For more than 125 years Northwestern Settlement has nurtured, educated and inspired children and families in need in Chicago.
Our mission is to disrupt generational poverty by supporting, preparing and empowering young people at distinct stages of life to break down barriers on their path to success in adulthood.
Northwestern Settlement’s comprehensive approach to community building provides our neighbors:
125+ Years of Service
Northwestern Settlement was founded in 1891 by leaders of Northwestern University, as a separate and financially-independent institution. At that time, the West Town community was primarily the home of disenfranchised German, Polish, Irish, and Scandinavian immigrants, and the neighborhood failed to register in Chicago’s collective conscience.
Inspired by the Settlement Movement, and led by Northwestern University President Henry Wade Rogers and his wife Emma, Northwestern University Settlement Association was founded. The original Settlement Movement model involved settling in a needy community and recruiting university faculty, staff, graduates, and volunteers to live and work at the house, gathering resources to empower community residents to change their own lives. Today, although our methods of service have changed, Northwestern Settlement continues to provide transformational opportunities.