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Supportive Housing

New studio apartment with light-colored wood cabinets, white stove and refrigerator, white and gray checkerboard flooring and a bed with red and white wavy stripe bedding.To DESC, supportive housing means much more than a building with services. The design of the facility, staffing patterns, program values and ways of interacting with residents all combine to create a program that helps people succeed over the long term.

Most DESC housing residents live with challenges that would seem overwhelming or insurmountable to the average person: mental illness, substance use disorders, physical or developmental disabilities and extreme poverty. In order to increase their opportunities for success, residents in each of our housing sites have consistent access to supportive services such as:

  • State-licensed mental health and substance use disorder treatment
  • Onsite health care services
  • Daily meals and weekly outings to food banks
  • Case management and payee services
  • Medication monitoring
  • Weekly community-building activities

Learn more about Housing First here.

Projects in Development


DESC entered the supportive housing arena in 1994 with the opening of The Union, a 52-unit building located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle. This project marked the expansion of our mission from managing homelessness to actually ending the homelessness of our community’s most vulnerable people. Today, DESC owns and manages more than 1,400 units of supportive housing throughout Seattle.

DESC Supportive Housing is built upon the Housing First Philosophy.

Under construction

Building begins soon

On the drawing board

Current Supportive Housing

Prior to June 2016, DESC prioritized applicants for our Supportive Housing projects according to the DESC Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) score. Since then, all housing referrals to DESC have been centralized through King County’s Coordinated Entry system as part of King County’s implementation of Coordinated Entry for All (CEA). The VI-SPDAT has been selected as the common assessment and triage tool, and housing placements will be allocated based on individual’s VI-SPDAT score.