“In 1902, a remarkable and charitable house opened in a part of Southwest D.C. known as Bloodfield”
Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, professor of history in the Maxwell School, was quoted in The Washington Post story “In 1902 a remarkable and charitable house opened in a part of Southwest D.C. known as Bloodfield.” Lasch-Quinn, author of the book “Black Neighbors: Race and the Limits of Reform in the American Settlement House Movement, 1890-1945,” explained the history of American settlement houses that aimed to support the urban poor by providing housing.
However, some settlement houses refused to integrate, causing them to close rather than help people. “If the formal settlement movement had made common cause at a deeper level at the time, I truly believe we would have had a civil rights movement earlier. We had all the makings of it — places to gather, a desire for social change. That didn’t happen, partly because of a blindness in the mainstream settlement movement,” Lasch-Quinn said.