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, affordable living, family support, food and nutrition, safety, and behavioral and mental health programs. 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 have fueled Seattle’s rapid growth into the 18th most populous city, according to the U.S. Census. This growth has increased 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. Achieving financial empowerment for Seattle’s working families requires bold action on many fronts. The Seattle Human Services Department is working to make our city more affordable for all by expanding the Utility Discount Program, raising the cost of living rate for human services providers staff, and ensuring access to healthy and nutritious foods for all residents.
The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) is committed to ensuring all people living in Seattle are housed. HSD’s Homeless Strategy and Investment (HSI) Division focuses on assisting people in securing permanent housing to end their experience of homelessness. Services are provided in three investment areas—prevention, emergency response, and housing—whereby service providers assist people who are at imminent risk of falling into homelessness or who are living without housing.

The Navigation Team is comprised of specially-trained police officers, field coordinators, and contracted outreach workers. As part of the City’s emergency response, they work closely with other City departments—such as Parks, Utilities, and Fire—to ensure people living in homeless encampments receive the outreach, care, and connections to shelters they need to find a path to stable housing, and to remove unsafe encampments found on public rights-of-way, sidewalks, and in parks.
The Human Services Department invested over $10 million in Public Health in Seattle and King County in 2018 to improve our communities, reduce health inequities, and maximize the lifespan of all Seattle residents. These investments are intended to ensure all residents have access to preventative care, primary care, specialty care, urgent care, mental health services, and substance use disorder services. The goal of the available programs and services is that all people living in Seattle experience moderate to optimum health conditions.
The City of Seattle is committed to ending gender-based violence. The Seattle Human Services Department - Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (MODVSA) serves as a funder, convener, partner, and thought leader in the field of gender-based violence.

In 2018, MODVSA continued its work to evaluate the effectiveness of domestic violence treatment programs and conducted a $6 million funding process for survivor services. MODVSA worked with City Council to pass a resolution in support of increased engagement with immigrant and refugee communities to respond to anti-immigrant initiatives and policies at the federal level and increasing fears that discourage communities from coming forward to report domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. The team also planned a Denim Day event and successfully broadened support for Purple Thursday by encouraging staff throughout the City to wear purple in October. Even the Seattle Great Wheel wore purple in support.
The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) wants to ensure that all older adults and people with disabilities experience stable health and are able to age in place. HSD’s Aging and Disability Services (ADS) Division is designated by the state and federal governments as the Area Agency on Aging. In this Agency role, staff plan, coordinate, and advocate for a comprehensive, countywide service-delivery system for older people, family caregivers, and individuals with disabilities. The division funds and delivers an array of long-term services and supports, including case management for clients who receive in-home care, nutrition services, caregiver support, senior centers, information and referrals to a network of support.

In 2018, ADS conducted 13,784 long-term care assessments and authorized $319.6 million in services for 13,319 people. Services such as personal care, home modification, and assistance with finding housing supported clients in living independently in the community.
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