DHS: Making an Impact

Find out how involvement with DHS has made a positive difference in the lives of the people we serve.

DHS Local Government Case Competition(PDF, 156KB)
The DHS Local Government Case Competition challenges graduate students to find solutions to real-world problems faced in everyday human services delivery. The competition is intense and fast-paced, but can be a valuable experience for its participants.

Homeless Services and Supports Coordination(PDF, 420KB)
October 2018
DHS Homeless Services and Supports Coordinators meet with families in local shelters to offer assistance in a variety of areas, including housing, basic needs, employment, child development screening and education. Their support continues throughout the process – from shelter to permanent housing – to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for the entire family.

Independent Living(PDF, 461KB)
January 2018
Nationally, outcomes for unsupported youth are grim. Seeking to reverse these trends in Allegheny County, DHS established the Independent Living Initiative (ILI) in 2006 to guide youth transitioning from foster care to independence.

Truancy(PDF, 355KB)
June 2017
Annually, Allegheny County schools file approximately 6,000 truancy citations with Magesterial District Judges. The reasons why students miss school are many including transportation issues, bullying, and addiction, but regardless of the cause, the detrimental effects of truancy often last well beyond the school-aged years.

November 2016
Since 1995, more than 2,000 community-minded individuals from 43 states have participated in KEYS (Knowledge to Empower Youth to Success) Service Corps, providing safe spaces and structured activities for local at-risk students while also completing countless community service projects to benefit Allegheny County’s residents.

Dom Care (06-2016)(PDF, 393KB)
June 2016
Dom Care matches adults who cannot live on their own – seniors or those over the age of 18 with a disability – with those who have space in their home and hearts to take them in providing shelter, support and companionship.

Youth Support Partner Unit(PDF, 352KB)
February 2016
The Youth Support Partner Unit is staffed by young adults who have had personal experience in some channel of the human services system. They share the insights they have gained with youth currently in the system, advocating for them and serving as mentors.

Head Start(PDF, 674KB)
July 2015
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Head Start, a federal program designed to give children from low-income families a boost in development so that they are ready for kindergarten.

Aging Waiver Service Coordination(PDF, 230KB)
May 2015
The Aging Waiver Service Coordination Program is one way that county seniors can be healthy and happy in their own residences, with some helping hands. Service coordinators talk with the participant, family and friends, and help develop a plan that gives the participant the help he or she needs to stay living independently.

Lifesharing through Family Living
(PDF, 375KB)
December 2014
The Lifesharing through Family Living program is a great example of DHS commitment to the county’s most vulnerable populations, by offering assistance to people with intellectual disabilities and those who open their homes and hearts to support them.

Nursing Home Transition(PDF, 385KB)
November 2014
Living at home in the community is a winning situation not only for the person who enjoys the freedom that comes with having one’s own place but for everyone associated with him or her. The Nursing Home Transition program provides the resources necessary for people to move from a residential facility back into a home they can call their own. Read more about how it’s helping improve lives.

Scholars In Local Government(PDF, 325KB)
September 2014
The Scholars in Local Government program taps talented individuals whose studies touch on social work, public administration, law, education and more, to complete high-profile projects, and bring fresh perspectives to DHS's work.

Senior Companion Program(PDF, 1MB)
July 2014
The Senior Companion program, operated by the DHS Area Agency on Aging, brings friendship, help and hope to people who would otherwise be alone, and relieves caregivers for a few hours so they can take care of themselves.

RESPOND (05-2014)(PDF, 789KB)
May 2014
The Residential Enhancement Service Planning Opportunities for New Directions (RESPOND) program was created for the rare instances where a child requires an extraordinary level of multidisciplinary planning and assistance to stabilize and restore his or her sense of well-being. Read an example of one youth who has benefited from this unique program.

Holiday Project(PDF, 836KB)
April 2014
The DHS Holiday Project is an effort that brings together the whole community for the betterment of children in our county's child welfare system. Employees at large corporations and small mom-and-pop shops, scout groups, churches, clubs and individuals donate money and gifts or hold toy and book drives to help bring holiday cheer to those receiving CYF services.

Community Services Block Grant Self-Sufficiency Initiative
(PDF, 501KB)
January 2014
The CSBG Self-Sufficiency Initiative helps meet the needs of individuals and promotes community success through assisting people in finding the education, transportation or psychological support that they need to find a job and better their financial situation.

Education Specialists(PDF, 519KB)
October 2013
DHS Education Specialists bridge the knowledge gap between families and what school districts are required by law to do for children to make sure they can access education, and therefore have a more productive, satisfying life. Read two examples of how these specialists are making a difference.

Money in Your Pocket(PDF, 622KB)
May 2013
Money in Your Pocket is a free tax service that works to get the highest possible refund for qualifying wage-earners. It does this, in part, by tapping into the Earned Income Tax Credit. Read more about how this program works, who it helps, and the volunteers that are making it a success.

Allegheny County Music Festival Fund(PDF, 866KB)
March 2013
There are many basic needs that don't easily fit into a traditional government funding stream, and that's where the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund comes in. The fund creates a resource that pays for life-enriching opportunities and items that are not otherwise available through government funding.

Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council(PDF, 621KB)
February 2013
As the Allegheny County population continues to grow and change, DHS strives to ensure that our services and supports are accessible and culturally appropriate for everyone. The Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council is a vehicle to educate the immigrant community on existing services and broaden access to, and cultural competency of, the human services at DHS and other community organizations.

Family Caregiver Support Program(PDF, 659KB)
December 2012
There are many benefits in allowing older adults to continue living at home, but it can be a challenge to the relatives and friends who provide support. To help alleviate this stress, the DHS Area on Aging offers assistance through its Family Caregiver Support Program.

Ready for Reentry(PDF, 767KB)
July 2012
When parents finally walk out of jail, nothing is as important to their children as having them stay out. This is a goal of the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative's Family Support program.

The Allegheny Link to Aging and Disability Resources(PDF, 1MB)
July 2012
Since being established in 2006, the Allegheny Link to Aging and Disability Resources has helped a growing number of callers looking for assistance that is person-centered, holistic and individualized. The Link staff has a variety of resources to help callers meet a full range of needs, including food housing, utility assistance, in-home therapy, home modification and much more.

Human Services Development Fund(PDF, 704KB)
April 2012
Services offered by DHS and our more than 300 provider agencies comes from funding that is often restricted to a specific program or population. But when individuals do not meet the requirements for traditional funding streams, the Human Services Development Fund allows for wider discretionary spending.

Youth Support Partners (YSP)(PDF, 598KB)
January 2012
In the on-going commitment to finding innovative solutions for helping the hardest-to-reach youth, DHS established a Youth Support Partners Unit (YSP). YSP is a peer-to-peer mentor program, allowing troubled youth to make connections with others who have been helped by DHS services.

Director's Action Line(PDF, 829KB)
November 2011
Every year, the DAL receives thousands of contacts from the public. These calls, emails and face-to face meetings include concerns, requests for information, referrals to resources and clarification of policies and practices. Although this number of contacts shows the magnitude of the DAL's work, the actual people receiving services are the ones who can testify to the positive impact the DAL has on individuals and families as well as the larger human services system.

Drug & Alcohol Services(PDF, 608KB)
September 2011
Although the road to recovery from substance use disorder is unique for each individual, there is one common thread - recovery is a life-long commitment requiring perseverance, support and access to adequate services and resources. The stories of Mary and Rita serve as a testament that substance abuse treatment services are effective and people can and do recover from substance use.

Drug Court(PDF, 1MB)
August 2011
The Allegheny County Drug Court places drug users involved in the criminal justice system into an intensive drug treatment program as an alternative to incarceration to help them become drug-free and return to a productive lifestyle. For Jerome Maynor, the Allegheny County Drug Court opened the door to a new life, a life without handcuffs and prison bars, where he has become, in his own words, "a productive citizen instead of a menace to society."

Jail Collaborative(PDF, 1MB)
June 2011
Read how two former inmates benefitted from the work of the Jail Collaborative and reshaped their futures by taking advantage of family reunification, treatment and services in the jail and intensive supports upon their return home.

Family Support Centers(PDF, 473KB)
May 2011
No family is immune from struggle. Some face challenges that are best met by teaming up with others who have similar goals. Here we share three personal stories as told by parents who look back with gratitude for the opportunities family support centers have afforded them to grow.

AmeriCorps/KEYS Service Corps(PDF, 551KB)
March 2011
Kimmy Miller is one of the many KEYS members who has had a positive influence on youth in our communities. Her story about working with Steve, a youth at the Braddock Youth Project (BYP), is especially inspiring and serves as a solid example of the lives KEYS members are transforming.

Dom Care (03-2011)(PDF, 632KB)
March 2011
Rose and Linda have shared a Dom Care home for nearly four years. Read how their stories illustrate the advantages of living in a private home as a "family."

Homelessness(PDF, 1MB)
December 2009
Read how a couple of people receiving DHS services overcame homelessness with the help of DHS and its providers.

Senior Training and Employment Program (STEP)(PDF, 2MB)
November 2009
Read how the STEP program offers training and job placement assistance to unemployed county residents over 55 years of age.

Mental Health Court(PDF, 2MB)
April 2009
Read personal testimonies from Mental Health Court alumni.

One Vision One Life(PDF, 1MB)
February 2009
Read how OVOL, an Allegheny County violence prevention program, was founded and how it has changed the lives of two people.

RESPOND (02-2009)(PDF, 720KB)
February 2009
Meet two young men whose lives have been changed by the personal attention their lives received from the Interagency Review Team, the DHS Rapid Response Team, and the RESPOND program.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman(PDF, 3MB)
August 2008
Read how committed advocates called "ombudsmen" are helping some of Allegheny County's most vulnerable citizens.

Family Group Decision Making(PDF, 318KB)
August 2008
Read how FGDM helped get one family that was involved with the child welfare system back on track.

Allegheny County / Pittsburgh Early Childhood Education Programs (ECEP)
(PDF, 290KB)
May 2008
Discover how ECEP provides children with the 'head-start' they need.