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Downtown Emergency Service Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Mental Health, Mental Health Treatment

Mission: Desc's primary mission is to work to eliminate homelessness for vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders, through an integrated array of comprehensive services, treatment and supportive housing that allows individuals to reclaim their lives and reach their highest potential. Desc provides effective and affordable solutions to homelessness for the city of seattle's most vulnerable individuals through a nationally recognized integrated network of care, housing and support.

Programs: Desc is the only organization in washington dedicated solely to serving homeless people that is a state licensed provider of behavioral healthcare treatment for people with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder. Integrated mental health, substance abuse disorder and co-occurring disorders treatment is available in desc's shelters, is interwoven into its supportive housing programs, and is available through stand-alone programs at desc's clinical offices or elsewhere in the community. In 2017, desc's clinical program served 9,512 individuals.

in 2017, desc operated 879 permanent supportive housing apartments in eleven project based programs ranging from 40 units to 190 units, all of which feature 24/7 onsite support staff and integrated clinical services. Desc also manages, subsidizes and services 49 master-leased market rate "scattered site" housing units with intensive case management and other support services as needed. Another 250+ clients are supported with case management and rent subsidies controlled by desc. Desc's units house individuals coming from homelessness, all of whom have special needs including mental illness, physical disability, and involvement with the criminal justice system and/or substance use problems. Desc provides a range of supportive services to help residents remain stably housed.

real estate development: desc develops and operates subsidized supportive housing for homeless individuals with disabilities.

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