.Y. (1905 and ff). Martha Bruyere,  Does Prohibition Work? (1927) Graham Taylor, Pioneer­ing on Social Frontiers  (1930). Many neighborhood, district and city surveys (1907-16) including noted Pitt­sburgh Survey of 1914. R.A.  Woods, The Neighborhood in Nation Building (1923).  Caroline  Ware, Greenwich Village (1920-30) (1933). Jane Addams, Second Twenty Years at Hull-House (1930). Studies of individual houses and their areas, or city-wide studies (1942 and  ff).

 District  and  City Organization

District councils and city federations formed  in Chicago, Boston, New York (1894 and  ff). Period of district  coun­cils  stimulated and supported by Community Chests. National negotiations  finally establish that district  councils are  appropriate for Chest or Planning Council support, and  neighborhood councils for settle­ment sponsorship (1927-48).

 Public  Service

Settlement personnel serve on public commissions in labor, recreation, education, transportation (1897-1906). Lillian Wald and Florence Kelley sug­gest and  promote U.S. Children’s Bureau, and Julia Lathrop of Hull­ House  is made first Chief   (1912). Mary McDowell of Chicago secures first garbage disposal plant (1914). Robert  Woods leads  Mass. forces for 18th   Amendment.  Graham Taylor helps secure appointment of Chicago Commission on Race Relations. Jane Addams campaigns for food for star­ving children of Germany and Russia after  World War I. Mary  McDowell made Chicago Commissioner of Public Welfare (1917-26). Settlement leaders called to serve  in war-related efforts such  as recreation for ser­vicemen, day care for children, relief for war-devastated areas  in connec­tion with both World Wars.  Many serve  with  United Nations programs after  World  War II.



Basic changes in the economy,  with  loss of entry-level jobs, fear of develop­ ment  of a permanent poverty  grouping, and  awareness that  little  children now comprise 40% of the “poor”,  have led neighborhood centers to focus on:

• Expanding economic opportunities through encouraging neighborhood entrepreneurship, minority business enterprises, and  work with  business such  as the  Urban  Coalition.

• Protecting the children of wage earners through large day-care  and  after­ school  care programs, support of year-round school  breakfast and  lunch programs, and  other  supports  particularly for single  parents.

 • Protecting against  unemployment,  through  support  for   adequate workmens’ compensation, retraining, and  Full Employment programs.

 • Guarding the  “safety  net”  through improvement of Aid  to Dependent Children, including measures to keep families intact,  and  meeting a minimum level of need  nation-wide. Also, insuring that all eligible for Food Stamps are registered, and  that  those  eligible are covered  in the  SSI pro­ gram  of Social  Security.


The  gap  between attainment of physical  maturity and  the  time  when the world  of work  has a place for them,  leaves  young  people,  especially those from minority  groups,  in a desperate plight.  Neighborhood centers have kept their  eye on the  primary goal–a  meaningful place in the adult  world–and at  the  same   time  tried  to  deal with  symptoms of  the  problem-school dropouts, drugs, teen-age pregnancy. Some  emphases are:

 • Strengthening education, through tutoring, counseling, catching poten­tial school failure in early  grades, supplementary programs, and  college­ bound programs.

 • Entry   into   the   world   of  work   through  vocational counseling,  work­ experience programs, Participation  in designing a meaningful National Ser­vice Corps, and work with  the Department of Labor and the national Col­laboration  for Youth to establish  a national response to this critical situation.

 • Encouraging responsible teen-age parenthood, through many programs to encourage a sense of self-worth and  guide young  people  in  moving toward  a life goal.

 •  Helping youth  in special  difficulty,  through programs to help  substance abusers, those  involved in street-gangs, and  in other  delinquent activities.


Finding livable,  affordable housing in  a decent environment remains an urgent  priority. The current dramatic picture of “homelessness” shows  many causes, but  chiefly the abdication of national responsibility for building houses for low-income families.  Neighborhood centers have taken  initiative in local programs and been part of every national  initiative to add to the hous­ing  supply. Efforts  have  included  participation in  slum  clearance programs, from relocating displaced persons to planning for future neighborhood life; pro­moting Model Cities Demonstration projects and sponsoring developments under FHA (221 (d)(3) provisions; developing design for Operation Home Run to provide 6,000 units in 20 cities; and working for all legislation which would build housing, subsidize ownership, provide rent supplements, aid nonprofit sponsors,and end red-lining.


