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Settlement Houses and Social Work

The settlement house, a 19th century phenomenon, was a method for serving the poor in urban areas by living among them and serving them directly. As the residents of settlement houses learned effective methods of helping, they then worked to transfer long-term responsibility for the programs to government agencies. Settlement house workers, in their work to find more effective solutions to poverty and injustice, also pioneered the profession of social work.
  1. Hull-House
  2. Jane Addams (93)

Settlement Houses
Basic information about settlement houses and their connection to women's history.

About Jane Addams
Find more about Jane Addams, the mother of American settlement houses and founder of Hull-House.

Mary Parker Follett
This pioneer in management theory developed many of her ideas about groups while working in a settlement house and then discussing learnings with a group of other volunteers. See also: Mary Parker Follett Quotes.

Mary McDowell
Mary McDowell was the founder of the University of Chicago Settlement, located in the "back of the yards" neighborhood of Chicago, next to the stockyards.

Ellen Gates Starr
Ellen Gates Starr founded Hull House with her friend Jane Addams. At first more interested in art and literature, her interest in economics and labor grew, and she became quite active in the labor movement.

Lillian Wald
Lillian Wald founded the Visiting Nurses Service and Henry Street Settlement in New York, She helped found the profession of public house nursing, and expanded her services to include many other programs beyond health. She was also active in social reform efforts.

How to Found a Settlement House
A step-by-step guide to founding a settlement house, derived from the actual experiences of women and a few men in founding settlement houses in England and America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An interesting summary of the process!

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