SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, January 18, operations begin at the Tenderloin Linkage Center. The newly opened Tenderloin Linkage Center is vital to San Francisco’s Tenderloin Emergency Initiative that is focused on promoting a thriving community and saving lives through overdose prevention and connecting individuals to care and services.
“Our work in the Tenderloin requires all of our City departments and community partners working together to address the major challenges we know exist,” said Mayor Breed. “As part of that work, this Linkage Center will help us create a space for people who are struggling with addiction and other challenges to get immediate support, and then transition into longer term care and housing. This is hard work, and I appreciate everyone joining in partnership to make a difference for the people of the Tenderloin.”
The Center, located at 1172 Market Street, will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and have reduced capacity due to the impacts of COVID-19 on staffing availability. The Center will expand to operate 24 hours-a-day and 7 days-a-week and have the capacity to serve 100 guests at a time.
The Tenderloin Linkage Center provides services for those ready to access San Francisco’s health and human service resources easily and quickly. Services include hot food; water; hygiene services such as laundry, bathrooms, and showers; personal protective equipment (PPE); and more are available at the Center. Weekly wellness programs will be hosted here to provide services like COVID-19 vaccination and testing as well as HIV and Hepatitis C testing. The new Tenderloin Linkage Center will connect people to short- and long-term services, care, and programs. Programs and services include, but are not limited to:
-Behavioral health care
-Sobering, detox and respite
-Substance use treatment
-Therapy and mentoring
-Child and family care
People can self-present to the Center or arrive via vehicle or foot escort from a community partner, if requested. San Francisco outreach teams, first responders or community service providers encounter people on the street who may benefit from this Center can call upon a health or social services partner to provide more information and an escort to the site, if desired. People may come and go freely to and from the Center.
“A drop-in center where people can get off the streets and immediately linked to services, placements and care, without delay or bureaucracy is something we desperately need,” said SF Board of Supervisor Matt Haney. “The City is facing a deadly, devastating drug epidemic, and we must do everything we can to save lives and provide relief and healing to a part of the city that has been so heavily impacted. The Tenderloin Linkage Center will absolutely support us in doing that.”
“I am optimistic that the new linkage center will provide new and useful services for Tenderloin residents who are battling mental illness and drug addiction. I am also watching its success closely to see if it could be converted into a Citywide resource as the permanent site of the upcoming Mental Health SF Service Center,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
“Trying to move forward on the road to recovery is difficult and is even more challenging without support. The people and programs at the Tenderloin Linkage Center can help a person suffering with addiction, mental health challenges and homelessness take that next step,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. “San Francisco’s emergency declaration made it possible to open this life-saving resource so quickly but it was the tireless work and commitment of community partners and City staff that made it a reality. As we progress on the Tenderloin Emergency Initiative, we must continue to work together to promote a thriving Tenderloin.”
Tenderloin Linkage Center staff, including escorts are provided by community-based organizations including HealthRIGHT 360, Urban Alchemy and Project Homeless Connect.
“We are proud to join community partners and City agencies today as we open the doors of the Linkage Center and welcome our Tenderloin neighbors indoors to a safe space with access to an array of services,” said Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “The Linkage Center offers a form of radical hospitality so that those who use substances do not face judgement or stigma and instead are welcomed with warm meals, showers, social activities, and much more. Trained site staff will provide overdose prevention supplies, connections to treatment and care, and meet clients where they are in their path to wellness.”
“The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is proud to partner with City agencies and community organizations to provide a much-needed space for people in the community to rapidly connect to public services,” said Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. “Access to shelter, treatment, and care is essential to address the crisis on the streets of the Tenderloin.”
“The Mayor has recognized the overdose crisis we are facing as a city,” said Dr. Vitka Eisen, CEO, HealthRIGHT 360. “We are committed to doing everything we can to help stem the tide and tragedy of these deaths, and connect people to care, with love and compassion.”
San Francisco continued to prioritize and coordinate resources to address the challenges facing the Tenderloin as part of the broader intervention. Since December 13, 2021, joint operations from city and non-city staff have:
-Placed 114 people living on the streets into shelter including hotels, congregate, navigation center and emergency shelter.
-Referred or transported 378 people from the Tenderloin to medical, mental health, or substance use disorder treatment through street crisis and outreach teams.
-Made 52 arrests for drug dealing related offenses including over 5,267 grams of fentanyl seized.
-Assessed, repaired, and hardened 26 different street light locations in the Tenderloin in the last month, including at the intersection of Turk and Hyde.
Responded to 2,373 requests for service in the Tenderloin District including removing 1,147 tons of waste and power washing 758 locations.
For more details on the Tenderloin Emergency Initiative, including weekly situation reports, visit sf.gov/TenderloinInitiative.
TENDERLOIN LINKAGE CENTER B-ROLL AND PHOTOGRAPHY
To respect guest privacy at the Tenderloin Linkage Center, San Francisco will not provide media tours of the center. They are providing b-roll and photography of the center.
Tenderloin Linkage Center B-Roll and Photography: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xad365zjgvyk6yv/AACMf2OOQwdZcOubWXpnDoe4a?dl=0.