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The Downtown Emergency Service Center works to end the homelessness of vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental or addictive illnesses. Through partnerships and an integrated array of comprehensive services, treatment and housing, we give people the opportunity to reach their highest potential. At DESC, uncommon efforts produce uncommon results that eliminate homelessness, one person at a time.
DESC is the largest multi-service agency serving homeless adults in the Puget Sound region, reaching over 7,000 people annually and providing state licensed mental health and chemical dependency treatment, 279 emergency shelter beds, and nearly 800 units of permanent supportive housing. Since 2009, DESC has moved over 1,100 vulnerable adults affected by mental illness, chemical dependency, and multiple disabilities off of Seattle's streets and into housing, more than any other local homeless provider in the area.
DESC succeeds where others have failed. Stretching the bounds of accepted practices, DESC's professional staff have learned that creative, assertive and holistic approaches, including evidence based and emerging best practices, work best for our highly vulnerable and difficult-to-engage clientele. Many men and women who have a long history of homelessness also have tenuous if any ties to the mainstream community and lack natural support networks such as family members. By eliminating outdated barriers to services and housing, DESC has received national recognition for its work with chronically homeless adults with behavioral health disorders.
In 2009 DESC celebrated 30 years of opening doors to end homelessness. Our staff and Board of Directors remain committed to serving those adults in our community who are most disabled and most vulnerable - and most often forgotten or ignored by society. We believe there is no such thing as a throw-away person.