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Settlement House Movement


The Settlement House Movement began in America in 1889 with the work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, who founded the Hull House in Chicago which was modeled after the Toynbee House in England.  The movement, locally, nationally, and internationally, strives to create a strong core within communities which supports and improves the social and economic status of individuals and families.  The goal is to reduce barriers and increase opportunities for equitable participation in the pursuit of the American Dream, while engaging people in defining their course toward self-reliance at the individual level and interdependence at the community level.  The work of the movement in the United States is produced by more than 750 settlements and millions of volunteers.


Grace Hill                                                                                               


Grace Hill was established by the Episcopal Diocese (Grace Church and Holy Cross Church) in 1903 to provide a comprehensive and coordinated complement of services and resources to immigrant populations, with the goal of supporting their integration into American society both socially and economically.  Among the services and resources offered were health services, material assistance (food and clothing), English as a second language courses, housing, and employment readiness.  Today, Grace Hill continues the settlement house philosophy of engaging communities in their own change and uses the Member Organized Resource Exchange System (MORE®) as a foundation for engaging our neighbors in planning and service provision.  Today, Grace Hill has two sides: Grace Hill Settlement Houses and Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Centers.  Grace Hill is an economic engine in the City of St. Louis.  Collectively, Grace Hill brings to St. Louis an excess of 50 million dollars, and employs over 540 people with the majority residing in the City.


Grace Hill Settlement Houses


Grace Hill Settlement Houses (GHSH) continues the legacy of community engagement and community building.  Today, the work of GHSH is to work in partnership with neighbors and stakeholders to understand the social and economic challenges in North and South St. Louis, and establish families and communities that are strong and self-sustaining.  This work is achieved through a neighborhood-based network that is comprehensive and coordinated.  Through multiple hub-like locations, 58,000 St. Louis residents are impacted each year by the multitude of resources and services that GHSH offers which includes:


Early Childhood

Grace Hill Settlement Houses enhances children’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development by providing supportive, engaging, and exemplary learning environments through culturally representative and quality, comprehensive services.  The programs involve families and neighbors in advocacy that advances the cause of family and neighborhood stability.


Youth and Family Supports

Grace Hill Settlement Houses provide neighborhood-based family and youth programs, services, and resources, which enables families and youth to achieve their dreams for the future and strengthen the community.


Aging and Special Needs

Grace Hill Settlement Houses works in partnership with our neighbors and stakeholders to maintain and enhance the quality of life for seniors and special needs populations in their homes and communities by engaging a network of active, trained neighbors to provide social and basic needs support.


Community & Economic Development

As a result of shared agreement with neighbors and stakeholders, Grace Hill Settlement Houses work to achieve healthy and economically viable neighborhoods by engaging neighbors in culturally relevant ways, improving environmental conditions, amplifying the collective voice of the community and fostering a strong economic system.