With the growth of gloomy and sullen slums came a new generation of middle class Americans who wanted to help bring light to those affected by this immense poverty.
Well educated men and women of the middle class began to move into slum neighborhoods in the late1880s-early 1890s in order to better understand the lifestyle of America’s lower class. The volunteers hoped to relieve the impoverished conditions of the slum people by living and working in places called Settlement Homes—a new provider of social services that brought hope to poor immigrants in the forms of childhood education, industrial arts, neighborhood theaters, and music schools. The settlement workers also advocated for child-labor laws, housing reform, and women’s rights. By 1910 there were more than 400 Settlement houses on America’s largest cities.