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United Neighborhood Houses Of New York, Inc.,: 1900 – 1950

1900 – 1950: Fifty Years of Service

United Neighborhood Houses Of New York, Inc.

 

“…The settlements’ permanent value is the fruitful knowledge obtained through first-hand contact with the people of the neighborhoods. To voice their wrongs, to understand their problems, to stand by their side in life’s struggles, to welcome their own leadership, to reveal to others who have not had this opportunity of direct contact the inner character of situations that arise, is the primary task of the settlement.”

 

                                                           Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch, in “Neighborhood

 

 UNITED NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSES OF NEW YORK, INC.,

Formerly the Association of Neighborhood Workers

Founded Dec. 11, 1900, by Mary K. Simkhovitch and John L. Elliott

Officers and Executives, Past and Present

Chairmen and Presidents, 1900-1950                                                 Executives, 1908-1950

Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch                                                                Alice E. Robbins

John Lovejoy Elliott                                                                                 Harriet McDoual Daniels

Gaylord S. White                                                                                       Mrs. J. C. Bernheim

Howard Bradstreet                                                                                    Mildred A. Gutwillig

Mabel F. Spinney                                                                                       Grace Gosselin

Harriet T. Righter                                                                                      Cynthia Knowles

Henry Bruere                                                                                               Winnifred Frazier

(Current)

Edward T. Devine                                                                                      Dagmar Norgord

Stanley M. Isaacs (Current)                                                                      Helen M. Harris

Counsel

Harold Riegelman

Ernest Angell

Ira S. Robbins (Current)

Associated Organizations

League of Mothers’ Clubs                                                 Boys’ Athletic League

Organized, 1911                                                                   Organized as a department, 1926

Suspended activities, 1943                                                Independent since 1935

FOUNDING DATES OF U.N.H. MEMBER HOUSES

1900 and Before

1886 – University Settlement                                                          1895 – Hudson Guild

1888 – Jacob A. Riis Settlement                                                       1895 – Union Settlement

1890 – Educational Alliance                                                              1897 – Christodora House

1891 – East Side House                                                                        1897 – Hartley House

1893 – Goddard Neighborhood Center                                             1898 – Harlem House

1893 – Henry Street Settlement                                                          1898 – Madison House

1894 – Lenox Hill Neighborhood Ass’n.                                            1898 – Recreation Rooms and Settlement

1900 – Willoughby House Settlement

1901 through 1910

1902 – Greenwich House

1902 – Hamilton House

1904 – Music School Settlement

1904 – South Brooklyn Neighborhood Houses

1906 – School Settlement

1907 – Five Towns Community House

1910 – Labor Temple

1910 – Neighborhood House

1911 through 1920

1911 – Bronx House

1911 – Church of All Nations

1911 – Riverdale Neighborhood and Library Ass’n

1914 – Colony House

1915 – Grosvenor Neighborhood House

1915 – Prescott House

1916 – Grand Street Settlement

1919 – 110th Street Neighborhood Club

1920 – Stuyvesant Neighborhood House

 1921 through 1930

1925 – Williamsburg Settlement

1926 – Juvenile Service League

1929 – Forest House

1929 – Lavanburg Social Center

1930 – Morningside Community Center

 1931 through 1940

1937 – Riverside Community House

1938 – Red Hook Community Center

 1941 to 1950

 1944 – Manhattanville Neighborhood Center

1945 – Jewish Association for Neighborhood Centers

1945 – Stuyvesant Community Center

1948 – 110th Street Community Center

OUTLINE STORY OF UNITED NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSES

1900-1910: – Headline Review of Activities of Association of Neighborhood Workers: (This section from Handbook of Settlements, by Albert J. Kennedy and Robert A. Woods)

ORGANIZED: December 11, 1900, to “effect co-operation among those who are working for neighborhood and civic improvement, and to promote movements for social progress.” (The association met monthly at the various neighborhood houses for discussion and action. Much work done through committees.)

