Budget and Funding Sources

Department Overview

The Human Services Department (HSD) is one of the largest contributors to Seattle's safety net. We invest nearly $170M in contracts to more than 150 community-based organizations that support our neighbors and communities and in direct services carried out by our own staff. These programs and services ensure Seattle residents have food and shelter, education and job opportunities, access to health care, opportunities to gain social and economic independence and success, and many more of life's basic necessities. HSD is committed to working with the community to provide appropriate and culturally-relevant services.

HSD's work is funded by a variety of revenue sources, including federal, state, and inter-local grants, as well as the City's General Fund. General Fund contributions leverage significant grant revenues to benefit Seattle residents. As a result, external grants represent nearly 40% of HSD's $301.5 million 2021 Adopted Budget, while the General Fund represents nearly 58%. In addition, $4.7 million of HSD's expenditures are backed by the City's Sweetened Beverage Tax Fund, representing roughly 1.6% of the department's 2021 Adopted Budget. Just over 1% of HSD's 2021 Adopted Budget is supported by Short Term Rental tax revenues which fund investments in permanent supportive housing.

Budget Overview

**For more details, download HSD's Budget Overview prepared by the City Budget Office.

The 2021 Adopted Budget for the Human Services Department is $301.5m. This is a $65.5m (27.7%) increase over the Department's 2020 Adopted Budget of $236m. The adopted budget prioritizes investments in addressing homelessness, community safety, and Coronavirus response. The Mayor and City Council prioritized the preservation of investment in programs serving Seattle's most vulnerable residents despite a drop in City revenues caused by the events of 2020 and their impacts on the local economy.

The adopted budget for the HSD includes nearly $150 million of the City's $167 million total investment in addressing homelessness, including nearly $30m in one-time funding from the Federal government to support those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The adopted budget restructures HSD's budget for addressing homelessness to reflect the establishment of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA). The budget will now show a distinct budget program with funds set aside for the City to contract with KCRHA, once operational, to provide homeless services which have historically been managed by the department. In addition, this budget reduces the size of HSD's team responding to unsheltered persons. The Navigation Team has been disbanded in favor of the smaller new Homeless Outreach Provider Ecosystem (HOPE) team.

The adopted budget also creates a new Safe and Thriving Communities Division within HSD to elevate and consolidate the department's investments in safety and violence prevention. This division will house the City's work to counter domestic violence and sexual assault, a team of victim advocates transferred from the Seattle Police Department in 2020, and HSD's investments in youth and community safety which will be transferred from the department's existing Youth and Family Empowerment Division. This new division will be comprised of repurposed positions and budget to begin 2021 and will have an initial budget of $32.2 million, including $10m reallocated by the City Council from the Mayor's proposed Equitable Communities Initiative and $2m from the Seattle Police Department budget.