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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT

UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT

The UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT, organized in 1926 as Univ. Neighborhood Centers, was one of the last major SETTLEMENT HOUSES founded in Cleveland. The School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS) of WRU created the centers as an experimental program to provide training for graduate students and to serve the community. The centers operated in as many as 5 different buildings at once during the next 10 years. The Broadway Ctr. House, located in a Polish neighborhood at 7214 Broadway, opened in Jan. 1926, and the Harvard Center at Harvard Ave. and E. 72nd St. opened the following September. Six full-time employees and 11 graduate students conducted recreation and health programs at these centers and carried out surveys of community life histories. SASS faculty administered Univ. Neighborhood Ctrs., financed by a WRU endowment of Elizabeth Bingham (Mrs. DUDLEY) BLOSSOM. The organization incorporated and joined the Welfare Fed. in 1936, dropping the WRU affiliation and changing its name to Univ. Settlement. A board formed, consisting of representatives from an advisory committee of local residents and selected SASS faculty. Blossom's backing of the settlement decreased during the next 5 years, with greater support coming from the Community Chest.

Centralized at 7067 Broadway after 1936, Univ. Settlement offered social clubs, camping, dramatics, and community projects. In 1953 the settlement completed its main office at 7310 Fleet Ave. which later became the settlement's daycare center. Centers for senior citizens opened in 1976 (Broadway Golden Hours) and 1979 (North Broadway); in 1990 Mead House, a 16-bed assisted living facility for seniors, opened. Univ. Settlement added services such as home repair and weatherization, adult daycare, drug counseling, and transitional housing for the homeless (1990). In 1992 it closed its nursery school and reopened it as a daycare center. In 1993 the settlement's main office was located at 4800 Broadway Ave.; it supported other centers on the city's near west side. Government funds as well as private and foundation donations support settlement operations. As of 1995, the settlement employed 25 full- and part-time employees, and also sponsored 5 interns from CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV. Mary Sanders served as executive director.


University Settlement Records, WRHS.

See also SETTLEMENT HOUSES.