When Hull House, founded by legendary social activist Jane Addams, closed down early this year, the reverberations of the failure of the nation's most famous settlement house were somewhat muted. Was it that the modern era Hull House was so different from the Hull House Addams described in her autobiographical 20 Years at Hull-House that the place had lost its symbolic meaning for the nonprofit sector? Might there have been the presumption that the day of Hull House-and perhaps much of the settlement house movement that flourished around the turn of the century-had simply passed?
- How did this organization move from huge volunteer effort to 500 paid staff?
- How did this organization move from fighting government policies to being fully dependent on government funds?
- What happened to the culture of the organization after the founder was gone?
- What were the signs of trouble?
- What can we learn?