1050 West 500 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Our story begins over one hundred years ago, 1894 to be exact when Utah was still a territory. The children of the less fortunate needed food, clothing, care and guidance. Emma K. McVicker, a former teacher in the Presbyterian schools, dreamed of alleviating these social issues when she conceived the idea of opening a public kindergarten. Mrs. McVicker and a dedicated board of trustees made this dream a reality.
The goals of the organization, then known as the Free Kindergarten Association, were “to provide instruction for underprivileged children to commensurate with instruction given in more favored districts; to become better acquainted with parents in poorly regulated homes; to raise the standard of living; and to provide, when necessary, food and clothing.”
During the first years, new services were added. Such as a milk station which dispensed free milk, set up at the request of the State of Utah. A public playground open to the children and youth of the neighborhood; bathrooms open to the public for free baths. Americanization classes offered to the increasing number of immigrants in the community; an employment bureau for women seeking work. There were general neighborhood gatherings held in the evening offering lectures, music and literary entertainment.
Neighborhood House exemplifies the ideals of a settlement house. A house with friendly neighbors and a center of information, organization and services. A center which connects the neighborhood to the cultural life, which renders comprehensive services to families, individuals and the neighborhood, cooperating with all helpful agencies in the city to help those families in need. Throughout our rich history one thing has always remained constant: the provision of day care for low-income families based on their ability to pay.