A Friendly Neighborhood for all: The American Friends Service
A description of the project.
For almost 100 years the American Friends Service Committee has engaged in social action aimed at overcoming the sources of violent conflict both at home and abroad. From its initial reconstruction work in Europe following World War I, the organization has seen building and rebuilding homes as a foundation for creating reconciled, nurturing communities in which all people have the chance to live in dignity. This study will focus on the work done by the organization in creating housing for poor and minority communities. Over the course of forty years they engaged in the 1930s homestead movement that provided new homes for displaced miners, postwar "Self Help" housing projects in urban and majority African American neighborhoods, the open housing movement in the 1960s building decent houses for migrant workers. By telling this story, this study aims to explore the interconnections between the problems of housing, racism and poverty, and to highlight the myriad models available over the course of the twentieth century for addressing those issues.