Since our founding in 1893, Henry Street Settlement has been a dedicated advocate for the community we serve. From placing the first nurse in a public school in 1902 to creating the nation’s first apartment-style shelter for homeless families in 1972, Henry Street has a 124-year history of listening to the needs of our community and responding with relevant services and solutions. We have also been an important voice in the fight for social justice, civil rights, and access to social services in the local, state, and national political arenas.

Henry Street’s commitment to advocacy and community engagement is part of our agency’s DNA, and it is a commitment that we continue to build upon today. Each year, Henry Street hosts a Town Hall for LES residents and conducts dozens of focus groups with program participants across the agency. The hundreds of conversations and connections that stem from this work—which we call our Settlement-wide “listening tour”—help us ensure that our work reflects the priorities and needs of our community.

We meet monthly with our Community Advisory Board, a group of Henry Street clients and community members of all ages and backgrounds who play an active, crucial role in shaping our work.

We work hard to ensure that we hear from our community translates into meaningful action—both on our part and on the part of our City & State governments. Furthermore, we strive to support our community members in their own efforts to engage in the political process by hosting voter registration drives, candidate forums, and a political education initiative for high school students called the Youth Leadership Council.

In January 2017, we created an Action Center as a response to growing concern about the actions being taken by the new presidential administration. We encourage the Henry Street community to utilize these resources to continue advocating for themselves, their families, and our communities.

More on our advocacy efforts from New York Foundation’s Engage to Change: watch now on YouTube »

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