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University Settlement is the oldest settlement house in the country and is dedicated to improving the life circumstances of low-income people and the communities in which they live.
University Settlement empowers residents by building on their strengths and knowledge through comprehensive, quality services that meet the current needs of the community, innovative programs that anticipate future needs, and advocacy on behalf of the community and its residents.
University Settlement, founded in 1886, is America's first social settlement. Located on the Lower East Side, it has always served a largely immigrant community; today that community is predominantly Asian and Latino. Our programs include adult literacy classes, mental health counseling, child care, housing assistance, job training, after-school and summer camp programs, youth development, senior services, arts programs, and a credit union. But University Settlement has always approached its mission as more than just serving the community. We consider it our responsibility to create new programs that become prototypes for other agencies and communities nationwide, helping to frame public policy discussions on the most pressing issues of the time.