Clinical Services

DESC clients live with severe and often untreated mental illness, addictive disorders, and a host of other physical and developmental disabilities that have caused or contributed to their chronic homelessness. By addressing each client's unique series of problems through a structured and comprehensive recovery plan, staff are able to help clients stabilize and reclaim their lives. Engagement in our highly effective, state-licensed mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs contribute to client's success in housing.


HOST (Homeless Outreach Stabilization and Transition) case managers "take to the streets" where they provide outreach and intensive case management there and in shelters, hospitals, jails, libraries and other facilities.

By seeking out mentally ill and homeless people in this way, HOST outreach staff develop trusting relationships that encourage new clients to begin seeking assistance.

At DESC's mental health drop-in center, men and women can become familiar with the environment at their own pace. When they are ready, case managers will help identify their underlying issues and service needs, facilitate access to these services (whether at DESC or with other service providers), help achieve clinical and social stabilization, secure housing, and transition them into mental health treatment and long-term case management. more


SAGE, which stands for Support, Advocacy, Growth, and Employment, is the ongoing comprehensive case management component of DESC's mental health program.

SAGE case managers work with clients to help them secure and maintain housing and improve their clinical and social stability, thus enhancing their level of independence and self-sufficiency. This program has over 1,000 clients currently enrolled. more

Chemical Dependency Treatment

Many clients have a sustained and/or complicated substance abuse history in addition to their co-occurring mental disorder. Often people suffering from mental illness who lack access to psychiatric treatment, attempt to self-medicate with street drugs or alcohol to lessen the symptoms.

The ability to provide highly integrated services to people with concurrent mental health and substance-use disorder concerns is rare among homeless service providers. At DESC, our network of clinical services allow counselors to work in coordination with mental health case managers in both the emergency shelter and in supportive housing projects so that services meet clients at their current level and offer the support that can lead to significant change.

Assessment hours for substance-use disorder treatment services are available on a first come first served basis on the following schedule::

1:00PM - 2:30PM on Mondays and Wednesday; and 9:00AM - 10:30AM on Friday at 216 James Street office in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.

9:00AM - 10:30AM on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 222 Wall Street, Suite 100 in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood.

DESC is a King County Drug Court provider.

Crisis Respite Program

Working in partnership with Harborview Medical Center, King County Mental Health Court, and hospitals across the county, the Crisis Respite Program is a vital buffer between psychiatric emergency care and life back on the streets.

It provides severely mentally ill homeless men and women, just emerging from a recent crisis or jail, a chance to stabilize in safe, secure and supportive surroundings and connect with services and housing.

Without this program, these people would have little choice but to return to the streets, where they would most likely repeat a cycle of using costly public services like emergency rooms, jails, sobering centers and courts.

Crisis Solutions Center

The Crisis Solutions Center (CSC) provides a new resource for police, medics, crisis mental health professionals, and other first responders to use for individuals who are in crisis and might otherwise receive no help, or be taken to jail or a hospital emergency department. The goal of the CSC is to reduce chronic homelessness and unnecessary involvement in the criminal justice and emergency medical systems. more


DESC is honored to be one of the few agencies in Washington to deliver a Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT).

PACT is a nationally recognized practice that works with people who suffer from serious and persistent mental illness, assisting them in their journey towards recovery.

The PACT model is distinguished by its intensive outreach and team-oriented, trans-disciplinary approach. more


DESC's Housing Opportunities and Meaningful Engagement (HOME) program is funded by a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2014 Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals-Services in Supportive Housing for a period of three years beginning October 1, 2014.  The HOME team will engage homeless veterans and chronically homeless individuals with substance use or co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness into services and supportive housing. The goal of the program is to engage, stably house and make needed services and treatment available to chronically homeless individuals identified as Long Term Shelter Stayes (LTSS) in Seattle and King County. more

Return to the Home Page