United Neighborhood Centers of America

Throughout its history, United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) was a voluntary, nonprofit, national network of neighborhood-based organizations throughout the United States whose histories and values are rooted in the settlement house movement.

On Jan. 1, 2014, the 150 members of UNCA integrated with members of the Alliance, creating the nation’s largest network of human-serving organizations working with their neighbors on the front lines to enhance the lives of America’s children, families, and communities.

In addition to the joining of networks, the Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building was created to unite stakeholders of all types in studying and promoting the efficacy of authentic engagement in all human and community development settings. The Center is designed to accelerate the proven values of neighborhood centers, effective social work practice, and the settlement house movement.

UNCA’s history dates back to 1911 when the National Federation of Settlements was founded in White Plains, N.Y., by Jane Addams and other pioneers of the settlement house movement. The roots of that rich tradition continue today. The settlement house values advocate for social justice, neighborhood-based progress, and community building that is inclusive, multigenerational, family oriented, asset based, and opportunity driven.

The organization changed its name to United Neighborhood Centers of America in 1979 and first became affiliated with the Alliance in 2006.

National Federation of Settlements Founders

From Photo and Guestbook Signatures
March 30, 1908 in White Plains, N.Y.
From Articles of Incorporation
Filed Nov. 29, 1929 in New York State
  • Jane Addams of Chicago
  • Meyer Bloomfield of Boston
  • Cornelia Bradford of Jersey City, N.J.
  • Ellen Coolidge of Boston
  • Helena Dudley of Boston
  • John Elliott of New York
  • Helen Greene of Boston
  • Dr. James Hamilton of New York
  • Florence Kelley of Chicago
  • Mary McDowell of Chicago
  • Margaret Seligman of Irvington, N.Y.
  • Mary K. Simkhovitch of New York
  • Graham Taylor of Chicago
  • Lillian D. Wald Of New York
  • Gaylord White of New York
  • Elizabeth Williams of New York
  • Robert A. Woods of Boston
  • Charles C. Cooper of Pittsburgh
  • Lillian D. Wald of New York
  • Louis J. Affelder of Pittsburgh
  • George A. Bellamy of Cleveland
  • Albert J. Kennedy of New York
  • Jane Addams of Chicago
  • Ethel W. Dougherty of Boston
  • John J. Elliott of New York
  • Frances Ingram of Louisville, Ky.
  • Eleanor McMain of New Orleans
  • S. Max Nelson of New York
  • Mary K. Simkhovitch of New York
  • Harriet E. Vittum of Chicago
  • Eva W. White of Boston
  • William E. McLennan of New York
  • Lea D. Taylor of Chicago
  • Helen M. Phelan of Cleveland
  • James W. Wheeler of Columbus, Ohio
  • Sarah Selminsky of Detroit
  • Josephine Miller of Newark, N.J.
  • Emily Bernheim of New York
  • Helen Hall of Philadelphia
  • Margaret E. Chapman of Minneapolis
  • Aline Erlanger of New York
  • Ellen W. Coolidge of Boston
  • Helen M. Harris of Pittsburgh
  • Virginia Schoellkopf of Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Anna M. Branch of New York

Learn more about the settlement house movement and how the Center amplifies its values online.

Contact the Alliance's Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building with questions.

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