1811 Eastlake

1811 Eastlake

1811 Eastlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-957-0700
Fax: 206-621-2094

1811 Eastlake opened in 2005 and provides supportive housing to 75 formerly homeless adults with chronic alcohol addiction. It is the first of its kind in Washington to address the needs of homeless chronic alcoholics who are the heaviest users of publicly-funded crisis services. 1811 Eastlake is the subject of multiple rigorous evaluations and has received recognition both nationally and internationally for its effectiveness. On June 30, 2016, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed Resolution 31679 re-naming a portion of 1811 Eastlake Avenue between Denny Way and Court Place in honor of Bill Hobson, former Executive Director of DESC who passed away on March 4, 2016. Bill was the driving force behind DESC’s 1811 Eastlake building, an innovative and initially highly controversial housing project.

  • Home for Every American Award, Interagency Council on Homelessness, 2008
  • Maxwell Award for Excellence, Fannie Mae Foundation and the Partnership to End Longterm Homelessness, top national honor 2008
  • Exemplary Program Award for Service Innovation, King County, 2007
  • Annual Award, Washington Co-Occurring Disorders Inter-agency Advisory Committee (CODIAC), 2007

DESC is fortunate to partner with the team from the Addictive Behaviors Research Center of the University of Washington a national leader in substance abuse research, in evaluating 1811 Eastlake.

A grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded an evaluation on the first three years of operation. This study examined the relationship between residing in permanent supportive housing in two salient domains: variables related to quality of life and the suppressed use of crisis services. Data collection from this and subsequent studies has resulted in a number of important research articles:

The first outcomes paper from 1811 Eastlake published in the Journal of American Medical Association shows that providing housing and on-site services without requirements of abstinence or treatment is significantly more cost-effective than allowing them to remain homeless. Read highlights from the study.

Research published in the American Journal of Public Health documents decreases in alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among residents. The results provide a strong rebuttal to the "enabling" hypothesis, which held that providing alcohol-dependent people with housing where they were not prohibited from drinking would cause them to drink even more and experience more dire consequences as a result.

A study in the journal Addictive Behaviors examined the underlying factors associated with reductions in drinking and alcohol-related problems among DESC clients. Motivation to change was consistently associated with improved alcohol outcomes, whereas treatment attendance was not. One implication is for more focus on enhancing client motivation to change rather than simply insisting on treatment attendance.

In a study published Journal of Community of Psychology researchers compared the correspondence between self-report and archival records on public service utilization over short (30 days) and longer (3 years) periods by chronically homeless people. Recall of events over the short term corresponded closely with archival records.

Interviews with and close observation of chronically homeless people after housing acquisition yield important insights into motivations and past experiences of participants. Researchers published in the Journal of Social Work Practice and Addictions explored issues relevant to a female subpopulation in one study, in another study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, a focus on perceived positive and negative effects of alcohol use were explored to gain a stronger basis for the development of more tailored harm reduction interventions.

Related Media


Seattle City Council renamed stretched of Eastlake Ave. for homeless advocate - MyNorthwest.com (June 28, 2016)


Giving Alcoholics A Home Helps Them Manage Their Addiction - KPLU Radio 88.5 (June 4, 2015)

1811 Eastlake: Where Formerly Homeless Alcoholics are Allowed to Drink - KUOW.org News (March 5, 2015)


The Case of Allowing the Homeless to Drink - Pacific Standard (December 2014)

Alcohol Management: Reducing seizures, falls, and brain injury among alcohol dependent people - Voices From the Field, SAMHSA's Homeless Resource Center Blog (March 25, 2014)


In 'wet housing', alcoholics find motivation to stay dry - Real Change News (January 2, 2013)


Dufty renews push for SF drunks' wet house - San Francisco Chronicle (August 30, 2012)

Ed Lee and Bevan Dufty tour Seattle house for chrinic drunks - San Francisco Chronicle City Insider (April 30, 2012)

Wet Houses, Homeless Shelters That Give Booze To Alcoholics May Save San Francisco Millions - Huffington Post (February 15, 2012)

Commons project drinks in research: Study of Seattle project shows promise for 'wet housing' - Portland Tribune (February 2, 2012)

Study: Housing helps street alcoholics drink less - Seattle Times (January 24, 2012)

A Permanent Home That Allows Drinking Helps Homeless Drink Less - npr.org (January 23, 2012)

The Wet House: Homeless People with Alcoholism Drink Less When Booze Is Allowed - Time.com Healthland (January 20, 2012)

Alcohol OK in Housing for Formerly Homeless, Study Says - U.S. News Health (January 19, 2012)

Sobriety not required in subsidized home for alcoholics - seattlepi.com (January 19, 2012)

Press Release: Homeless heavy drinkers imbibe less when housing allows alcohol - University of Washington, UW Today (January 19, 2012)


Summit details other cities' innovations - The Tennessean (October 11, 2011)

Homeless Fall Through Health Care Cracks - Inter Press Service (IPS) News (July 14, 2011)

Homeless Addicts Get Help Without Getting Clean, Sober - USA Today (March 30, 2011)

Bunks for Drunks - Memphis Flyer (February 3, 2011)

Seattle's homeless programs could work in Vancouver - CTV British Columbia (January 26, 2011)


S.F. looks at Seattle's alcoholic program - S.F. Gate (October 3, 2010)



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