DESC staff picks

Two books, Skid Road, on the frontier of health and homelessness in an American city, by Josephine Ensign and Decolonizing Wealth, indigenous wisdom to heal divides and restore balance, by Edgar Villanueva.

On this page you’ll find books our staff members thought were interesting, thought-provoking and relevant to the work we do: on homelessness, housing, mental health, substance use disorder, inequity and other issues that inform the DESC mission. These books are not published by DESC. DESC is not responsible for the content referenced by these links. The links are provided as a service for visitors to DESC’s website, and our providing a link to a book does not imply agency endorsement or agreement with the content.

An SPL link means the book may also be found in the Seattle Public Library’s (SPL) catalog, or search the catalogs of the King County Library System or Sno-Isle Libraries.

Foundations of homelessness

Mental health and substance use disorder


  • Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor,” Gary Smith. He reports on his work among the “poor, abandoned, overlooked and forgotten members of our society with whom he shared his life” on the streets of Portland, Oregon, for 10 years.
  • Souls in the Hands of a Tender God,” Craig Rennebohm. “A compassionate chronicle of a Protestant pastor who for decades has ministered to some of Seattle’s most vulnerable people—the homeless.”