Northwestern Settlement assists families and individuals in overcoming the obstacles of poverty, so that they may be empowered to lead more fulfilling and productive lives. The bedrock of American society is the notion that everyone has equal opportunity to succeed. But low-income families and individuals encounter several challenges to realizing a life of stability and self-determination.


Most of us only have to go back two or three generations to immigrant ancestors living in poverty. Somewhere along this history, our ancestors were given opportunity to succeed. Community-based institutions like settlement houses have been, and continue to be, the main source of opening doors to opportunity.

To provide the Settlement’s children and families these opportunities, we remain true to the founding settlement house spirit of flexibility and responsiveness. We have led the way in community health, camping for inner-city youth, and most recently the charter school movement to reform public education.

Our sustained success is based on visionary leadership, thoughtful and innovative program development, cost-effective service delivery, and strategic partnerships. Year after year, our supporters reaffirm their commitment to Northwestern Settlement. In the nearly 125 years since our founding, we have had a remarkably stable board of directors, only three executive leaders, and a dedicated network of auxiliary boards.

We all have a role to play in supporting and contributing to this purpose and vision, and together we have the power to make enormous and positive lasting change. I hope you will join us in this work of disrupting generational poverty.


Ron Manderschied