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  • Human-Services-Department
  • Family Services
  • Human-Services-Planning
  • Senior-Services
  • Community Relations Human Rights

About Human Services

Human Services Banner

About Human Services  About Human Services


The mission of the Human Services Department is to create a healthy, socially thriving, and inclusive community by providing and supporting human services to Boulder residents in need.


The Human Services Department is comprised of the following work areas:

  • Community Relations
  • Community Funding and Programs
  • Family Services
  • Senior Services
  • Human Services Planning
  • Administration and Finance

2018 Operating Budget: $10,127,863

2018 Number of Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Employees36.22


Community Relations

  • Staffs the Human Relations Commission (HRC), which is charged with identifying and alleviating human relations issues and social problems, fostering positive community relations and protecting human rights, and making social policy recommendations to City Council. Allocates funding to the community for cultural events and programs.
  • Staffs the city manager-appointed Immigration Advisory Committee, which is charged with providing an immigrant perspective on the city’s policies and programs.
  • Enforces Boulder’s Human Rights Ordinance (anti-discrimination ordinance) and Failure to Pay Wages Ordinance.
  • Provides community conflict resolution and mediation services for city residents, organizations and businesses such as landlord-tenant and neighborhood disputes and restorative justice.
  • Coordinates the annual Martin Luther King, Jr, Immigrant Heritage Week, and Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations.
  • Promotes youth leadership development and engagement through the Youth Opportunities Program and the city manager-appointed Youth Opportunities Advisory Board, which advises the city on youth-related issues in the community.  Distributes approximately $150,000 in annual grants to local nonprofits, organizations and individual youth grants for social, educational and cultural activities for youth, with an emphasis on low-income youth.

Community Funding and Programs

  • Administers the Human Services Fund, which distributes approximately $2.3 million annually in operating support to community nonprofits and provides technical assistance to the nonprofit organizations.
  • Administers the Health Equity Fund, which distributes funding from the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Distribution Tax to community organizations for health promotion, wellness programs, chronic disease prevention and to address health equity.
  • Administers Substance Education and Awareness grant funding for children, youth and families related to substance use impacts and reduction.
  • Manages community funding and services contracts.

Family Services

  • Provides direct services for families in Boulder, through community partnerships, including school-based services in elementary schools and child care subsidies to low-income working families:
    • Early Childhood Programs – Financial assistance for child care for low-income families.
    • Family Services – Family Resource Schools (FRS) program partnership with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) in five elementary schools to provide outreach, direct services and community referrals for families and children to remove barriers to academic achievement and success for students.

Senior Services

  • Provides programs and services at the East and West Senior Centers, including educational classes such as memory clinics, trip and fall clinics, nutrition services, wellness, fitness and social programs.
  • Provides resource and referral services to community agencies.
  • Collaborates with other local governments and senior service agencies to plan, coordinate and evaluate services for seniors, including the Age Well Boulder County senior services strategic plan.
  • Staffs the city manager-appointed Senior Community Advisory Committee, which provides consultation and expertise to city staff on policy and programs related to seniors.
  • Serves as city liaison to Boulder Seniors Foundation.
  • Administers the city’s Food Tax Rebate Program for low-income families, seniors and disabled individuals.

Human Services Planning

Conducts research and analysis on social policy issues, makes policy   recommendations to alleviate social issues and conditions, identifies human services trends and community needs, leads and partners in community-wide efforts to identify and impact social welfare issues, and implements community programs.

  • Oversees updates and implementation of the Human Services and Homelessness Strategies.
  • Coordinates with other city departments to develop and update city plans and policies, including Inclusive and Welcoming Community workplan, Living Wage, Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, Resilience Strategy, and Civic Area Plan.
  • Coordinates with community and regional partners to develop and implement community plans, including Boulder County Homeless Systems Collaborative,  Age Well Boulder County,  Family Resource Network and IMPACT Board, and community disaster assistance and recovery planning. 

Administration and Finance

  • Oversight of department work programs
  • Strategic department and community planning
  • Community partnership development
  • Finance, budget and communications