Housing. – Cooperation to protect the tenement house law; to provide a congestion exhibit (1908); to aid the tenants’ housing fight, etc. Education.—Work to save appropriations to school purposes; investigation concerning malnutrition of school children; reduction of hours for children in first year; to secure a correct school census; to decrease truancy; inquiry into cooperation of settlements and public schools.

Public Health.—Cooperation with C.O.S. by distributing leaflets, securing lecture audiences, and arranging exhibits; conducted investigation in midwifery (cooperation Union and Henry Street Settlements) and secured a bill remedying abuses; lectures on “moral prophylaxis,” etc. Highways.—Efforts for adequate care of streets, and cooperation with Municipal Art Society in securing street signs.

Labor.—The Association’s Child Labor Committee (1902) became City-wide in 1903 and grew into the National Child Labor Committee (1904). The Association assisted in the enforcement of the State law, lent aid to the Women’s Trade Union League, and cooperated with various organizations in securing legislation of benefit to labor. Its petition to Gov. Hughes (1908) resulted in the appointment of the New York State Commission on Employers’ Liability and Unemployment (1909). The work of this Commission led to the Workmen’s Compensation Amendment (1914) and the State Employment Bureau.

Public Morality.—Investigated five-cent theatres, crap-shooting and street gambling; and supported various movements for the better control and extension of public pleasure, such as law regulating dance halls. Athletics.—An inter-settlement athletic association arranged competitions between houses and managed large public meets.

Relief.—Investigated and urged public wash houses. Arts and Crafts.—A committee studied the city opportunities, arranged exhibits of industrial arts, etc. Parks and Playgrounds.—Cooperated to save the small parks to their original use; urged the acquisition of small parks for various neighborhoods; made investigations concerning the use of playgrounds, number of children playing on the streets, etc.

Legislation.—The Legislative Committee scrutinized and considered bills having to do with social legislation and threw the influence of the Association in what seemed the better direction. Cooperated with other bodies interested in legislation. Introduced measures growing out of its study and experience.

Publications during this period: Boarded Out Babies; A Leaflet for Mothers, by Jane E. Robbins; Report on Midwifery; Art for the People.

1911-1919: – Headline Review of Activities

Arts and Crafts.–Arts and Festivals Committee formed the “Guild of Settlement Industries,” (1911) to “conserve and develop the skills of foreign-born women and to market their products.” Articles on sale included lace (filete and Irish crochet), pottery, French and Bohemian embroideries, peignoirs, portieres….Stimulated settlement Music Schools.

Housing and City Planning.–Cooperated in preparation of City Planning Exhibit. Improvement of transportation, street paving and lighting, garbage-collection and provision of refuse-disposal cans. Strengthening Tenement House Department. Enforcement of fire-prevention law (stimulated by disastrous fires in tenements and factories). Encouraged tenement families to re-settle in suburban areas and cooperated with realtors in surveying possibilities of relocation.

Recreation.–Stimulated use of schools as recreation centers in after-school hours for adults and children, and as headquarters for social clubs. Participated in Outdoor Recreation League and in movement for more and better parks and playgrounds. Advocated increased use of State land for summer vacations. Continued work to improve public dance halls and “moving picture” halls through licensing and paid women-inspectors.

Labor, Unemployment and Relief.–Advocated raising legal working age from 14 to 16. Gathered data on acute unemployment and urged Government to assume responsibility in dealing with it, as a problem beyond the power of the individual to correct. Advocated widow’s pensions. Advocated increasing “war relief work rooms” and higher “work relief” wages.

Public Health.–Mobiliized settlements to cope with influenza epidemic (1918) through recruiting and distributing services of doctors and nurses, information on care and prevention. John Collier (later to distinguish himself in the Bureau of Indian Affairs) and Lillian D. Wald headed this influenza campaign, working with the Association. Advocated public health controls over working hours in grocery and provision stores and over their use as sleeping quarters.

