United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) promotes and strengthens the neighborhood-based, multi-service approach to improving the lives of New Yorkers in need and the communities in which they live. A membership organization rooted in the history and values of the settlement house movement, UNH supports its members through policy development, advocacy and capacity-building activities.
UNH was founded in 1919 to unify the settlement houses' collective efforts to achieve social reform and to provide a voice for New York's low-income residents. UNH's membership comprises one of the largest human service systems in New York City, with 34 agencies working at more than 400 sites to provide high quality services and activities to a half million New Yorkers each year. For over 85 years, UNH has worked with its members to strengthen families and improve neighborhoods throughout the City.
UNH's roots lie in the Association of Neighborhood Workers started in December 1900 by John L. Elliott and Mary K. Simkhovitch, themselves founders of individual settlement houses in New York City. The Association was intended, "to effect cooperation among those who are working for neighborhood and civic improvement, and to promote movements for social progress." In 1919, the Association was incorporated as United Neighborhood Houses of New York