Community & Human Services

We envision a community in which residents enjoy a sense of well-being, safety and self-sufficiency. We strive to provide effective and essential safety net services that measurably improve or maintain the quality of life for Alexandrians. We are guided by the following values and principles: equal access for all people, dignity and respect, cultural competency, ethics and accountability, collaboration, competency, integrity and continuous improvement.

Page updated on Nov 5, 2020 at 12:09 PM

Welcome to the Department of Community & Human Services


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City of Alexandria residents whose household incomes have been impacted by the pandemic may be eligible to receive grocery store gift cards in amounts ranging from $100-$400. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply online or by phone.


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The City of Alexandria’s Winter Shelter, operated by Carpenter’s Shelter, will be temporarily located at the Lee Center. through this winter.  The Winter Shelter will serve those experiencing homelessness during the cold months, starting on November 1, 2020 through April 2021. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.  


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Join the movement to end homelessness and hunger. Find out what the City is doing and how you can get involved.


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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Community and Human Services is offering “Assistance from a Distance” as a way for Alexandrians to access DCHS Services by phone, online, video and urgent appointments, as indicated. Learn about how to access services | Spanish | Arabic | Amharic


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Read the latest stories and news about DCHS programs and services that support and increase the well-being, safety and self-sufficiency of all Alexandrians.


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Follow DCHS on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest information about resources, services and programs that support the safety, self-sufficiency and well-being of Alexandria residents.


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During times of crisis, your eyes and ears are needed to help identify neighbors who may be at risk of abuse. Access and share a flyer to help you identify signs of abuse. 


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Mental health conditions don't discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity, but these factors can make access to mental health treatment more difficult. Learn more and access race based trauma resources, multicultural mental health resources and resources for the LGBTQ community.


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CommonHelp allows Virginia residents to apply online for public assistance benefits. Find out more.


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DCHS has launched a text line to provide Spanish speaking subscribers with information that is important to them and their families. Topics include jobs and training, housing and rent assistance, food assistance, the public charge rule, healthcare and mental health, and COVID-19.To subscribe, text ALEXINFOESP to 888777. Learn more.



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Read the latest updates on the July 29 ruling and COVID-19 guidance regarding the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Public Charge Rule, which is still being applied in Virginia.  


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Alexandria is home to more than 150,000 people from a rich diversity of backgrounds. Learn about a wide range of effective and essential safety net services to improve or maintain well-being, safety and self-sufficiency.


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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Many people are newly fighting anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges. Those with preexisting conditions may be doubly challenged. The Department of Community and Human Services offers access to free anonymous mental health screening as well as a variety of wellness resources. No one should suffer alone; treatment works.


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During a crisis like COVID-19, the risk for intimate partner and domestic violence increases—and so does the need for  support. View resources and help raise awareness at alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence or alexandriava.gov/DomesticViolence.


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Check out the FY 2019 Community Impact Report and learn how DCHS programs and services are improving the well-being, safety and self-sufficiency of Alexandria residents. The annual report highlights fiscal information along with the accomplishments of the three direct care centers: Adult Services, Children and Families and Economic Support. This success is made possible by all DCHS staff, other City employees and community partners.


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The Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission (CYFCC) has released its “Children and Youth Master Plan Five Year Report” that highlights successes combating issues that impact the lives of children and families in our community. Read the report


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Do you have a minute for a survey about the DCHS website?  Your feedback helps us improve.  Take a short survey.


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Learn how the national heroin and opioid crisis is affecting our community and how City programs and services are responding. Know how to recognize and respond to an overdose and how to help save lives. 


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Adults in Alexandria who work with middle or high school youth can now be trained in mental health ‘gatekeeper skills’ through online at-risk training simulations. This short interactive online training is designed for mentors, juvenile justice professionals, school staff, youth development staff, recreation professionals and human-service staff. The training is not recommended for licensed clinicians.  Learn more and take the hour-long web-based training today!


Department of Community & Human Services

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