About Us

Since our founding in 1916, Grand St. Settlement has offered a continuum of lifecycle programs and services for every age, allowing us to support stability and empower growth through all phases of family life. Our services are rooted in our founding belief: members of the community have the power to help their neighbors while enriching the fabric of their own lives. Today, we serve over 10,000 New Yorkers and their neighborhoods located on both sides of the Williamsburg Bridge.  We remain a cornerstone of the community thanks to an approach to empowerment that provides social services, academic intervention, career exploration, and leadership development with meaningful advocacy, cultural competence and support. 

As an an integral part of the urban fabric of the neighborhoods we serve, we are proud of our history of creating opportunity for our neighbors, and continue to foster a community of possibility for all.  Agency-wide priority areas drive programs and services: we aim to help individuals and families move toward economic mobility, foster wellness and strong foundations, prepare for success, and access new opportunities for exploration and enrichment. Together, the following five goals address the most pressing needs of our young children, students, their families and communities:

Promote lifelong health and learning
We serve the entire community – from infants to seniors and every age in between. The program age cycle begins with services for expectant mothers and early education for kids through the age of five. The organization currently provides early education in five centers. At the other end of the age spectrum is the vital, culturally rich senior programming that offers approximately 3,000 community elders the opportunities to remain active, inquisitive, connected, and supported throughout their later years. We also built a Senior Housing facility that provides homes for 110 low-income seniors, allowing them to age in place comfortably.

Create possibilities and close the opportunity gap
We have a long history of successful partnership with the NYC Department of Education and is renowned for its afterschool and school day services in both public schools and community centers. Expanded learning time and summer camp programs provide academic support rooted in evidence-based, proven effective methodologies and are critical to closing the achievement and opportunity gaps faced by many children of economically disadvantaged families. Youth programs operate in four community centers and four schools engaging more than 2,700 students (grades K-12) and their families.

Help neighbors move towards economic mobility
Our services address the complex socioeconomic needs of families in the community. This means confronting issues including food insecurity, immigration, health care access, education, and childcare, in addition to many other barriers to economic mobility faced by our constituents. Programs including Single Stop USA and Bushwick IMPACT connect community members to over $1M worth of government benefits and services annually. Adult education, GED, and English as a Second Language courses—as well as access to childcare—also help community members to confront employment barriers.

Strengthen the fabric of low-income communities
At the heart of our work is a deep commitment to serve its communities with cultural competency. In its programs, individuals and families from very different backgrounds and heritages come together in shared experiences. All programs provide the linguistic and cultural support each participant needs while creating opportunities for community members to experience and share a diverse range of cultural experiences with their neighbors. Our programming, performances and events bring together multiple generations, strengthening families and tradition and enhancing understanding and appreciation of a multiplicity of cultures.

Develop institutional capacity to sustain our work
Our leadership is committed to continually strengthening the foundations of the organization to ensure it can continue to make a difference in the lives of community members for many years to come. We are proud of our rich history of volunteerism that enhances and deepens our services. We are ready to kick off our next century of service as the lead community partner in Essex Crossing, one of the most significant urban renewal developments in the history of NYC. 

Serving a Community

Throughout our nearly 100 years of service, Grand St. Settlement has redefined our programs to respond to current community needs and to the ever-changing ethnic and racial makeup of its residents. Active participant involvement and leadership help inform program development and design. The Settlement’s programs are run by an experienced, dedicated staff of more than 200 professionals who are intimately familiar with our communities' needs and resources. Scores of volunteers, including parents of program participants, are an integral element of program activities, serving as mentors, tutors, counselors, and classroom assistants.

We are a member of the United Neighborhood Houses.