The Settlement Association
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The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association was founded by Caroline Emmerton in 1908 as a "settlement house." Settlement houses were places where social workers would "settle" among immigrant communities, hoping to share knowledge and American culture with the aim of helping their recently-arrived and lower-income neighbors. Settlements often provided services such as daycare, education and healthcare to improve the lives of the poor. They also served as first-hand experience for middle- and upper-class social workers learning how the poor live in America.
The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association has played an important role in the historic Derby Street neighborhood. In the early 1900s, immigrants from Poland, Ireland, Italy and other countries came to work in Salem's factories. Emmerton's settlement classes provided much-needed support for the working families who lived in this neighborhood. This dedication to the community and the welfare of immigrants is still at the heart of the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association's mission.
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