Jane Addams and The People’s Hull House
The genesis of social work is as diverse and heterogeneous as the profession itself. Social workers across time have committed their lives to bettering and improving the quality of the lives of people around them. Today, we the people, enjoy benefits like unconditional civil rights, social security, access to affordable health care, proper treatment for those with disabilities and most importantly gender equality along with many other services. This is due in part by a woman named Jane Addams. Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860. She won worldwide recognition as a pioneer social worker in America, as a feminist, and as an internationalist. Jane went to an all-women’s institution in Rockford, Illinois where she was one of the first women of that day to attend college. Here at college she began to study medicine but had to abandon her studies due to poor health. She then traveled and studied in Europe for twenty-one months, and then spent almost two years reading and writing books. On her second trip to Europe she visited Toynbee Hall, a pioneering Christian settlement house in London. Toynbee Hall was started in 1884 by a man named Arnold Toynbee. He like many other social workers dedicated his life to serving the poor. The idea that started the Toynbee Hall was to take the social elite and have them live with the poor. The poor would be educated by these socially elite people therefore bettering their lives and expanding the minds of the affluent. Toynbee Hall was Jane Addams’s muse. In Chicago of 1889, Hull House became the bread and cheese of Jane Addams’s lifelong legacy. Hull House was the first co-educational settlement of its time. It was located in the middle of one of Chicago’s heavily populated immigrant areas and was known for its various social programs. One thing the Hull house was not good at was reaching out to the male population. This was especially tough in a time were men and women had very...
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