black and white photos by David Entrikin

Opening Doors since 1979

DESC opened its doors in 1979 as an emergency shelter, a place for vulnerable adults living with behavioral health disorders and chronic homelessness to come in out of the cold for the night.

Today our mission is not merely to offer shelter, but to end the homelessness of our community's most vulnerable people, through an integrated array of clinical services and supportive housing that allows men and women to reclaim their lives and reach their highest potential. more

latest news

DESC's 1811 Eastlake building has a new address -- 1811 Bill Hobson Way. 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 that is home to 75 men and women with chronic alcohol addiction. The program has become a national model for serving this population and has won multiple awards for its effectiveness.

Starting June 2016, DESC will no longer be accepting referrals for Vulnerability Assessment interviews. All housing referrals to DESC will be centralized through King County's Coordinated Entry system as part of King County's implementation of Coordinated Entry for All (CEA). more

2014 DESC Annual Report

Available here

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projects under development

Estelle Supportive Housing DESC intends to develop a future affordable housing in Southeast Seattle, located at 3501-3507 Rainier Avenue South. An informational forum about this new housing development was held on August 5, 2015 at DESC Rainier House. more


Housing First for people with serious psychiatric problems eliminates homelessness and significantly reduces psychiatric hospitalizations. more

Chronic homelessness is a serious public health issue that places a strain on health-care and criminal justice systems. Typical housing models place requirements on chronically homeless individuals that are often experienced as insurmountable barriers to housing. This article describes the key features and evidence base of the "single-site" Housing First model in use at DESC, using our 1811 Eastlake program as a case study. more

Housing First reduces use of emergency medical services more

consultation and technical assistance

While DESC's priority is to provide services for vulnerable people in our community, we also make ourselves available for consultation to share our accumulated wisdom and strategies to address the most difficult to serve chronically homeless populations. more

Following the success of the 2012 and 2014 Housing First Partners Conference, DESC and Pathways National presented the 2016 Housing First Partners Conference, "Taking Housing First to Scale," on March 22-25, 2016, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The 2016 conference was attended by over 800 service providers, federal, state and local government officials, funders, researchers, advocates, trainers, peers and thought leaders engaged in ending homelessness through Housing First. more

Remembering Bill Hobson
Bill HobsonBill Hobson, former executive director of DESC, and one of the pioneer of the Housing First philosophy passed away on March 4, 2016 at his home. He was 76.

A memorial service to celebrate Bill Hobson's life will be held on June 30th, Thursday, 3:30PM - 5:00PM at Seattle City Hall's Bertha Knight Landes Room. To RSVP or if you have any questions, please email

Read more about Bill's life and legacy or make a gift in his honor here


We we able to raise over $144,000 at the Dreaming of Home Gala on May 19th.

DESC 2016 Gala

Special Thanks to Keynote Speaker Maia Szalavitz and our gala host Deborah Horne of KIRO 7.

For more about this years results, visit our events page here

Interested in sponsoring DESC events? Contact us