War Attitudes and Services.–Association leaders were divided in their attitudes toward American participation. A number of “peace clubs” sprang up among settlement members and the Association studied their reports. Urged the President of the U. S. to call a conference of neutral nations for the purpose of “continuous mediation and to consider reasonable proposals as a basis for peace”; offered to assemble settlement opinioin from inside neutral and warring countries (Nov., 1915). On American entrance in to the War (Apr. ’17), the Association participated actively in mobilizing the settlements into the civilian services: War Service Bureau, Food and Fuel Administration, Red Cross, Liberty Loan and War Savings Stamp drives, canning clubs, war gardens, and the dissemination of Government messages. Took part in program of all-day care for children of working mothers, started as a War Service by the Board of Education.

Other.–A special report on the “young girl” was made during this decade, and work started to raise the legal marriage age for girls from 14 to 16. Also noteworthy was the encouragement of settlement leaders to take public office, serve on commissions, act as probagtion officers, etc.

1919: – Reorganized as United Neighborhood House of New York: Incorporated, 1920

Structure: The Association was based on the individual participation of “neighborhood workers.” The new structure shifted the emphasis to the participation of the agencies and provided a Council composed of six delegates from each member House: two from Staff, two from Board, two from Neighborhood, and an Executive Committee composed of Headworkers and Chairmen of all committees.

1919-1929: – Headline Review of Activities

Post-War Programs.–Cooperated with Victory Loan, New York State Commission on Reconstruction, Women’s Land Army, War Camp Community Service, Hospitality Units. Urged limitation of armaments. Conducted oratorical contest for senior girls on “The Best Way to Maintain International Peace.”

Recreation.–Children’s Carnival at Grand Central Palace. Organized Senior Girls Intersettlement League. Continued work to increase play spaces for children and helped organize the Parks Conservation Association. Helped in “Anti-Litter Crusade” and in stimulating “Civic Pride” in Senior Girls. Formed Boys’ Athletic League as separate department, with Willard Kauth as director (1926). Conducted the Children’s Open-Air Theatre, a weekly event in Van Cortlandt Park during summer months. Held a Spring Festival annually in the Wanamaker Auditorium. Prepared and distributed pamphlets: (1) “The Settlement Notebook”–songs, suggested books for camp libraries, suggested expeditions and hikes. (2) “After-School and After-Work Activities for Boys in the New York Settlements”. (3) “Leisure-Time Activities for the Teen-Age Girl”. Worked for improvement in summer-camp standards….League of Mothers Clubs Annual Dinner–All during the Twenties and Thirties this was a unique event attended by over a thousand Settlement women, made possible by the aid of the Pennsylvania Hotel which contributed the banquet hall and the chef services, by provision merchants who contributed the food, and by the club members who did the collecting and serving.

Arts, Crafts, Exhibits–Arts and Festivals Commimttee shared in development of the Little Theatre movement, set up a settlement play-exchange, conducted play contests, a “Peace Song” contest, gave a “United Neighborhood Houses Review”, launched a traveling exhibit of water colors and paintings. League of Mothers Clubs organized an impressive exhibit at the Hotel Pennsylvania, “Old and New World Treasures,” consisting of items lent by club members, some brought from homes in the “Old Country”, some self-made. This exhibit surprised many viewers by the beauty and artistry in these objects from struggling immigrant families, who preserved at least one gem from their cultural past.

Civil Rights.–Opposed bill setting up State “Lusk Committee” authorized by the Legislature, after World War I, to investigate radical activities. Prepared memorandum refuting attacks of this Committee on settlement leaders and programs, and worked for repeal of “Lusk Laws.” Helped organize Citizens Committee on Exploitation of Aliens. Conducted forum on “Origin of Fascism” (1928).

Foreign-Born.–Worked on citizenship education, English classes for immigrants, improvement in naturalization procedures.

