About the Brashear Association

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Brashear Association - General Brochure (PDF)2.57 MB

The Brashear Association was founded in 1917 to honor the renowned, self-taught scientist John A. Brashear and celebrate his humanitarianism.

In the settlement house tradition, Brashear operated several neighborhood houses until consolidating into one multi-purpose center, the Brashear Center at 2005 Sarah Street, in 1955. A decade later, the Henry Kaufmann Neighborhood House was constructed in Arlington as an outreach site. Brashear’s third location, the Neighborhood Employment Center, is in the Allentown business district.

The Brashear Association serves people in poverty – from those facing temporary challenges to families living in chronic, multi-generational poverty and works to move them toward self-sufficiency.  The Brashear Association understands that moving children, families, and adults (including seniors) from the margins means surrounding those facing hardships with a strong community infrastructure.

Brashear was instrumental in the development of community mental health services, the establishment of grassroots organizations such as community and tenant councils, and the organization of coalitions such as the South Side Planning Forum and the South Consortium.  Brashear has designed innovative community education opportunities for adults and children, provided human services for diverse populations such as senior citizens, low-income families and stroke survivors and offered technical assistance to grassroots organizations and service providers.

At Brashear, community development is defined by comprehensive strategies that initiate long-lasting neighborhood change and result in programs and services to address neighborhood decline and meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

As a convener that promotes community engagement and civic involvement, we are committed to inter-agency collaboration to coordinate service delivery to benefit consumers and the community.

We employ best practices to produce the measurable results that help communities become more vital places to live, grow and work.

“Brashear is that place where people connect to the community.  It is the hub of the community where people know  to turn for help and to go for answers.  They are recognized in the community  as the open door to all.  Without Brashear, many people would be hungry, without basic needs, no winter coat, no safe place to be." 

Cynthia Gormley
PA Department of Community & Economic Development