Historic Chicago charity Hull House closing doors in bankruptcy

Linda Young – AHN News Writer

Chicago, IL, United States (AHN) – Historic charity Hull House Association is out of money and will close its doors at 5 p.m. Friday after more than a century of helping Chicagoans.

Social reformer Jane Addams started Hull House in 1889 with a mission of helping immigrants. It has done that and more for the past 122 years. Over the years Addams and Hull House earned international reputations for providing public service

Addams started Hull House with donations from wealthy Chicago women’s groups.

However, over the past few years, the association deviated from Addams’ reliance on private donors and turned to the government for funding. At the end, about 85 percent of Hull House’s funding came from government funding, much of it from the state of Illinois, which created shortfalls as all branches of government have cut back on funding.

One of Hull House’s largest missions in recent years was providing services to foster children, which brought in about one-fourth of the revenue, despite state funding cuts. However, government funding for many of its other programs was cut, such as that for victims of domestic violence.

High-profile fund-raising events did not make up the shortfalls from reduction in government funding. That resulted in revenue falling from $40 million in 2001 to $23 million in June.

Hull House provided job training, domestic violence counseling and foster care to 60,000 adults, children and families annually. Clients are being referred to other social service agencies.

About 300 employees will lose their jobs. The charity is expected to file for bankruptcy.

The board of directors announced that the Jane Addams Hull House Museum on Halsted will remain open.

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