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
projects under development

Estelle Supportive Housing DESC intends to develop a future affordable housing in Southeast Seattle, located at 3501-3507 Rainier Avenue South. more

North 96th Street DESC started working on another new affordable housing development in the North Aurora Avenue neighborhood, located at 937 N 96th Street. more


Primary and behavioral healthcare collaboration between DESC and Harborview Medical Center shows the high level of unmet healthcare needs of homeless people with serious mental illness. It also shows the willingness of people to participate in care when it is made available beyond conventional medical clinic settings. 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

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

SAVE THE DATE for the 4th biennial Housing First Partners Conference scheduled on April 9 - 12, 2018 at the Marriott City Center, Denvero, Colorado! Call for presentations open now. More information here


DESC Breakfast of Champions

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
The Arctic Club, Seattle

Join us for a breakfast to celebrate you - the partners, staff and volunteers who make our work possible!

RSVP today!

Interested in sponsoring DESC events? Contact us at

2015 DESC Annual Report

Available here

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