The Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) was created in 1997 to consolidate the provision of human services across Allegheny County. DHS is responsible for providing and administering publicly funded human services to Allegheny County residents. DHS is dedicated to meeting these human services needs, most particularly for the county's most vulnerable populations, through an extensive range of prevention, early intervention, crisis management and after-care services.DHS provides a wide range of services, including services for the elderly, mental health and drug and alcohol services (includes 24-hour crisis counseling), child protective services, at-risk child development and education, hunger services, emergency shelters and housing for the homeless, energy assistance, non-emergency medical transportation, job training and placement for youth and adults, and services for individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.DHS is structured into offices along systems defined by the needs of consumers. Each system creates an annual plan and budget based on the input of consumers, providers and the related advisory body.DHS connects with the community through events that highlight specific issues, celebrate achievements or spur donations for use by consumers. DHS also acts as a conduit through which persons who would like to volunteer or provide care can find a cause they believe in.As the central provider of human services in Allegheny County, DHS has collected and stored data that can be used to shape policy and programs. DHS uses these data to conduct research and to evaluate programming.Brochures, booklets, flyers and other documents serve to spread the word about available DHS services and helpful programs. DHS has translated some of the most popular into Spanish.Local and national media work hand-in-hand with DHS to publicize stories of interest to the public.The Directors Action Line (DAL) operates during normal business hours to answer questions and field concerns about any service provided through DHS.