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 30, 2020 at 7:43 PM

Welcome to the Department of Community & Human Services

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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.


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The City and its partners are working together to provide resources to help meet the basic needs of families impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19 response. Here is more information about a range of financial assistance and food programs as well as information about coping with fear and uncertainty.


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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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The City of Alexandria is offering free tax return preparation to eligible residents every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon from Feb 1 through April 11. Expert volunteers will help taxpayers ensure all applicable credits/deductions are applied for, including tax credits. In case of inclement weather, the program will be closed if Alexandria City Public Schools are closed or if school activities are canceled. Check the ACPS Hotline at 703.866.5300. See flyer for complete details. 


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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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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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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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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a new “public charge” rule, used by immigration officials to help determine whether a person can enter the U.S. or receive a green card. Under this rule, several factors are reviewed, including whether a person has received benefit programs of cash assistance or health care. Read an FAQ regarding the new rule.


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


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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!


Department of Community & Human Services

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