MERRICK HOUSE SOCIAL SETTLEMENT, founded in 1919 by the Natl. Catholic War Council, was named for Mary Virginia Merrick of Washington, DC, founder of the Natl. CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY. Located at 1050 Starkweather in TREMONT, an area of many nationalities, the settlement originally emphasized citizenship and included cultural and recreational activities. In 1920 Merrick House was accepted into both the Welfare Fed. and the Community Chest. It purchased property 3 years later with funds from the CATHOLIC CHARITIES CORP. During WORLD WAR II, Merrick House extended nursery and daycare hours and added civil-defense and first-aid programs, scrap drives, and a victory garden.
Following the war, Merrick House grew, with extended nursery, recreational, and senior citizen activities in as many as 6 locations. POLES, SLOVAKS, RUSSIANS, and UKRAINIANS predominated in the Tremont neighborhood until the 1950s, when an influx of Puerto Ricans necessitated attention to Spanish-speaking programs. The Cleveland Roman Catholic Diocese built a new 3-story brick structure for the settlement in 1950, and in 1971 the Cleveland Christ Child Society added a dental clinic. Merrick House founded the TREMONT WEST DEVELOPMENT CORP. in 1979. By the 1990s, Merrick's programs included youth counseling, a gym program, sponsorship of community projects, as well as one of the largest adult education programs in the county, with an estimated 99% success rate. In 1994 Merrick's main properties included the Settlement and Day Nursery (1050 Starkweather Ave.), the Teen Education Ctr. (3288 W. 58th St.), and the Senior Service Ctr. (2607 Archwood Ave.), which combined to serve an estimated 350 members of the community weekly. In 1995 Gail Long was Merrick's executive director.