Celebrating 100 Years

The Let’s Pretend Ball is a night when we imagine all that is possible together.

For generations, we have invited New Yorkers to attend our imaginary ball, a tradition that has raised over two million dollars - every penny of which has gone directly to empowering, supporting and advocating for their neighbors.

Remembering The Past... Envisioning The Future

(Click to expand details in our interactive timeline below)

1916

GRAND OPENING
A small group of young people, led by Rose Gruening, open our doors to immigrants arriving in the Lower East Side (back then we were called Arnold Toynbee House!)
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1925

HOME AWAY
In the midst of the Depression, Rose Gruening gives us Camp Moodna, ensuring a safe learning environment and retreat for generations.
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1930

IMMIGRANT EMPOWERMENT
Our clubs for young men and women empower multitudes of new Irish, Italian, and Eastern European immigrants to succeed in NYC.
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1942

LET'S PRETEND
The onset of WWII inspires our Let's Pretend Ball, an imaginary gala that still has the power to bring the community together.
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1950

INCLUSIVE DIVERSITY
New flocks of immigrants from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia bring more diversity to the enclaves in the neighborhood - and inclusive diversity to our programs and services.
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1970

IDENTITY CLAIMED
We support the neighborhood through critical changes, including empowering the Hispanic movement to reclaim the Loisaida - demonstrating all New Yorkers' right to a space and place to call home.
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1976

A SECOND HOME
We move to our current headquarters at 80 Pitt Street.
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1983

IMMEDIATE FAMILY
We expand our services and family across the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn through partnerships with public schools.
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2000

CREATING POSSIBILITY
Volunteer mentors from our JUMP! program pull together the first annual Taste of the Lower East Side (many of these same activists have served on our Board of Directors!)
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2004

FAMILY CARE
We open our first Child & Family Center in Brooklyn at 793 Knickerbocker, making child care available to Bushwick families. 
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2013

REGENERATION
We are named lead community partner of Essex Crossing, the multi use development project selected by the City of New York to rejuvenate and uplift the Seward Park neighborhood.
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2016

CENTENNIAL
An historic milestone - we celebrate one hundred years of service... and prepare for one hundred more!
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Throughout the past 100 years, the power of imagination
has made a real difference.

Grand St. Settlement has taken what was once only imagined and made it into reality.

In 1916, we opened the doors of Grand St. Settlement, inviting New Yorkers to create a community that addresses their emergent needs and most critical issues. For a century, we have connected New Yorkers to opportunities that inspire, services that keep families strong, and programs that bring communities closer.

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Join Us

Since 1916, we’ve been inspiring New Yorkers and leading bold charges for change.

Together, we imagined...

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...a city where New Yorkers of all ages have access to opportunity
Today, the White House has recognized us as one of the Nation's leading experts in child care and education

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...a city where families can grow strong and healthy together
Today, we help more than 1,000 families each year access healthcare, benefits and supportive services

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...a city where communities come together and stay close
Today, we serve immigrant communities on both sides of the Williamsburg Bridge

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Our Impact

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Now we need YOU to help us envision the next hundred years of making a difference.

Your support means more inspiration and innovation as we plan and launch our
next 100 years of service.

Join us in the spirit of pretending as we imagine all that we can do together in the future.

We are New Yorkers, after all - dreaming big is what we do!

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@GRANDSTSTTLMENT

BOLD. GRAND. INSPIRED.

See how we’re helping New Yorkers #JUMPSTARTCHANGE in their communities.

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Your investment in Grand St. Settlement makes the work we do on behalf of all our neighbors possible. We invite you to pretend with us – the difference you’ll make is real!

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