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The Henry Street Settlement was founded in 1893 by Lillian Wald, who was a social reformer and part of the Progressive Era. She created a blueprint for the organization that we still follow today. Wald was a nurse, and she discovered that conditions for immigrant families were extremely difficult; in particular, doctors wouldn't treat people if they couldn't afford to pay. She founded Henry Street as a visiting nurses service, and in the early 1900s had 80 to 90 nurses working across the neighborhood.After healthcare, Henry Street branched out into other services, particularly in the area of social work. Lillian Wald placed the first nurse in a school and invented the idea of the school lunch. She was also instrumental in establishing NYC's first playground. The organization also believed that the arts are integral to human well-being, which is why Henry Street acquired the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1915 and in the 1970s expanded it to encompass the Abrons Art Center. Lillian Wald was at the nexus of responding to urban poverty. Read More »