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 Mar 19, 2019 at 4:13 PM

Welcome to the Department of Community & Human Services

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The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) provides social services and public benefits assistance; mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services; and supports initiatives for women through three direct care centers: the Center for Children & Families, the Center for Adult Services and the Center for Economic Support. Not sure what service you need? See our service chart, visit Call.Click.Connect or contact the DCHS Call Center at 703.746.5700.


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The Alexandria Commission on Aging (COA) is seeking nominations for its annual Excellence in Aging Awards Reception on Tuesday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Vola Lawson Lobby in City Hall, 301 King Street. Learn more and nominate.


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Help the Alexandria Commission for Women and Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women “restock the shelves” of items needed for the Domestic Violence Safe House and gift baskets for women who visit the shelter. Learn more


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The City of Alexandria is offering free tax preparation to qualifying residents. Taxpayers are eligible if their income is below approximately $35,000 for individuals and $55,000 for families. Expert volunteers from Community Tax Aid, Inc. will ensure that taxpayers apply for all applicable credits and deductions, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which people often don’t realize they are eligible to receive. See flyer for complete details. Download the flyer which has information in both English and Spanish.


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The Department of Community and Human Services welcomes you to the online screening tool for mental health and substance use disorders. This free screening is made available to the general public and is taken anonymously. The screening is provided so that you may find out - in a few minutes - whether or not professional consultation would be helpful to you.


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Check out the FY 2018 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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CommonHelp allows Virginia residents to apply online for public assistance benefits. Find out more.


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The Workforce Development Center released New Americans in Alexandria, a report detailing the economic contributions and impact of immigrants in Alexandria. In addition to their financial contributions, the report shows the role that the immigrant population plays in the local labor force as well as their contributions to the city's recent population growth. The report was compiled by New American Economy in partnership with the WDC and Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.


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The safety and well-being of children is a community responsibility. Learn more about preventing, recognizing and reporting possible child abuse.  See the updated guidelines for parents and caretakers to consider before leaving a child alone for any amount of time as well as guidelines for babysitting.


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DCHS offers free Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for laypersons. MHFA is an eight-hour training and certification on skills to help persons who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis. The training demonstrates the initial help given to a person showing signs of mental illness or a mental health crisis. More information about the course is available. Visit the online registration for class dates. Re-certification is available online, or by repeating the full course.


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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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Chronic stress can have negative side effects on everyone. Psycho-social factors, specifically, pervasive exposure to racism and discrimination, creates an additional daily stressor for people of color. Research shows this to be particularly true for African-Americans (APA, 2016).  Read more


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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!


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Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans, claiming more than twice as many lives each year as homicides. Learn more about this serious public health problem and what we can do to help prevent suicide.  

 


Department of Community & Human Services

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