United Neighborhood Houses Helps Improve NY Communities

Tuesday, 5. February 2013 17:05 | Author:

Back in December of 1900, two individuals named John L. Elliott and Mary K. Simkhovitch started the Association of Neighborhood Workers in New York City as a way to foster cooperation between settlement houses and to promote social causes important to those individuals and families living in settlement houses. Nineteen years later, the Association was incorporated as United Neighborhood Houses of New York.

Today, UNH works to improve the lives of New Yorkers and the communities in which they live. United Neighborhood Houses supports 37 settlement houses in the City through policy development, advocacy and capacity-building activities. Examples of the program’s capacity-building activities include arts and literacy training, job training and employment programs, food preparation, legal counseling, and early childhood and youth services. Through these activities individuals are empowered and, in turn, strengthen the community as a whole.

Alain Kodsi is a member of the Board of Directors and has been an active member of United Neighborhood Houses since 1998. While in law school at Harvard, Kodsi worked with former UNH executive director Emily Menlo Marks to create an organization called Code Critical, which would raise awareness and funds for non-profits like United Neighborhood Houses. He also encouraged law firms to donate time and funds to adopted settlement houses. In 2011, Kodsi received the UNH annual award for lifetime contribution.

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