Our services—what we do

“There’s no such thing as a throwaway person”

Thanks to decades of experience and research, we know what works for chronically homeless people: robust services that begin with a “Housing First” approach: providing housing as a first step and then surrounding tenants with voluntary treatment and health services.

DESC provides effective and affordable solutions to homelessness for our community’s most vulnerable single adults through a nationally recognized interwoven network of care, housing, and support, including:

  • 508 emergency shelter beds at five locations
  • 16 supportive housing sites (with four more in construction or on the drawing board) 1,734 tenants living in our apartments, plus supportive housing services to another 140 apartments in Keys to Home
  • Several hundred “scattered site” apartments rented from private landlords and enriched with comprehensive case management services
  • Placement of more than 435 homeless adults into housing each year – more than any other local provider
  • State-licensed mental health and outpatient substance use disorder treatment program
  • A Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) for adults transitioning from long periods of institutionalization
  • Street outreach and engagement services for people who are living with severe mental illness in our community
  • Long-term case management for homeless and formerly homeless adults living with persistent and severe mental illness
  • On-site medical services
  • An innovative, evidenced-based supported employment program
  • Crisis diversion services which provides a resource for police, medics, crisis mental health professionals, and other first responders to use for individuals who are in crisis and might otherwise receive no help, or be taken to jail or a hospital emergency department
  • Consultation and technical assistance that represents over 30 years of accumulated wisdom and strategies developed to address the most vulnerable and most difficult to serve chronically homeless populations.
  • Partnerships with public agencies, health care providers, and low-income housing organizations to provide creative and holistic approaches to client care

Check out our core values here!

DESC continues to set the standard for excellence in supportive housing, winning local and national recognition for the effectiveness of its programs.

Every day at DESC we see what innovative clinical care and supportive housing can do: adults who have been homeless for years regain their health, their dignity and their humanity.

And when they recover their lives, the quality of life is improved for all of us. Our community becomes a better place in which to live and work.