Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

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A view of the headquarters of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, on 70th Street in Manhattan

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House (the “Neighborhood House”) is a multi-service community-based organization that serves people in need on the East Side of Manhattan and on Roosevelt Island. Founded in 1894 as a free kindergarten for the children of indigent immigrants and as one of the first settlement houses in the nation, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House is the oldest and largest provider of social, legal and educational services on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Each year, they assist thousands of individuals and families who range in age from 3 to 103, represent dozens of races, ethnicities and countries of origin and "live, work, go to school or access services" on the East Side from 14th Street to 143rd Street and on Roosevelt Island.[1] Their clients include indigent families and the working poor who live in the East Side's housing projects and tenements or who travel to the Upper East Side to work in low-wage jobs such as cashiers, housekeepers, nannies and laborers; 10,000 seniors; and hundreds of mentally ill homeless and formerly homeless adults. They have five locations between 54th and 102nd Streets, offer programs at dozens of East Side locations; their headquarters is located on East 70th Street.

The Neighborhood House has served the community for 120 years[2] and has eight departments (Adult Education, Children and Family Services, Fitness & Aquatics, Food Services, Homeless and Housing Services, Legal Advocacy, Older Adult Services and Visual and Performing Arts), more than 20 different programs, nearly 200 staff and over 700 regular volunteers. Their mission is to help those in need who live, work, or go to school on Manhattan’s East Side and to improve the quality of life for all individuals and families in their community. They define need broadly to include economic, social, emotional, and physical need, but give priority to those in economic need.


The Neighborhood House was founded in 1894 as a free kindergarten for the children of immigrants living and working on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As the community has grown and diversified over the last 122 years, so has the Neighborhood House. It has long been a center of community activism and leadership, addressing such issues as affordable housing, poor working conditions, health care, hunger, childcare, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, juvenile delinquency, crime prevention, and long-term care for older adults. In addition to creating New York City's first tenants' rights group, the Neighborhood House helped organize New York City's first "Meals on Wheels" program, first government-funded social adult day care program, and helped create a continuum of care for homeless people in New York City. The Neighborhood House was profiled as “Agency of the Month” by the New York Nonprofit Press.[3]


Adult education[edit]

The Neighborhood House offers classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Children and family services[edit]

The Early Childhood Center is a year-round program that ensures that children can attend the Neighborhood House from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., five days a week, 12 months a year. Their rich curriculum includes computers, field trips, art and music activities, outdoor play and swimming. In 2012, the Early Childhood Center was re-accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The RealArts Education Program serves 60 low-income children (ages 5 through 13) throughout the academic year, operating from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and on full days during school holidays. With a strong emphasis on arts education and aquatics, RealArts offers age appropriate activities in dance, drama, music, visual art and swimming. During the summer months, the program transforms into the RealArts Summer Camp.

Fitness and aquatics[edit]

The Neighborhood House operates a Fitness and Aquatics Center. Memberships are available to community members. Swimming instruction is part of the curriculum for all pre-school and school-age children. Their gym is a neighborhood resource: a number of special fitness activities are targeted at older adults, and the gym is used by several neighborhood schools.

Food services[edit]

Their Food Services staff prepare and serve more than 350,000 meals a year to older adults, children and homeless and formerly homeless adults.

The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Community Supported Agriculture program began in 2009. CSAs are partnerships between regional farmers and consumers to get fresh produce directly from the farms into NYC communities. The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House CSA has partnered with GrowNYC again for the 2014 season, which runs from June through early November.

Homeless and housing services[edit]

Through the Homeless and Housing Services Department, the Neighborhood House provides a comprehensive network of programs and services to homeless and formerly homeless men and women each year to help them gain independence and stability.

The Department provides support to more than 500 homeless men and women each year who are homeless, formerly homeless, or threatened with eviction and life on the streets. The Department’s programs include: an 80-bed women’s mental health shelter serving women age 45 and over who are mentally ill; a supportive housing residence with apartments for 54 formerly homeless adults who are mentally ill; and the East Side Homeless Network (a collaboration with two other New York City non-profits, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, and Yorkville Common Pantry) which coordinates services from outreach to transitional housing to employment for homeless men and women.

Legal advocacy[edit]

The Legal Advocacy Department provides direct legal assistance and representation to hundreds of Neighborhood House clients in multiple legal areas including housing, family law, government benefits and health insurance and integrates civil legal representation and education into the continuum of services and care for all clients in need. This integration of general legal services into social service and educational programs is the first of its kind in a New York City community-based, multi-service organization. The Legal Department utilizes a model multidisciplinary approach with lawyers, social workers, educators and advocates working together to meet the diverse legal and social service needs of clients. The Department consists of five attorneys and two non-attorney advocates. The Department also works with several pro bono attorneys (including members of the Neighborhood House's Board of Directors) and law school interns.

Older adult services[edit]

The Neighborhood House’s Older Adult Services Department serves more than 10,000 seniors throughout Manhattan each year. The majority of these older adults are low-income individuals on fixed incomes.[4]

Visual and performing arts[edit]

The Visual and Performing Arts Department integrates arts instruction including visual art, creative movement, music and drama and performance into most of the Neighborhood House’s programs.

Volunteer program[edit]

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House has 700 active volunteers who provide support to their programs and operations.


  1. ^ "Lenox Hill Neighborhood House". VolunteerMatch. VolunteerMatch. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  2. ^ "A A A Lenox Hill Neighborhood House". The Social Welfare History Project. The Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  3. ^ New York Nonprofit Press
  4. ^ "Lenox Hill Neighborhood House; Search and Care". Our Approach: Altman Foundation. Altman Foundation. Retrieved 27 May 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°46′01″N 73°57′28″W / 40.76695°N 73.95788°W / 40.76695; -73.95788