Housing Opportunities and Meaningful Engagement (HOME)

Dates of operation: January 2015 – December 2017

The HOME team engaged homeless veterans and chronically homeless individuals with substance use or co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness into services and supportive housing. The target population was individuals experiencing chronic homelessness who have long term histories in the emergency shelters in Seattle and King County, and include those who are more likely older adults, veterans, and those disabled by behavioral health disorders.

The purpose and goal of this program were to engage, stably house, and make needed services and treatment available to chronically homeless individuals identified as Long Term Shelter Stayers (LTSS) in Seattle and King County. The program used an integrated and trauma-informed approach to connect veterans and non-veterans to care, increase social inclusion, and reduce health disparities. Individuals benefiting from this project met the definition of chronic homelessness and have substance use or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

In addition to engaging very high needs consumers into treatment, housing and mainstream benefit programs, other program goals and objectives included:

  • Support consumers’ recovery and housing stability throughout grant services
  • Assist consumers to successfully connect with ongoing mainstream medical and behavioral health services to promote their long-term health and well-being
  • Strengthen the ability of housing and service providers—and systems—to identify, prioritize and successfully assist this population
  • Create more capacity in shelter system by providing housing to shelter users that consume the majority of the shelter bed nights.

HOME was funded by a federal grant from 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.



Dates of operation: 2006 – 2017

The City of Seattle released new funding awards for 2018 to align with their Pathways Home Initiative and our Entry Services programs (which included Connections and our emergency shelters) changed significantly as a result.  To align with City funding priorities we created a single Enhanced Shelter program to provide intensive case management to individuals sleeping in our shelter, focused on helping them secure permanent housing and other critical supports. The Connections program, serving a less disabled population, ended.

Since 2006, Connections was a daytime service and referral center providing employment and housing-focused individualized support, educational resources and basic skills training to people experiencing homelessness in Seattle. The program aimed to eliminate barriers that prevent people experiencing homelessness from securing and retaining livable wage jobs and stable, affordable housing. Connections staff worked with clients one-on-one to create comprehensive plans to secure housing and employment that will end their homelessness and give them hope for an improved future. Unlike other DESC programs which focus on serving individuals with the most severe disabling conditions, Connections served those whose homelessness was related primarily to economic conditions in their lives, but who with our support could secure competitive employment and housing in the private rental market.

DESC staff will continue to work with former Connections clients who are enrolled in our Rapid Rehousing Program, and otherwise worked with clients to transition to other resources and programs in the community.