The  amazing extension of life has  brought the  need  for long-term care  to the  national consciousness, particularly in  inner cities  where   many  low­ income  elderly have  been  “left  behind: Neighborhood centers have  moved  ahead with  an  array  of personalized services for the elderly-day centers, meals-on-wheels, telephone assurance, visitor  and  companion programs, chore and errand service, and  help with business and  legal  matters. The  neighborhood-based agency  becomes the “family” for frail and  neglected elderly.


Support to local organizations and  self-help efforts is a priority,  with  a high percentage of neighborhood centers restudying their  neighborhoods and  do­ing program reviews,  focusing agency  resources on neighborhood-inspired action.  Hundreds of neighborhood people  have participated in the biennial Legislative  Seminars since  their  establishment in 1946, learning first-hand the link  between them and  their Washington representatives.


This is an over-riding concern, permeating most of the others.  Neighborhood centers continue to work for “evening the odds” and  removing the barriers to full participation. They have stressed programs to instill pride  in minori­ty cultural achievements. In Mississippi, their collective effort gave three years of support to myriad rural  programs in three counties, reform of the State Employment Service, and to running for political office as a method of social change.

 Selected Bibliography of Historical Material

Jane  Addams, A Centennial Reader.  New  York: Macmillan,  1960.

Addams,  Jane. Twenty Years at Hull-House. New York: Macmillan, 1920. The New  American  Library,  a Signet  Classic  (paperback).

Addams, Jane. The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House. New York: Macmillan, 1930.

Barnett,  Henrietta 0.  Canon Barnett: His Life, Work, and Friends. London: J. Murray,  1921.

Blumberg, Dorothy.  Florence Kelley, The Making of a Social  Pioneer. New York: Kelley, 1966.

Bremner,  Robert H. From the Depths. New York: N.Y. University Press,  1956.

Briggs, Asa and MaCartney,  Anne. Toynbee Hall, The First Hundred  Years. Lon­don:  Routledge  & Kegan  Paul,  1984.

Chambers, Clarke A. Seedtime of Reform. Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press, 1963.

Coyle Grace L.’The Function of the Social Settlement Today” in Group Ex­perience and Democratic Values. New  York: The Woman’s  Press,  1947.

Davis, Allen F. American  Heroine. The Life and Legend  of Jane Addams. New York: Oxford  University  Press,  1973.

Davis, Allen F. Spearheads   for Reform:  The Social Settlements  and the Progressive Movement, 1890-1914.  New  York: Oxford  University  Press,  1967.

Douglas,  Emily Taft. Remember the Ladies. New York: G.P. Putnam & Sons, 1966.

Encyclopedia of Social Work (and  former  Social Work Year Book).  All edi­tions  for articles  on  Settlements and  Community Centers.

Holden, Arthur.  The Settlement  Idea: A Vision  of Social Justice. New York: Macmillan,  1922.

Hall,  Helen. Unfinished Business. New  York: Macmillan,  1971.

Linn,  James  Weber.  Jane  Addams. New  York: D. Appleton Century,  1935.

O’Farrell,  John.  Beloved  Lady. Baltimore:  Johns  Hopkins Press,  1967.

Pacey, Lorene  M. (Ed.)  Readings in the Development  of Settlement  Work. New
York: Association  Press,  1950.

Pumphrey, Ralph E. and  Muriel W. The Heritage of American  Social Work. New York: Columbia University Press,  1961.

Settlement Handbook, The. New  York: Russell  Sage Foundation, 1911.

Simkhovitch, Mary K. Neighborhood: My Story of Greenwich House. New York Norton,  1938.

Simkhovitch, Mary  K. Here is God’s Plenty. New  York: Harper, 1949.

Taylor, Graham. Pioneering on Social Frontiers. Chicago: U. of Chicago  Press, 1930.

Taylor, Graham. Chicago Commons Through Forty Years. Chicago  Commons Association, 1936.

Wade,  Louise.  Graham Taylor;  Pioneer   for Social  Justice.

Wald,  Lillian.  Windows on Henry Street. Boston:  Little Brown,  1934.

Wilson,  Howard  E. Mary McDowell: Neighbor. Chicago:  U. of Chicago  Press, 1930.

