Neighborhood House Association History

About NHA

The Neighborhood House Association (NHA) was established in 1914 as a settlement house that assisted immigrants transitioning to the San Diego community. Over 100 years later, the agency has become one of the largest multi-purpose nonprofits in San Diego County, and has distinguished itself as a cutting-edge, comprehensive human service provider.

NHA provides employment to over 800 team members and touches the lives of thousands of San Diego families a year through a network of 28 programs at 125 locations. The NHA portfolio of programs is as wide and varied as the communities we serve. Current NHA programs range from early childhood education, youth development, mental health services, senior services, and more. These programs work together to form the agency’s Continuum of Care Model, a service delivery model that begins at the prenatal stages of life, includes wrap around services for the entire family, and continues all the way to senior care.

At NHA we provide more than just physical or emotional support – we instill a belief of a better tomorrow through empowerment, education and wellness. With a long, rich history, national and international recognition, and a portfolio of multifaceted programs offered, NHA has become a vital resource for the entire San Diego region.


To enrich lives through a continuum of education and wellness services.


Healthy and educated communities–where dreams become reality.

Core Values

Consistently delivering exceptional service that demonstrate “I CARE”

Integrity: Honesty in words and action; Transparent and responsible stewardship

Courtesy: Treat all with kindness, dignity and respect

Attentiveness: Stay in tune with the needs of our clients, community and agency

Responsiveness: Respond thoughtfully and timely to meet needs 

Excellence: Delivering optimal quality service and products with professionalism, effectiveness, and compassion

NHA History

Neighborhood House Association celebrates a legacy of 100 years of service to changing the quality of life for those in need. In 1914, Helen and Mary Marston opened the Neighborhood House in San Diego. The Neighborhood House was part of a national movement known as the “settlement house movement” that was pioneered by Jane Adams throughout the late 1800’s. 

The original mission of settlement houses and the Neighborhood House was to assist immigrants with a variety of services and resources needed to transition into a new life in America.  Since opening its doors, the Neighborhood House has been there to help those in need during historical periods of hardship including the Mexican Revolution in 1915, the Great Depression, and World War I and II. In 1923, the Neighborhood House was incorporated and officially became known as the Neighborhood House Association.

Over the years, the Neighborhood House Association or NHA, has provided a wide array of services geared on helping underserved individuals and communities. In the last 50 years alone, more than 3.5 million individuals have been helped through a wide array of social service programs that include food distribution, education, healthcare, employment services, youth programs and senior services