Downtown Emergency Service Center

Downtown Emergency Service Center

The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is a non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington providing services for that city's homeless population.[1] The organization focuses on providing basic services for those homeless men and women who are vulnerable due to such factors as mental illness and addiction, as well as HIV and other infections. In the 1980s the center was funded by the city of Seattle through block-grant money, the county, which supports mental-health case manager positions, the United Way, churches (providing volunteers), businesses and individual donors. 230 people sleep in the two open rooms.[2]



In the late 1970s, Seattle's Downtown Human Service Council Group expressed concern to Seattle's mayor that there were increases in homelessness and that the mentally ill were not getting the services they needed. Because of these concerns, the mayor's office, the Church Council of Seattle and other groups opened the center in 1979.[2][3]

1811 Eastlake project

DESC invented and developed the 1811 Eastlake project, named after its location, which houses 75 formerly homeless alcoholics, mostly at public expense. A 2006 released study found that 1811 Eastlake improved residents' lives and it actually saved Seattle more than $2 million a year.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Rasmussen, Tom; Peter Steinbrueck (2005-02-16). "Council's homeless-services center option: cheaper, sooner, bigger". Online edition (The Seattle Times). Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  2. ^ a b Hope, Majorie; James Young (January 18, 1984). "The Homeless: On the Street, on the Road". Christian Century: 48. 
  3. ^ "Strategies for reducing chronic street homelessness: final report". Martha R. Burt, Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Urban Institute, United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. pp. G.3. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  4. ^ Vanderkam, Laura (2008-04-28). "Give them homes". USA Today. pp. 9A. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 

External links

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