Service & Program Impact Areas

The Seattle Human Services Department invests in a number of services to help children, parents, youth and young adults, seniors and adults living with disabilities. These direct services or government support of community organizations and nonprofits fund programs such as lunches for children, access to healthy and affordable foods, job skills training and internships for young adults, and information and support for older adults.

HSD’s Youth and Family Empowerment (YFE) Division supports positive youth and family development through strategic investments in employment opportunities, mentoring and educational support, food and nutrition, safety, and behavioral and mental health programs that help families and young people thrive. We are committed to ensuring all Seattle youth are prepared for the future regardless of race, income, immigration status, or neighborhood.
Seattle’s strong economy and job opportunities fueled Seattle’s rapid growth into the 15th most populous city, according to the U.S. Census. This growth intensified pressure on many residents’ ability to afford increasing costs in housing, transportation, utilities, and food. To create an inclusive and hospitable city for residents of all economic backgrounds, HSD offers programs that help to ensure all people living in Seattle can meet their basic needs by ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food for all residents.

Achieving financial stability for Seattle’s working families requires bold action on many fronts. HSD works to make Seattle more affordable for all by expanding the Utility Discount Program and providing license fee rebates to low income households, supporting home repair and renovation, and providing financial support and training to family child care providers throughout King County.
HSD’s Homeless Strategy and Investment (HSI) Division assists individuals in keeping or securing permanent housing. The division aims to make the experience of homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.

Services provided in three investment areas—prevention, emergency response, and housing—assist people who are at imminent risk of falling into homelessness or who are living without housing. In 2019, HSD investments served 24,043 unique households, representing 28,847 individuals (unduplicated).
The Seattle Human Services Department invests annually in Public Health — Seattle & King County, to improve our communities, eliminate health inequities and maximize the lifespan of Seattle residents. These investments are intended to ensure all residents have access to preventive care, primary care, specialty care, urgent care, mental health services, and substance abuse disorder services. Our goal is to ensure that all people living in Seattle experience moderate to optimum health conditions.
People thrive when their lives are free from violence. The Safe and Thriving Communities Division invests in violence prevention and community safety. The division houses the City’s work to prevent gun violence, counter domestic violence and sexual assault, and help young people harmed by the criminal legal system.
To ensure all older adults experience stable health and can age in place, the Human Services Department invests in a combination of direct services and in funding agencies that serve older people. Program and service investments are managed by the Aging and Disability Services division that support older people, adults with disabilities, caregivers, and their families.