mission is to assist individuals and families who, because of
disabilities or other limiting conditions, need help in finding
and pursuing paths leading to healthy, productive and fulfilling
Ada S. McKinley, Chicago social reformer and settlement leader, founded the South Side Settlement House in 1919. Her settlement house and community programs played a vital role in the city’s South Side communities during the post-war period and era of heavy African American migration from the South to Chicago. Together with sister Chicago community activists—Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, and Harriet Vittum, Ada S. McKinley helped soothe the tensions of the racial turmoil of her age and addressed community needs with programs and services in areas of shelter, jobs, and food for displaced families from the South, recreational programs for returning soldiers, infant welfare, clubs and activities for boys and girls, and literacy, crafts and trades training for adults. Today, her extraordinary South Side Settlement House has become Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc., a comprehensive, responsive community-based organization working to enable positive change in the lives of individuals and families, thereby strengthening the communities in which they live and work.