Since the early 19th century, people have founded organizations that aim to improve people’s welfare. These organizations are mainly divided into two broad categories: Charity Organization Societies and Settlement Houses. Charity organizations were formulated with the purpose of providing funds to the poor and disadvantaged in America while Settlement Houses were formed with the purpose of making the rich and poor to live in one society (Caminiti, 2016). The Settlement House movement developed houses in poor cities that willing middle-class employees could live and educate their poor neighbours.
The above definitions reveal the similarities of the two agencies: both were formulated with the main purpose of eliminating poverty and improving people’s welfare. Both movements receive money from donations and they use the money in enabling poor people to have access to education and health facilities. The major distinction between the two agencies is that Charity Organization Societies mainly provide finances directly to the poor while Settlement houses do not provide funds directly but they use their funds to provide employment training, literacy education, and youth education among others. For example, rather than providing money to a needy family, Settlement Houses will provide jobs, education, and health accessibility to the needy family. In summary, Charity Organizations donate their money while Settlement Houses give their time. The most known famous settlement house is the Hull House which was formed in 1889 to enable people to access to education and health facilities. Today we have Charitable organizations like St. Jude and Operations Smile which have donated millions of dollars to the poor (Caminiti, 2016).
During the Civil War, people were displaced, and women and young boys were forced to assume men’s roles. Settlement Houses could be more effective than Charity Organizations in the civil war era because they could have helped to train women and young boys by providing them knowledge and skills that could enable them to perform men’s jobs. Charity Organization Societies could not have helped much in this era because they mainly focus on providing money and not training services: money, especially paper currency had no importance during the civil war era (Hildreth, 2013). The training of women and young boys was what was really needed during this era and therefore settlement houses were best suited in this era.