consultation and technical assistance

The Consultation and Technical Assistance program at DESC represents 35 years of accumulated wisdom and strategies developed to address the most vulnerable and most difficult to serve chronically homeless populations.

As a tenet of the DESC mission to end homelessness, staff embrace the belief that information sharing among peer agencies will result in improved services, greater housing success, and a more rapid end to homelessness nationwide. A curriculum based on specific Housing First principles and evidence based approaches to ending homelessness have been designed to help others communities achieve the comparable levels of success which characterize DESC programs.

Among the training and consultation services offered by DESC are:

  • One-on-one on-site consultation services
  • Intensive residential institutes
  • On-line learning opportunities
  • Staff shadowing and peer learning
  • Vulnerability Assessment Tool training
  • Speaking Invitation and Workshop Presentation

Rates are based on a sliding fee scale. For more information, contact


Opiate Overdose Response and Naloxone Administration

The nationwide opiate overdose crisis affects our clients at DESC. We are very pleased that state legislature sought to address the crisis by making naloxone more widely available in Washington State. DESC developed the Opiate Overdose Response and Naloxone Administration procedure in June 2015, with the invaluable assistance of the Center for Opioid Safety Education, a project of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington.


In 2015, a new evaluation by the Canadian Housing First Assessment Taskforce, a taskforce created by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, determined DESC’s Vulnerability Assessment Tool to be the best brief screening tool available to facilitate the screening and prioritization of homeless individuals into Housing First services. DESC, Pathways to Housing National and BC Housing joined efforts to bring DESC's Vulnerability Assessment Tool to Canada in their first webinar on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 sponsored by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. For more information about VAT implementation and training in Canada, please email


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Following the enormous success of both the 2012 and 2014 Housing First Partners Conference, DESC and Pathways National are preparing for the 2016 conference scheduled next Spring in Los Angeles, CA, March 22-25, 2016. The 2016 conference will be taking Housing First to scale as an approach and to expand the implementation of Housing First practices across all elements of our homelessness services and housing systems. Registration is open now. For more information, click here.

If you would like to be informed about the 2016 conference, please email

DESC participated in Washington State's Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness (COEH) on May 13 and 14, 2015 in Tacoma, WA and the Washington Behavioral Healthcare conference on June 18 & 19, 2015 in Vancouver WA. DESC presented informative workshops that included topics that focus on innovative, creative and effective approaches to ending homelessness. View a list of DESC workshops presented at the conference on ending homelessness here.

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