Woods, Robert A. The Neighborhood in Nation Building. Boston: Houghton Mif­flin,  1923.

Woods,  Robert  A. and  Kennedy,  Albert  J. Settlement Horizons. New  York: Russell  Sage  Foundation,  1922.

Books  Published by the National  Federation

Schenck, Janet. Music, Youth and Opportunity. 1926. About music schools.  (Out of print).

Dynamics of Citizen Participation. 1957.

Neighborhood Goals in a  Rapidly Changing World. 1958.

Neighborhood  Centers  Today. 1960.

The Neighborhood and Urban Renewal. 1963.

Neighborhood and City. (City  Federations). 1965.

Drake, St. Clair.  Race Relations In a Time of Rapid Social Change.  1966.

Making Democracy Work. 1968.
(For current  publications list, write United  Neighborhood Centers of America, 1319 F Street, N.'(V., Suite  603, Washington, D.C. 20004)

Selected  Magazine  Articles

Beck, Bertram. “Settlements in the  U.S.-Past and  Future” Social Work. Vol. 21, No.  4, July, 1976.

Ingram, Frances MacGregor. “The Settlement Movement in the South:’ World Outlook, Volume  XXVII. May, 1937.

O’Grady, The  Rev. John.  “The  Catholic Settlement  Movement. Catholic Charities Review. Vol. XV, pp.  134 ff.

Speizman, Milton D. “The Movement of the Settlement House  Idea into the South,” Southwestern Social Science Quarterly, Dec.,  1963.

For Further Research

Scholars should consult the  excellent  bibliographical chapters included in Clarke Chambers, Seedtime  of Reform, Allen Davis,  Spearheads  for Reform, and Robert  Bremner,  From The Depths, noted above.  All the  archives of the  Na­tional and  International Federations of Settlements are available at the Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota, (2520 Broadway Drive, Lauderdale, Minn.) along  with  those of many  national social agencies, and local settlements. There  are other notable collections such  as: The  Jane Ad­dams  Papers  in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection; Papers  of Graham Taylor and  Lea Taylor at the Newberry Library  Chicago;  papers of Catheryne Cooke Gilman  at  the Minnesota  Historical Society and those of  Mary McDowell at the Chicago  Historical Society.  Papers  of Lillian Wald are at the New  York Public  Library.

Finally,  do  not  fail  to  search local archival  sources, agency  files  and graduate dissertation listings. Excellent  historical accounts include: Boer, Albert,  the  Development of United South End Settlements, 1891-1956. Available at the  agency,  566 Columbus Ave., Boston,  02118. Carner, Lucy. the Settle­ment Way in Philadelphia. Available  at Delaware Valley Settlement Alliance, 1315 Walnut  St.,  Philadelphia 19107. Brown,  Susan Jenkins, The Helen Hall Settlement  Papers-1928-58. At Henry Street  Settlement 265 Henry Street, New york,   NY  10002.  Tsanoff Corrine,  Neighborhood Doorways, Houston Neighborhood Centers Association, 9 Chelsea Place, Houston, Texas 77006.

From Brock Chisholm, M.D., formerly  head of the World Health Organization, at a retreat  called by the Hull-House Board in 1962 to determine future program:

“For the first time in human history the survival unit has quite suddenly become the human race itself. All our institutions, all our values and our attitudes and ways of doing things have been founded on concepts that have now become obsolete. Therefore, these things must be changed if we would have a  reasonable  hope of survival of the human race, including ourselves. Many of our most sacred institutions are going to have to be changed  very extensively, given far wider responsibilities, made competent to do things that up until now they were not able to do-such as how to learn to live in  peace on a  world basis.

The preparation  for change is, I believe,  the primary responsibility  for voluntary agencies. The introduction and initiation of change, where necessary or desirable, by experiment,  by carrying on jobs that need to be done, and then by communicating the effects of that activity to other agencies and eventually to the whole political body–these are jobs that have to be initiated  by volun­tary agencies.

Whatever the problem, the application is local: it can­not be  anything but local. A social  agency needs a neighborhood base or it is likely to get out of touch  with reality. The voluntary agency needs to be the liaison between the change going on and its implications for the neighborhood, the locality, the particular city, the particular country.”

 Source: United  Neighborhood Centers of America.


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