Housing and City Planning.–Major onslaught on slums launched by U.N.H. and settlements in this decade. Movement for City Planning first marked by Congestion Exhibit (1908) mobilized powerful forces in Twenties and saw results in Thirties….Worked for a Regional and a City Planning Committee. League of Mothers Clubs arranged an impressive “Better Homes” exhibit at Hotel Pennsylvania (1926) which aroused conscience of City: models of old and new law tenements showing actual conditions making them unlivable , also models and charts of new housing experiments…..Surveys and Pamphets:–“A Practical Way to Produce a Slumless New York”; “Slums”; “What the Tenement Family Has and What It Pays for It”–a milestone study of 1014 tenement families showing income, rent, and housing conditions; and, in 1929, “What the Multiple Dwelling Law Does Not Do.” Last-named study referred to failure of Multiple Dwellings Commission to include in Law passed in 1929 five prime regulations drafted and advocated by Housing Committee (under John L. Elliott) in 1927-28-29, aimed at making old-law and new-law tenements livable and safe: (1) a toilet for each family; (2) fire-retarding of halls and stairways; outlawing; (3) vertical fire escapes; (4) windowless rooms; and (5) cellar occupancy.

Relief and Unemployment.– Summer distribution of free ice. Organized regional coal distribution during severe winter. Advocated public works to relieve unemployment; State public works program was initiated (1920). Advocated unemployment insurance (1928) to “meet the unemployment which has become our chief concern”. Participated in national study of unemployment conducted by National Federation of Settlements (started in 1928). Advocated compulsory automobile-accident insurance, as relief measure to victims in congested areas where accidents were frequent.

Consumer, Crime, Education, Health, Labor.–Stimulated interest in Mothers’ Clubs in Cooperative Buying, Cooperative Housing. Consumer-producer conference on milk distribution. Combatted “illegal pool-room activities”. Obtained and awarded scholarships to senior boys and girls. Cooperated with Junior League in volunteer training. Free health examinations for members of Mothers Clubs. Worked for child labor amendment, 48-hour week for women, minimum wage, broadening workmen’s compensation.

Other.–Authorized Better Times (Editor, George J. Hecht) as official organ (1919). Later taken over by Welfare Council and still published. Sponsored debate by staff workers on subject: “Resolved, that Seniors in the Settlements Shall Exercise Full Control of Policies and Activities Affecting them”….During this decade topics of speakers at meetings show a growing interest in professionalism in settlement work, in professional applications of the findings and theories of psychology and psychiatry, and in the principles of progressive education….Franklin D. Roosevelt, then State Governor, spoke at a 1929 meeting on “A Program of Progressive Legislation.”

1930-1939- Headline Review of Activities

Structure.–Revised to provide an Executive Committee on a broader base, and a membership Association representing member houses on a more flexible basis, with the chief elective office President of hte Association. Stanley M. Isaacs served as Chairman of the Executive Committee, 1932-3-4; became President of the Association, 1934. League of Mothers Clubs, Boys’ Athletic League and Committee structure continued.

Housing and City Planning.–U.M.H. campaigns came to fruition in this decade. Housing Committee successfully hammered away from improvements in Multiple Dwelling Housing Committee successfully hammered away from improvements in Multiple Dwelling Law; vertical fire-escapes and celar occupancy outlawed in 1930, windowless rooms in 1931. Later on, a toilet for each family and fire retarding became compulsory. Tenement dwellers from settlement areas went to Albany by bus loads, spoke at public hearings, advocated tenement reform and State support for low-rent housing. Housing Committee (Chairman, Ira Robbins) organized the Emergency Committee for Tenement Safety (1933) supported by 100 welfare, civic labor, and architectural organizations, which opened an office at 1470 Broadway manned by large force of volunteers with paid clerical service. Vigorous press campaign informed the public on tenement evils. Up-state members of Legislature were shown old-law tenements. A municipal housing authority bill was drafted and enacted; Mrs. Simkhovitch became a charter member of new New York City Housing Authority; “First Houses” initiated low-rent public housing program as a joint slum-clearance, work-relief project. Condemned tenements were razed with relief labor. Tenement dwellers went by bus to Washington, too, under U.N.H. and settlement auspices, to speak for Wagner-Stangall Public Housing Act, passed in 1937, and formed “Public housing” groups in their own areas. Low-rent public housing projects went up fast (Williamsburg, Harlem River, Red Hook, Queensbridge, Vladeck, etc.) stimulating important new area of work: planning for facilities and operation of indoor recreation and community programs in housing projects….Citizens Housing Council organized in 1937, combining most groups interested in housing.

