Downtown Emergency Service Center Employee Reviews

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Some bias and racism
Connections Case Manager (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAJuly 26, 2017
Because I am passionate about working with people who are homeless, it was a shame that this organization was bias to their employee, I wouldn't work there again.
Pros
This company does help homeless people.
Cons
This company does not invest in thier employees
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Extremely Supportive Team Atmosphere
PEER SUPPORT SPECIALIST (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAMay 13, 2017
Working for DESC was the best job experience I've had. They truly respected their staff, provided constructive criticism AND recognized good performance. The staff worked as a seamless team. I would definitely work for them again if the opportunity arose. Their full-time positions are desirable, but I have friends who have worked on-call or part-time that report negative experiences.
Pros
Good team environment, understanding and positive supervision
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Poor Mgmt.
Administration (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAMay 11, 2017
The purpose is good but they need to treat their workers better. There are L&I violations, OSHA violations, unsafe working conditions and biased treatment of protected classes of people. Expect to be overworked and not appreciated. The agency mission is a good one but unfortunately it is being ran like a for profit company.
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Fun/exciting work place
Residential Counselor (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAFebruary 24, 2017
Great entry level job. Especially if you are looking to get into Counseling. And also its an amazing feeling when you are helping homeless people for a living. Alright compensation but you do get a raise twice in the first year,
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DESC is a respected and highly valued agency providing social services to a historically marginalized population.
Clinical Support Specialist (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAJanuary 12, 2017
As one of the largest social service providers in Seattle, WA, DESC serves the cities most vulnerable, often service resistant population. They provide comprehensive, wrap-around services ranging from clinical mental health treatment, chemical dependency, and most significantly they are a major proponent of the "Housing First" model of supported housing.
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nice!
Residential Counselor (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAMay 29, 2016
I have learned a lot in 3 years. I have connected with both the clients and employees. The location is far but it's worth it.
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Liars and Theives
Employee (Current Employee) –  DowntownSeptember 1, 2015
This agency doesn't take care of employees, they steal their PTO, and they lie about keeping their word. The agencies management and upper level management are corrupt and offer zero job security/stability. They have non static policies that persecute those that stand up for the ethically correct decision. If you are thinking about applying DO NOT. Unless you are willing to exploit yourself out to a propaganda machine at is DESC. This agency doesn't believe in its own mission statement and lacks the responsibility needed for a business/non-profit to succeed, unless its on the backs of the employees.
Pros
Butterfly Feelings
Cons
Bad Upper Level Management, Corrupt Managers, and Unsafe Work Conditions
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Why I like DESC
Clinical Program Assistant (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAMay 14, 2015
My daily routine consists of archiving clinical charts. Making copies, faxing, creating letters to PCP's, including data entry into a computerized tracking system. Establishing and terminating medical access accounts with King County. Dispersing Limited Restrictive Orders to Case Managers, Responding to medical record request. Answering phone inquiries and responding to emails.

I have established great rapport w/my co-workers. We are a team after a common goal. We have over 500 employees and most of our communication is done by email. During my employment as a Residential Counselor I was able to meet work with many other employees and it's always been a pleasure.

The most difficult part of my job is the realization that there's a large homeless population and not enough affordable housing available.

The most enjoyable part of my job is working w/people in need and being part of a team that overcomes barriers and get our client's housed.
Pros
Friendly work environment with Good benefits and nice co-workers
Cons
Commuting and transportation costs.
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I enjoyed working with people who care.
On Call Residential Counselor (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAMarch 4, 2015
DESC performs an important role in addressing homelessness by providing assistance to those most vulnerable and services for those whose circumstance has caused the disparity of homelessness. I am glad that I was given the opportunity to serve this organization.
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More like a sweat shop than a company
mental heath intensive case manager (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAFebruary 12, 2015
A typical day at work would be handing out large sums of cash to desperate addicted mentally ill clients with no security
A typical day could mean being threatened hit something thrown at you and verbal abused by clients
A typical day would be having to balance the innumerous needs of clients community and unreasonable management.
A typical day would be having to readily watch your every move as management seeks to undermine your work and throw you under the proverbial bus...
A typical day would be tolerating verbal abuse from management
A typical day is anything but typical.
A bad day is a car explosion outside your office door and announcement to flee with no direction where to go
A typical day is watching clients die, get beat up sexually assaulted and have no power to help them.
A typical day is putting your life sanity and skills on the line for no recognition compensation or concern for your wellbeing
Your orientation will consist of the ceo coming in and saying
We can not guarantee your safety here or your life...
A typical safety meeting is about how you handled a crisis wrong and how inefficient the system is for crisis management.
DESC is not a Typical agency....
It has great potential but under current management it is to volatile to be safe....
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Fun workplace with dedicated and highly caring staff
Chemical Dependency Counselor (Former Employee) –  515 office and Main ShelterFebruary 9, 2015
A typical day at work consisted of individual and group sessions, followed by a lengthy amount of paper work. My emotional IQ and professional skills as a case manager evolved quickly while working for DESC. I had good management and supervision which taught me valuable lessons on how to conduct myself in a professional and ethical manner while working with clients and staff. The hardest part of the job was not having expectations towards clients and the most enjoyable part of the job was having the privilege of helping those in crisis get to a safer and more comfortable place in their mental and physical health. Working with those in need of help does not feel like a job to me. The workdays fly by quickly simply from the newly forming situations brought on by working in such a hectic environment.
Pros
Autonomy in working with individuals and facilitating groups.
Cons
Non applicable at this time.
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The most unsafe heathcare environment I have every worked in
Nurse (Current Employee) –  seattleOctober 5, 2014
No clinical oversight, poor staffing so getting time off is like pulling teeth,clients are incredibly complex but employees are inexperienced. Don't go near it.
Pros
Um...a paycheck?
Cons
Everything else
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If you can't find anything else
Residential Counselor (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAMarch 14, 2014
They drastically underpay their employees, even relative to other SS agencies. Won't give you very meaningful raises. Management hires who they like vs. most qualified people. Day-to-day office is ran inefficiently.

Good benefits though.
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Do very good things for the community
Accounting Assistant (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WASeptember 19, 2013
While DESC has a wonderful mission and is very good at helping others, the employees are not treated as well. There is a large double standard that exists that makes it very hard to feel good about what you're doing. I did learn a great deal of various non profit procedures and laws and actually believe that due to the nature of management, I am better at handling difficult people and situations. The majority of my co workers were wonderful people and easy to work with, but had rather poor attitudes due to work environment. The hardest part of my job was working in a basement for 3-1/2 years with difficult management. I truly felt strongly about what they are trying to accomplish with the homeless and wish I would have had the opportunity to feel that I was helping in that area.
Pros
Good learning experience
Cons
Poor management
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No support for employees thoughts and opinions
Accounting Assistant (Current Employee) –  Seattle WaMarch 28, 2013
I have been here for over 3 years and find that there is no support for the employee. You can voice your opinions and concerns but they are never taken seriously.
Pros
great benefits
Cons
depressing work environment
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Helping the Homeless
Organizer (Former Employee) –  Seattle WAFebruary 18, 2012
I was a volunteer at the shelter for 5 months for my senior project. I achieved my best when I was there, I learned a lot and carry on with that accomplishment.
Pros
good breaks
Cons
commuting
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Overall rating

3.2
Based on 17 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.9
Compensation/Benefits
2.7
Job Security/Advancement
2.6
Management
2.8
Culture
3.5

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