Survival Services are a vital resource

shelter nights 2018

For over 35 years DESC has prioritized services to marginalized and chronically homeless people by operating the lowest-barrier shelters in the region. Our Survival Services are a vital resource for thousands of people experiencing homelessness who might otherwise have nowhere else to go.

In addition to providing safe, secure shelter, hot meals and day-time safe haven from the streets, these services are a focal point for DESC’s outreach efforts and vulnerability assessments, and help people access a wide range of programs (both at DESC and elsewhere) to help them stabilize their lives and get permanent housing.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we offer shelter to our clients. We are now finding new temporary housing in hotels for our clients who have been staying in Renton hotel shelter since spring of 2020.

We now see emergency housing as a better alternative to the conventional model of crowded, congregate emergency shelter. DESC emergency housing is a low-barrier program that provides rooms to single adults experiencing chronic homelessness. We offer basic amenities and safe, private, dignified spaces for people to temporarily live while they search for permanent housing.

DESC Emergency Housing sites

  • DESC Mary Pilgrim Inn—this new facility (temporarily known as DESC North Aurora Supportive Emergency Housing) began operations under King County’s Health Through Housing program at the end of October 2021.
  • Health Through Housing Northgate—DESC is preparing to operate this as-yet-unnamed facility sometime in early 2022. King County also purchased this former hotel in July 2021 under the Health Through Housing program.

Shelters that are operating

Shelters that are closed due to COVID-19

As long as the lack of affordable housing means our clients are left outside unprotected, we’ll continue to work with the city and county to provide this critical service.