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About DESC

Downtown Ecumenical Services Council – DESC – was founded in 1981 by churches in urban Jacksonville to provide emergency assistance to people in need.

DESC is chartered by the State of Florida as a charitable agency. It is governed by a Board of Directors who represent the founding churches, as well as other churches, organizations and individuals interested in our ministry.

Contributions from sponsoring churches contribute 15% of our operating  expenses, with the majority of our support and funding coming from foundations, grants, fundraising activities and individual contributions.

What We Do

Food Distribution

DESC provides groceries for a three- to five-day food emergency. Grocery items include canned goods, milk, bread, cereal and much more.

In 2016, more than 4,200 families in need received groceries from DESC.

Clothing Assistance

In partnership with Presbyterian Social Ministries, DESC provides new and gently used clothing to meet our clients’ needs.

In 2016, the clothing center staff distributed more than 163,000 items of clothing to those in need.

Financial Assistance

DESC provides limited financial aid to meet human needs that are of an emergency nature. Items most often classified as emergency needs are rent, mortgage and utility payments. In 2016, over 250 families were helped with emergency financial assistance from DESC.

Appointments to discuss financial assistance are given our each week, therefore applicants must call 358-7955 on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. to schedule an appointment.  No walk-ins are accepted for financial aid.  

Who Receives Aid

DESC helps anyone who has emergency needs regardless of age, gender or race. Financial assistance is limited to cases involving children, the elderly or those afflicted with disabilities or illness. Assistance is frequently given to people who need additional aid after being helped by other agencies.

We serve those in need in Clay, Duval, and Nassau counties.

Partnerships Make the Difference

DESC is grateful for the partnerships and relationships it has developed with a number of local companies and organizations whose contributions benefit our mission and our clients, including Waste Not Want Not of Northeast Florida, Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless and Presbyterian Social Ministries.