Relief, Unemployment, Depression Programs.–Emergency Committee on Unemployment and Relief organized to meet depression sufferings, chaired successively by John L. Elliott, Helen Hall, and Lillian D. Robbins. Concurrently Miss Hall used settlement data (assembled earlier) in Congressional hearings on unemployment insurance. Was said to be the most effective testimony. This Committee most active on changing fronts all through this decade of working out of a major depression, first in seeing to it that public relief was given, then in developing adequate standards; Cash relief instead of relief in kind, adequate provision for fuel and clothing. Frequent conferences with Relief authorities. Then came work with all the now-forgotten “Alphabet” agencies: E.R.B. (Emergency Relief Bureau), T.E.R.A. and T.E.W.A. (Temporary Emergency Relief (later Works) Administration; C.W.S. (Civil Works Service), C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps); N.Y.A. (National Youth Administration), and W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration). Many former settlement workers were “Alphabet” agency officials: Grace Gosselin (C.W.S.), Mark A. McCloskey and Helen M. Harris (N.Y.A.), Charlotte Carr (E.R.B.) and Harry Hopkins (W.P.A.) among them. Large numbers of N.Y.A. and W.P.A. workers were added to settlement and U.N.H. staffs. U.N.H. Committees worked cooperatively with “Alphabet” officials to develop smooth procedures and suitable programs. Thanks to this expanded staff, great increase in activities and attendance at settlements was noted in programs of many types: music, painting, dramatics, crafts, home planning, nursery schools, shop work, etc., and U.N.F. committees in these areas were involved in planning. W.P.A. recreation workers made possible all-day summer boat trips sponsored by League of Mothers Club for mothers and children. U.N.H. formed a sponsoring committee (1933-34) for Portable Stage Dramatic Project, giving weekly shows in six areas. A Personal Service Workers Committee was organized and kept the overall Relief and Unemployment Committee informed about effects on families and individuals of relief procedures, W.P.A. layoffs, etc.

Labor and Social Welfare.–Work continued and goals achieved in broadening workmen’s compensation, in minimum wage, maximum hour, unemployment insurance and social security legislation. A special project was initiated to gai nsupport for a “Compulsory Automobile Accident Insurance Plan.” Work for savings bank life insurance progressed. The theme of the EIght Annual Luncheon (Feb., 1934) was “The Social Rebuilding of New York,” to welcome the new City Fusion Administration and its Commissioners, four of whom were speakers.

Arts and Crafts.–A Visual Arts Committee (under Albert J. Kennedy) replaced the Arts and Festivals Committee, worked at raising standards of settlement arts and crafts, and on planning procedures for the expanded W.P.A. arts and crafts teaching program. An Annual Exhibition of Settlement Arts started in 1931, continued until World War II.

Consumer.–Survey of Milk Consumption, one of of the first of its kind, sponsored by U.N.H., covering 24,000 families, was reproduced and distributed (40,000 copies); demonstrated statistically what settlement common-sense had insisted on: that amount of milk consumed is affected by price and family income. Survey showed serious underconsumption of milk by families below $50 in weekly income….Prompted by milk price increase, League of Mothers Clubs formed “Housewives Milk League,” sent representatives to hearings and City-wide milk meetings, urged City Health Department to establish one safe grade of milk to obviate pressure on mothers to pay 3 cents more for Grade A, analyses by Health officials and consumer experts revealing that main difference between Grade A and Grade B was a protective cap and the price. The League initiated a move to obtain a license from the State for cooperative milk distribution, which led to formation of Consumer-Warmer Milk Co-op (1938). 10 cents milk sold at settlement early-morning milk depots.

