- Neighborhood centers originally developed from settlement houses that emerged in the mid to late 1800's. Committed volunteers would "settle" together into low income neighborhoods to be a neighbor to all. The first center in the US was located in Chicago (Jane Addams Hull House). A settlement house would be opened in poor areas and trained workers would endeavor to improve social conditions, often by providing community services and promoting neighborly cooperation. These "settlers" would become neighbors to all and live and work with the families to strengthen family life and develop better neighborhoods. This movement was the incubator for service groups, senior services, cultural and arts classes and activism on social issues.
Jane Addams with children Jane Addams Hull House Volunteers