The Henry Street Settlement

Henry Street Settlement

  • Founded in 1893 by Lillian Wald
  • After working at an orphanage where children were neglected and improperly cared for, Wald realized that she wanted to provide her own communal assistance
  • Wald had given classes on health and hygiene to people from the Lower East Side and realized that many of the immigrants lacked basic knowledge on how to be sanitary
  • Realizing that that neighborhood was in need of medical and social services, Wald became a public health nurse on the Lower East Side
  • The Henry Street Settlement became a permanent site that allowed her to expand her outreach
    • In 1902, the backyard of the building was turned into one of the first playgrounds on the Lower East Side
    • Though the Henry Street Settlement initially offered medical aid to the community, it later included clubs and training classes, summer camps for boys and girls, a Playhouse and a Music School


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