Staff Interests and Training.–U.N.H. Settlement staff committees began to view neighborhood work as group work and to consider mental hygiene implications, as revealed (1932) through discussions such as: “Group Work, Its Limitations and Its Possibilities”, “What Progressive Schools Have Learned about Group Work,” and “Club Work as an Opportunity for Personality Development.” Relations with “outside” neighborhood groups became a problem, due to rapid growth of people’s organizations among neighbors, stimulated by depression and spread of fascism and war-threats in Europe, among them Workers Alliance, City Projects Council, American Youth Congress, League Against War and Fascism, Young Communist League. Staff Committees considered this problem in five sessions (1936) and reported: “The issue concerns the attitude which a settlement is justified in taking toward outside groups which wish to meet in the House. Individual viewpoints differed bu th te members agreed on certain points–(1) That the Settlement is not merely a meeting place and that any group coming in should have some definite and steady point of contact with the staff (2) That no action could be taken in the name of the House without the consent of the Head of the Settlement.”…Annual In-Service Training Courses instituted in 1939.

Recreation.–U.N.H. Committees sponsored intersettlement events for seniors with W.P.A. and N.Y.A. aid:–City-wide Senior Dances, with profits ($125 to $150) going to U.N.H.; competitive meets in basketball, punchball, baseball and swimming by Girls’ Athletic League (ages 12 to 25); a short-lived senior newspaper, “Neighborhoods”. Boys Athletic League becme independent in 1935.

1940-1950: – Review of Activities

Structure.–Revised to provide a rotating Board of Director’s of three categories: headworkers, Board members, and general public. Functional Committees, Subject Committees, a Headworkers Group, and, later on, a Staff Workers Section took the place of Association meetings. An Annual Week-end Conference replaced the In-service Training Course (1946). The spring Annual Meetings continued.

Defense and War Impacts, War Attitudes.–The general rejection of the dictatorship principle–thoroughly canvassed in the Thirties–led to general agreement in settlement attitudes toward American participation in World War II. At the beginning of the Forties, defense production, “Lend-Lease,” and selective service led to a decline in W.P.A. and N.Y.A. services and their speedy termination. Much of the work of U.N.H. Staff, Board and Committees was concerned with, first, cushioning the shock of W.P.A. and N.Y.A. withdrawals–both on settlement programs and on the workers affected–and, second, making a rapid adjustment to the Civilian Defense program. By 1942 a sharp decline was noted in music, dramatics, art and recreation work.

Relief, Unemployment.–The ending of the Food-Stamp Plan (1943) which benefited famlies of marginal income as well as those receiving relief, left many settlement neighbors caught between the end of depression aids and the rising prices of the war years, without the benefit of high war wages. The Relief and Unemployment Committee had much to do in obtaining relief adjustments and in developing orderly procedures for W.P.A. terminations. End of price controls resulted in similar hardships in the late Forties. Support was given to the Welfare Council’s successful efforts to raise relief allowances (1946). In 1949-50, when prices had dipped slightly, U.N.H. took leadership in a move to restore relief cuts regarded as premature and to assure adequate relief standards, in cooperation with laborand other groups.

Civilian War Services.–The League of Mothers Clubs took an active part in Mothers Day programs of the Worlds Fair, then lost its separate existence as war pressures absorbed energies of its leaders and members as price wardens, aid-raid wardens, in Red Cross and Nurses’ Aid work, and in industry. U.N.H. Staff and Committees channeled information and organization procedures into the Settlements, most of which searved as local Civilian Defense Volunteer Organization centers.

Consumer.–Sponsored a price study by Mothers’ Clubs, to aid O.P.A. Worked on War Nutrition and Rationing Programs. Stimulated expansion of early-morning low-price milk depots (repeatedly under attack as a threat to the established costly methods of milk distribution). Cooperated with other groups in effort to hold-down milk prices when price controls and subsidies ended.

