City Announces Actions Underway in the Tenderloin Including Signing of New Lease for Linkage Center
City outreach has prioritized efforts to help people into services, make infrastructure improvements, and enforce against open-air drug dealing
San Francisco, CA — Today, Mayor London N. Breed announced the City has entered into a lease for a new Linkage Center as part of its Tenderloin Emergency Initiative. This new Linkage Center is a services-focused location where people can voluntarily find respite from the streets and gain access to a wide variety of resources from the City and its partners.
The Linkage Center, authorized under the powers of the State of Emergency Declaration, is scheduled to open by mid-January, which is months sooner than if the Declaration had not existed. Other initiatives under the Emergency Declaration are also underway, including expediting the hiring of behavioral health clinicians to support people suffering from substance use disorder in the Tenderloin.
In addition to these initiatives authorized under the Emergency Declaration, the City has continued to prioritize and coordinate resources to address the challenges facing the Tenderloin as part of the broader intervention. Examples of interventions that have happened over recent weeks include:
- 58 people living on the streets were placed into non-congregate shelter in the last week by the Healthy Street Operations Center (HSOC) and the Homeless Outreach Team
- This includes a partnership with HSOC, Glide, the Tenderloin Community Benefit District, and SF Youth with a Mission to move 17 people from Ellis Street indoors on one day
- 23 people transported from the Tenderloin to the hospital or behavioral health programs by Street Crisis Response Team in last two weeks
- 33 arrests made by SFPD for drug dealing related offenses in the last three weeks, including over 3,164 grams of fentanyl seized
- 16 different street light locations in the Tenderloin in the last month, including at the intersection of Turk and Hyde, have been assessed, repaired, and hardened
- 1,044 requests for service in the Tenderloin have been responded to by Public Works over the last two weeks, including removing 463 tons of waste and power washing 284 locations
“We are coordinating all our City departments to do everything they can to support everyone living in the Tenderloin,” said Mayor London Breed. “These initial efforts will continue everyday as we add more resources, like opening up a new Linkage Center that will allow us to more quickly and directly connect people to services. We've made a commitment to this neighborhood and its residents and businesses, and we will follow through.”
Linkage Center Details
The purpose of this Center is to be a safe, welcoming location for people who suffer from substance use disorder in the Tenderloin where they can access hygiene resources and social space as well as to provide a single location for those who are ready to access city health and human services to link to those programs easily and quickly. The location will be a building leased at 1170 Market Street, including both inside and outside space and security.
Food, water, hygiene supplies, dignity services, and social space will be available at the Center. The Linkage Center will also include staff and referrals into programs including:
- Behavioral health care and treatment
- Temporary winter shelter
- Transitional housing
- Homeward bound
- Sobering / substance use treatment
- Food coordination
- Vocational support
- Therapy and mentoring
- Child and family care
Individuals can self-present to the Center or arrive via vehicle or foot escort by a community partner. If police encounter people on the street who may benefit from this Center, officers can call upon a health or social services partner to provide more information and an escort to the site.
“This linkage center will provide immediate, accessible treatment and referral to long-term care for those who are addicted, unhoused, or at risk of overdose. It will absolutely save lives. And it will be a critically important step in moving us forward toward a neighborhood that is safer and healthier for all. We have to act now with speed, determination and focus to confront a drug epidemic that is killing nearly two people a day in our city,” said Supervisor Matt Haney.
“We appreciate the commitment of Tenderloin residents, merchants, and community serving-organizations to engage in the development of the Linkage Center,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. “Site staff, including escorts, will be provided by community-based organizations, and the outreach and engagement strategy is being prepared and led by trusted community organizations already engaged in the neighborhood. The Tenderloin Emergency Intervention plan is dynamic and iterative. As the site is activated and ramps up, we will adjust as necessary to ensure our response meets the needs of the Tenderloin community.”
The Center will be staffed by peer and community practitioners and is expected to open in mid-January. The site will ramp up to 24/7, but initial hours of operation depend on impacts from the current surge of COVID-19. Capacity will be up to 100 guests plus staff.