Cheryl Hall-Russell, Hill House Association President and CEO

How many social service agencies have been included in a script by a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner?

While you ponder that question, get ready for a momentous commemoration; the Hill House Association is marking 50 years of service to the Hill District community.

The Hill House Association as we know is a result of a merger of its predecessors: the Irene Kaufmann Settlement House, the Anna B. Heldman and Soho settlement houses with the Hill City Youth Municipality.

The Pittsburgh Courier’s coverage indicated this new paradigm was greeted with much skepticism, especially since some said there was a lack of residential input and it was being promoted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the same entity many held responsible for the dismantling of the lower Hill District.

The Courier reported the following: Residents complained of not being sufficiently informed on the proposed redevelopment of the Hill District. Suspicion was voiced on the rezoning of a large tract in the Herron Avenue, Wandless, Morgan area from residential to commercial. Gladys Coffey, chair of the Wesley Center Community Civic Action Committee said, “We feel that with these recreational and social institutions closing down, a vacuum is left in the community. We do not say that Hill House cannot fully serve our needs, but we feel that even before these centers are closed down, we should be assured that the functions of the former agencies which have become a part of the lives of a great many persons in the Hill we be continued at least until a proper adjustment is made.”

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