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Twenty Years at Hull-House

by Jane Addams

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What is Hull House?

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In the United States, between the years 1860-1910, the number of people living in cities skyrocketed from about 6 million to 42 million! As cities grew along with industrialization, so did poverty and other social ills. Many saw the growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor. One of these individuals was Jane Addams and in 1889 she founded a settlement house in Chicago named "Hull House." A man by the name of Charles Hull was the original owner so it retained its name. Founder, Jane Addams, believed that to be effective, one had to live in the community not just visit it. She also strongly believed in the fundamental dignity and good of all people noting that crime and other social problems were the result of economic desperation not lack of character. Consequently, Hull House offered social services to the urban poor, mainly immigrants, by providing assistance with education, housing, employment, healthcare, child care, cultural events, and even recreation. Through her visionary, compassionate work at Hull House, Jane Addams earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

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