Mission Statement

The Human Services Department (HSD) promotes the health, education and well-being of Oakland families and adults by providing free programs and building strong communities through grassroots leadership and civic engagement. We collaborate with a diverse group of local organizations to eliminate racial disparities and to address the emerging needs of the community.




Affordable Housing & Homelessness Solutions

  1. Adds $19.3 million in one-time homelessness funding to the $22 million in baseline contracts the department receives to provide services to unhoused individuals. In FY 2020-21, HSD received additional one-time allocations of state and federal funds totaling approximately $27 million. Another $9 million at least is expected from the State in FY 2021-22. Each of the new funding sources has varying eligible activities. However, taken together, these new funding sources present an unprecedented opportunity to: 1) maintain a COVID-19 complaint emergency shelter of 128 bed HomeBase trailers in East Oakland to unhoused residents at high risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19; 2) preserve and extend existing interventions until FY 2021-22 to support approximately 800 people in emergency shelters, community cabins, and safe RV parking sites; 3) expand other homeless services in alignment with the PATH framework such as encampment support, hotel vouchers, employment support, and permanent housing subsidies; 4) and maintain permanent affordable housing such as Clifton Hall which is 42 units of permanent housing for homeless seniors created under the state HomeKey program with a 15-year operating reserve while also increasing exit resources in various shelter facilities to support clients in securing permanent housing.
    • Equity Consideration: Housing market failures, homeless system challenges, and long-standing discrimination have produced a crisis in affordable housing and homelessness, which has significantly impacted low-income people and communities of color. An estimated 70% of persons experiencing homelessness in Oakland identified as Black compared to 47% of the overall County’s population experiencing homelessness and 24% of the City’s population. HSD will leverage this $68 million in combined funding of ongoing and one-time grants to provide a spectrum of homelessness interventions to unhoused residents, who are overwhelmingly from Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities.

Clean, Healthy, & Sustainable Neighborhoods

  1. Head Start is proposing a restructuring in its staffing with new job classifications that are in alignment with new federal performance standards. This proposal will increase capacity in the Head Start program for family support systems, teaching practices, and data analysis. The proposal also supports the creation of new models of service delivery that will focus on providing services tailored to unhoused families, who are disproportionately Black, and that offer other program alternatives such as mobile classrooms and family childcare. These new service models address the unique needs of unhoused families and the larger expressed community need for alternative hours and care models.
    • Equity Consideration: The staffing changes from this re-organization are designed to enhance Head Start programming services to BIPOC families, with a special emphasis on unhoused residents who are disproportionately Black. All staff will receive additional training in data analytics, trauma informed systems, racial equity and racial bias training, and educational requirements. The program changes also include focus on increasing a journey level job structure of Head Start staff that will make promotional opportunities more available to Head Start’s largely BIPOC staff. It will also create an employment ladder for Head Start parents who are interested in an early education career to take college level classes qualifying them for teaching assistant positions and continued education leading to full-time teaching roles.
  2. Due to increased funding from the state, the Multi-Service Senior Services Program (MSSP) program will be able to expand its in-home supportive services to an additional 50 low-income seniors (for a total of 328), which allows them to receive additional health care and avoid nursing home placements. Services are provided through Medi-Cal billing and require the addition of 2.5 FTEs (1.0 FTE Nurse Case Manager, 1.0 Case Manager, a PT Administrative Assistant) to support service provision and administrative claiming.
    • Equity Consideration: The clients who receive in-home supportive services from MSSP are primarily BIPOC seniors who are also low-income. Seniors who stay at home have tend to live longer than seniors who live in nursing homes. This service increases equity in two ways: 1) it targets low-income BIPOC seniors, many of whom did not have access to high-paying jobs with health benefits throughout their life and therefore may have worse health issues due to this historical lack of healthcare access, and 2) it addresses the wealth gap that exists among seniors through ensuring that low-income seniors are not barred from in-home supportive services simply because they cannot afford them.
  3. Available programming at the 4 Senior Centers will be enhanced through increasing the Senior Companion/Foster Grandparent (SC/FG) from 0.53 FTE Supervisor to a full-time 1.0 FTE position. This new 1.0 FTE Supervisor will then manage the Senior ASSETS program and SC/FG to align them more closely with the Senior Center programming. This change will occur simultaneously with the senior ASSETS program that will freeze 2 part-time staff for FY 2021-22 only. This temporary reduction ASSETS program means a loss of employment training for seniors in the community as well a reduction in available programming at the Centers, which this 1.0 FTE Supervisor will mitigate through redirecting its remaining 18 Part-Time ASSETS staff across all 4 Senior Centers.
    • Equity Consideration: The Senior Companion/Foster Grandparent program serves low-income Seniors, primarily BIPOC, and this staffing change ensures all direct services to clients are retained and improved. The ASSETS program provides employment opportunity to seniors in predominantly Oakland's BIPOC low-income communities. Making this temporary freeze allowed Human Services to preserve its Senior Center staff and maintain their ongoing programming. In FY 2022-23, the 2 PT ASSETS staff will be restored so that the ASSETS program will operate at its full capacity.
  4. The Oakland Youth Advisory Commission members will be awarded educational scholarships.
    • Equity Consideration: The participation of youth from a diversity of communities in Oakland is needed and provides BIPOC youth voice and equitable representation in civic affairs. This removes a barrier for low-income youth who need some compensation to offset the time they otherwise would be working.


Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Neighborhoods

  1. The Kids First allocation is calculated on General Purpose Fund unrestricted revenues per the City Charter. As such, a decrease in projected GPF unrestricted revenues in FY 2021-22 has resulted in a decrease of $1.3 million in the City’s budgeted allocation. The reduction of the Kids First contracts to outside organizations will reduce available funding for these organizations to provide services to children. This reduction will only occur in FY 2021-22. For FY 2022-23, the Kids First! fund is expected to increase its funding by an estimated $2 million and reverse this reduction in grant funding to outside organizations.
    • Equity Consideration: This temporary reduction impacts vulnerable children in Oakland's BIPOC low-income communities.


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Expenditures By Fund

Expenditures By Category

The department’s budget predominantly supports the direct service work provided by HSD employees and community-based organization grants that are awarded to organizations to perform services throughout the community. These service contracts account for approximately 60% of the department’s total O&M budget.

Expenditures By Bureau/Division


Authorized Positions By Bureau