Our Neighborhood, Our History

A Trusted History

University Settlement has a long and distinguished history of service on Cleveland’s east side.
Established in 1926 by Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) as a
training site for social workers, the Settlement’s original purpose was to help Eastern European immigrants adapt to life in America.

In 1936, the agency became an independent nonprofit organization and, in the 1970s, redirected its
efforts towards strengthening families, easing hunger and homelessness, creating improved housing
opportunities and addressing the special needs of the neighborhood’s most vulnerable citizens —
children and the elderly. University Settlement takes pride in its tradition of being in the forefront in
identifying human service needs and developing quality programs to address them.

University Settlement has a long history of commitment to youth programs. In 1999, the Settlement
was recognized as a national leader by the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the Family to Family
Foster Care Program. In 2007, the Settlement’s daycare program earned its first star in the voluntary three-star rating system called “Step Up to Quality”.

Today University Settlement provides a full range of essential, fundamental services for people of
all ages and is committed to encouraging people to realize their individual potential as contributing
members of society. The agency employs 35 people and hosts more than 1,000 volunteers each year.
From feeding the hungry to housing the homeless, we change lives!

External Resources

Case Western Reserve University provides a wealth of information in their Encyclopedia of Cleveland

History. Check out some of the following articles that help shed light on the history of University


Settlement Houses

University Settlement

Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association