Our History

Charles Settlement House:
original location on Magne St.

Charles Settlement House

Charles Settlement House was founded in 1917 by Miss Harriet Barry and a group of Catholic lay women as an affiliate of the Catholic Charities. These women assisted Italian, and later German, immigrants to settle in the community. The agency is named after Charles Barry, the father of the founder. It was originally located on Magne Street (now West Broad Street). In 1919, Charles House relocated to 445 Jay Street, a site the agency still uses. Charles House also operates a community center at 71 Parkway, where multiple agencies serve the needs of the neighborhood.

Early programs included English, Citizenship, Nutrition, and Homemaking classes to help the newcomer adjust to his environment. Early social development programs, still an important component of agency programs, included clubs and classes for grade school youth, teens, and adults and summer programs for youth. In 1965, a Neighborhood Development Program to encourage citizen participation through Neighborhood Associations, and a family casework service were added. Senior services and a nutrition center were added in 1972 as that need was identified in the community. The agency was incorporated separately from Catholic Charities in 1978. 


Baden Street Settlement's founders:
Therese Katz and Fannie Garson

Baden Street Settlement

Baden Street Settlement was founded in 1901 by two women of the B’rith Kodesh Temple on Gibbs Street. Therese Katz and Fannie Garson wanted to provide cultural, practical and social education to immigrants. In its early years, the “Social Settlement of Rochester” primarily served Eastern European Jews and later, Italians. The goal was to help residents “stand on their own.” The corporation became the Baden Street Settlement in 1922.

Since its founding, the settlement’s areas of focus have changed as its community has changed. The agency provides a full range of services to relieve human suffering and to foster the growth and development of residents. The goal is to reduce poverty and the level of negative social problems associated with being disadvantaged.

The work of Baden Street Settlement today is as relevant and as critical as when it was founded in 1901. Baden Street Settlement has grown into a complete social service agency with programs for almost every need.

Community Place:
original location on Lewis St.

Community Place of Greater Rochester

The Community Place of Greater Rochester was formed in 2001 with the merger of three settlement houses with roots stretching back decades. The Association for Practical Housekeeping, which later became Lewis Street Center, was formed in 1907. Genesee Settlement House was formed in 1918. Eastside Community Center was founded in 1958.

Throughout the years the neighborhood and the population has changed but Community Place has retained its mission: strengthening our community, one person, one family at a time. 

The agency’s programs include pre-kindergarten, services for people with disabilities, emergency family services and assistance to senior citizens. Nine thousand individuals annually benefit from programs and services at The Community Place.