Housing and City Planning.–In advance of resumption of post-war public housing construction, the Housing Committee accelerated a study of community facilities and programs, prepared a pamphlet, “Community Relations in Public Housing Project Areas”, and offered its recommendations at a public meeting (1946). Work continues in setting standards for project community facilities, in enlisting sponsors to operate programs, and in finding source of funds–public and private–to pay ofr operation. The interest of other civic organizations was enlisted in seeing to it that Children’s Centers and other facilities were provided in the City-sponsored unsubsidized projects. Advisory committees work closely with the Community Activities Division of hte Housing Authority. Support was given to the Welfare Council’s efforts (1949) to arouse the interest of all elements in the larger community. Large Federal, State and City housing programs are involved nad the task is enormous. If all the private agencies in the City were willing to give their resources, there owuld not be enough to go around as the vast public housing program proceeds. The question remains–as a look-in on a major task of the years ahead–where will funds come from and who will take responsibility for operating the programs needed to assure the amenities of civilized community life in these new neighborhoods?

Aid was given to the State Committee on Discrimination in Housing to secure enactment of a State law (passed in 1950) outlawing discrimination in all publicly-aided developments and defining segregation as a discriminatory practice.

East Harlem Youth Project.–A grant from the New York Community Trust (1944) enabled U.N.H. to carry on a demonstration project in a high juvenile-delinquency area.

Expansion, Relocation, Financing of Settlement Services.–A grant from the Greater New York Fund (1945) made it possible to add a field secretary for two years, to work in this area. Eight Brooklyn Houses were aided to pool their efforts (1946) in the Brooklyn Neighborhood Houses Fund. A Joint Fund Raising Committee worked for several years, distributed a detailed report surveying various joint supplementary fund raising possibilities. So far these approaches have not been adopted by either the Committee, or member houses. The Committee recommends the U.N.H. add a “Counseling Service,” when means for financing it are found.

Adult Education.–Participated in planning settlement phase of an ambitious project initiated by Prof. Eduard lindeman and the Good Neighbor Committee (1942), aimed at preparing settlement neighbors for clear thinking in the post-war world.

Arts, Exhibits.–Two cooperative projects were carried out with the Museum of Modern Art: a circulating exhibit, “Look At Your Neighborhood” (1946) and an in-service training course for art specialties, culminating in an exhibit (1948), “Art in the Neighborhood.” This material is available for a projected brochure.

Settlement Personnel Standards and Practices.–Recommendations (based on a comprehensive survey of practice) were prepared and issued, work being done largely under National Federation of Settlements’ auspices. Salary studies were made. Channels were set up for exchange of information and practices among member agencies, relating to union agreements and personnel policies, aimed at improving policies and standards where necessary, and stabilizing employment.

Day Care.–The problem of day care for children became of great concern to member settlements during hte war when W.P.A. nurseries in settlements–set up primarily as work relief projects to give employment to nursery teachers–were reconverted to care for the children of mothers in war work, both in nurseries and in after-school programs. U.N.H. worked with the Mayor’s Committee on the Wartime Care of Children, headed by Helen M. Harris, then a U.N.H. vice-president, to aid in this re-conversion. The withdrawal of State aid in 1947, leaving the support of the Day Care Centers mainly to the City through the Department of Welfare, with aid from parents’ fees and agency conttributions, posed a large problem to the settlements which operate 39 of the 100 centers. So, in 1948, U.N.H. initiated the formation of the Day Care Council (with Mrs. Randolph Guggenheimer as chairman) made up of the settlements and the other private agencies which operate the Centers. The Council is housed in the U.N.H. office, and works effectively with the Department of Welfare in developing, improving, and expanding this program. Only a part of the children needing this care are served by the existing Centers. Resumption of State aid and expansion of the program are on the current schedule of work for the Council and U.N.H.

 

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(For the 49th Annual Meeting, May 16, 1950, at Greenwich House, 27 Barrow St., N.Y.

UNITED NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSES, 114 E. 32 ST., N. Y. 16, N. Y. (LE 2-8635)

Source: United Neighborhood Houses of New York files, Social Welfare Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries: /www.lib.umn.edu/swha

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