Since 1895, The NorthShore Community Alliance (NCA) has partnered with the community, individuals, families and other organizations to help consumers overcome poverty, discrimination and isolation. Back then the Organization was known as The Allegheny Association for the Improvement of the Poor, later as Woods Run Settlement House, and then Neighborhood Centers Association.
No matter the name, the Organization has been involved with determining the root causes of issues of social division. Our origins are in the settlement house movement in America at the turn of the past century. Drawing from lessons learned across the ocean in London, in the 1870’s cities like New York, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh looked to combat poverty by essentially “settling in” to areas of concentrated poverty. Researchers, university students and early social workers believed that the key to most accurately studying the community—and determining steps needed to make significant change—could best be done by actually living there.
From this approach, Manchester House (the current NCA administrative offices) was born. This community center brought together people from all over the North Side of Pittsburgh for a variety of services—from information on starting savings accounts to serving as a site for trusted medical care. It also served as a base for launching in-home services. A natural outgrowth of the settlement house movement, in-home services provide an opportunity to resolve family and individual issues where they most often occur. Residents and consumers identify and define their needs and issues, and appropriate responses are fashioned collaboratively with NCA’s trained family care counselors.