What Was the Purpose of the Hull House?

Hull House was a settlement house built in the 1880s and used by its owners to help immigrants acclimate to the culture and values of American middle-class life. Hull House offered its occupants classes to get them up to speed on American culture through exposure to and analysis of American literature, art and most importantly history.

Hull House also served as a homeless shelter for Chicago's homeless population and as a soup kitchen for both the homeless and the impoverished. In this capacity it functioned as a gathering place and community center for people who were involved in local activism and in efforts to fight poverty.

The goal for those passing through Hull House and other settlement houses was to find employment in the American labor market. Hull House prepared them for this by making connections for immigrants, arranging employment contracts and preparing workers for the rigors and requirements of the modern workplace.

Hull House had a set of public baths and a daycare center to provide the poor with the comforts and utilities of home when they lacked access to those things. The House provided these resources so that people could present themselves professionally and hopefully find gainful employment in their communities.