Supportive Housing

To DESC, supportive housing means much more than a building with services. The design of the facility, staffing patterns, program values and ways of interacting with residents all combine to create a program that helps people succeed over the long term.

Most DESC housing residents live with challenges that would seem overwhelming or insurmountable to the average person: mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions, HIV, physical or developmental disabilities, and extreme poverty. In most cases, they are not affected by just one of these conditions, but are multiply disabled and have long histories of homelessness or frequent failures in other low-income housing settings. To increase their opportunity for success, residents in each of our housing sites have access to 24-hour a day, 7 days a week supportive services:

  • State-licensed mental health and chemical dependency treatment
  • On-site health care services
  • Daily meals and weekly outing to food banks
  • Case management and payee services
  • Medication monitoring
  • Weekly community building activities

DESC entered the supportive housing arena in 1994 with the opening of The Union, a historic 52 unit building located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle. This first housing project marked the expansion of our mission from merely managing homelessness to actually ending the homelessness of our community's most vulnerable men and women. Today, DESC owns and manages nearly 1,000 units of supportive housing throughout Seattle, and has one project currently under development phase in the Interbay neighborhood.

DESC Supportive Housing is built upon the Housing First Philosophy. You can learn more about Housing First here.

projects in development Current Supportive Housing Vulnerability Assessments

DESC manages applicants for our Supportive Housing projects by prioritizing them according to a Vulnerability Assessment score. For more information to obtain a Vulnerability Assessment for your client for placement in one of DESC's Supportive Housing projects, please click here.

Your client must be homeless and you will need to confirm her/his disability in order to be eligible. If your client is currently using the DESC Emergency Shelter, there is no need to request an assessment. Assessments are conducted as part of the intake process for Shelter clients and occur daily.

If you need further information regarding DESC's Vulnerability Assessment Tool, please contact

Download an Introduction to the Vulnerability Assessment Tool here.

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