Health Services

DESC clients live with severe and often untreated mental illness, substance use disorders, and a host of other physical and developmental disabilities that have caused or contributed to their chronic homelessness. By addressing each client’s unique needs through a structured and comprehensive recovery plan, staff are able to help clients stabilize and reclaim their lives. Engagement in our highly effective, state-licensed mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs contribute to each client’s success in housing.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Often people suffering from mental illness who lack access to psychiatric treatment, attempt to self-medicate with street drugs or alcohol to lessen the symptoms.

The ability to provide highly integrated services to people with concurrent mental health and substance-use disorder concerns is rare among homeless service providers. At DESC, our network of clinical services allow counselors to work in coordination with mental health case managers in both the emergency shelter and in supportive housing projects so that services meet clients at their current level and offer the support that can lead to significant change. more

Support, Advocacy, Growth, and Employment (SAGE)

SAGE is the ongoing comprehensive case management component of DESC’s mental health program.

SAGE case managers work with clients to help them secure and maintain housing and improve their clinical and social stability, thus enhancing their level of independence and self-sufficiency. This program served more than 2,000 people in the last year. more

Homeless Outreach Stabilization and Transition (HOST)

HOST case managers provide outreach and intensive case management on the streets and in shelters, hospitals, jails, libraries and other facilities.

By seeking out mentally ill and homeless people in this way, HOST outreach staff develop trusting relationships that encourage new clients to begin seeking assistance.

At DESC’s mental health drop-in center, men and women can become familiar with the environment at their own pace. When they are ready, case managers will help identify their underlying issues and service needs, facilitate access to these services (whether at DESC or with other service providers), help achieve clinical and social stabilization, secure housing, and transition into mental health treatment and long-term case management. more

Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT)

PACT is a nationally recognized practice that works with people who suffer from serious and persistent mental illness, assisting them in their journey towards recovery. The PACT model is distinguished by its intensive outreach and team-oriented, trans-disciplinary approach. more

Housing Opportunities and Meaningful Engagement (HOME)

DESC’s HOME program is funded by a federal grant from the 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. The HOME team engages homeless veterans and chronically homeless individuals with substance use or co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness into services and supportive housing. The goal of the program is 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. more