Mr. Bon Jovi first heard about 1811 Eastlake – a facility of the DESC (Downtown Emergency Service Center) when H.U.D. Secretary Shaun Donovan referred to them in his speech at the National Association To End Homelessness Conference.
Bon Jovi has been in Seattle rehearsing for the kick-off of the band’s “The Circle World Tour” here on Friday, Feb. 19th, and the rock star philanthropist took time to reach out to the DESC staff. A visit to 1811 Eastlake was arranged to see first-hand and discuss their Housing First model of providing housing to those in need while also offering on-site support services intended to address the core issues that have led to chronic homelessness.
Through his own non-profit organization, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, Mr. Bon Jovi has focused for several years on a core mission of of focusing resources on creating innovative partnerships that help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and /or homelessness. Funding priorities have been affordable “green” housing and community revitalization.
About DESC – Downtown Emergency Service Center – DESC is one of the largest multi-service non-profit agencies in the Pacific Northwest serving over 6,500 homeless adults annually. The DESC serves the most disabled and vulnerable subset of homeless adults – individuals who are mentally ill, chemically dependent, female, elderly, physically or developmentally disabled and/or medically compromised. They provide a “continuum of care” that includes emergency services and overnight shelter, clinical services and supportive housing. Governed by a Board of Directors, DESC currently provides its programs based on an annual budget of $20 million, with a staff of nearly 400. DESC receives funding from the City, County, State and Federal governments, along with United Way and private philanthropy. The DESC has been recognized by HUD and others not just for quality, but for effective integration across programs that constitutes a “continuum of care” within the agency.