About Us

Seniors at a function

The Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP) provides a wide range of services that is unique in the Commonwealth . Driven by the needs of residents, the department’s extensive services and programs touch almost every sector in the city: from newborns to senior citizens, from school-aged children to homeless families, from non-profit organizations to local employers.

Residents participate in the work of the department at all levels: as employees, as members of the Human Services Commission, as volunteers, as members of neighborhood councils, task forces and committees, and as consumers of services.

 DHSP services provided directly to the community include:

  • Neighborhood-based educational and enrichment programs for children and adults;
  • Recreation programs for children and adults;
  • Services to and programs for seniors; 
  • Youth programs;
  • Fuel assistance; 
  • Substance abuse prevention programs; 
  • Job preparation and matching; 
  • Classes for Adult Basic Education, literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages;
  • Housing search and casework services to homeless and at-risk individuals and families;
  • Haitian services;
  • Preschool and afterschool childcare and family support programs.


In addition, the department brings non-profit and community-based organizations together for planning, coordination and technical assistance, funding many of these agencies through service contracts.

The department continues the implementation of its inclusion initiative to enhance the capacity of all DHSP Out of School Time Programs to serve children with disabilities in inclusive environments along with their typical peers.