Prop I Notice: Tenderloin Linkage Center lease extension

SF Public Health and Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH), in collaboration with other City agencies, are seeking to extend the lease of the Tenderloin Linkage Center

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Community Meeting (to be held virtually): Friday, April 1, 2022 12:00 p.m.

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This proposed project will be heard by the Budget & Finance Committee no earlier than April 13, 2022.

It will then be considered by the full Board of Supervisors for approval no earlier than April 19, 2022.

Status: Pending

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the proposed project at Tenderloin Linkage Center, who will it serve?

A: TheTenderloin Linkage Center at 1170 & 1172 Market Street (UN Plaza)will extend its use as a space for housed and unhoused residents of the Tenderloin.

The purpose of this linkage center is to:

  • Provide a safe, welcoming space for people who suffer from substance use disorder in the Tenderloin to go where they can access hygiene and dignity services as well as social space.
  • Be a “one stop shop” for people who are ready to access city health and human services programs to link to those services easily and quickly

Q: What is a Linkage Center?

A: The Linkage Center, a component of the Tenderloin Emergency Initiative, aims to promote a thriving community and save lives through overdose prevention and connecting people to care and services. The Center helps mitigate the widespread open-air drug use and lack of easily accessible pop-up resources for people in need in the Tenderloin. The Center is a services-focused location where people can voluntarily go to find respite from the streets and gain access to a wide variety of resources from the City and its partners.

Q: Who is at the Linkage Center?

  • Adult Probation Department – Reentry Division
  • Code Tenderloin
  • Dignity on Wheels
  • Dolores Street Community Services 
  • Episcopal Community Services
  • HealthRight 360
  • Homeless Outreach Team (SF HOT)
  • Project Homeless Connect
  • Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS) 
  • San Francisco Community Health Center (SFCHC)
  • San Francisco Human Services Agency (HSA)
  • San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH)
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH)
  • University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
  • Urban Alchemy

Q: Why will the City extend the lease of the Tenderloin Linkage Center?

A: Because it includes:

  • Indoor and outdoor space
  • Daily operations, with staffing by DPH, HSH, ADP, HSA, and community partners with learned experience and training
  • Foot or vehicle escorts available for street to site and site to programs as needed
  • Capacity of up to 100 guests plus staff

Q: What is the process for approval and moving forward? Also, what is the timeline?

A: HSH is required by Chapter 79 in the Administrative Code (Prop I) to provide 30-day notice for change of use of an existing site.

This requirement was fulfilled on March 21, 2022, through public notices, Prop I letter, and the forthcoming community meeting. Additional information about Prop I notifications and public meetings for proposed projects can be found at HSH’s website at:

The community meeting for this project will be held on Friday, April 1, 2022, at 12:00 p.m.

This meeting will be held virtually and can be accessed via Zoom.

Q: What is the site currently being used for?

A: The site currently operates as a Linkage Center with two levels of services open to all guests of the center:

  • Level 1 – Basic services. Food, water, hygiene services, personal protective equipment, clothing, pest treatment, activities and programming, social space, laundry, showers, animal care, wound care supplies, and more.
  • Level 2 – Linkage to programs. For those guests who are ready to connect to shorter long-term services, care, or programs offered by the city or its partners, representatives will be available to provide information and intake to these programs.

Q: Is the City leasing this site? If so, for how long?If the City isn’t leasing, who is?

A: Yes, the lease will be extended until the end of the calendar year.

Q: Who are the target guests of this site?

A: All are welcome at the Tenderloin Linkage Center. More specifically, this site is being established to support housed and unhoused residents of the Tenderloin who are seeking a safe space to find respite from the streets, or who wish to engage in the wide array of available resources and services that the City has to offer. Community organizations or field outreach teams in the Tenderloin can call for foot or vehicle escorts for those who wish to connect to the Center. Housed or unhoused residents may also self-present at the site without an escort or referral.

Q: What model(s) is this site based on?

A: This center reflects the Street-Level Drug Dealing Task Force recommendation to establish “a 24/7 location in the Tenderloin for low barrier substance use treatment and referrals to other types of treatment.” This site is a services-focused location where people can voluntarily go to find respite from the streets and gain access to a wide variety of resources from the city and its partners. While this site’s dual purpose as respite for those suffering with substance use disorder as well as linkage to the comprehensive services and programs is unique, components of the site are similar to diversion, navigation, and triage centers in major cities across the country.

Q: How does it fit in with what we have been hearing about law enforcement in the Tenderloin?

A: The purpose of the Linkage Center is to provide respite and resources for those suffering from substance use disorder rather than threatening them with law enforcement. This site is meant as an alternative to engagement with law enforcement by providing a safe alternative space for people to go. While police can refer potential guests to the site, their primary focus for enforcement activities will be violent crime and drug dealing.

Q: What does the Center allow us to do that we can’t already do?

A: The facility will create a safe place for people in need of services to be off the streets during the day and evening hours. We have not had a 24/7 center like this before. It will also function as a one-stop location that encompasses the multitude of health, social, homeless, and re-entry services and programs that exist across the city but are not always easy to understand or access.

Q: Will drug use be allowed on site?

A: This is not the city’s safe consumption site. The site will not include medical oversight for safe drug use. However, guests may arrive at the facility after having used drugs. In order to promote safety, site staff will include community and peers who are trained in overdose prevention and harm reduction to monitor and engage with guests who may be experiencing the effects of recent drug or other substance use.

Q: How will the site affect UN Plaza and the surrounding area?

A:The Linkage Center is a key component of the Tenderloin Emergency Initiative. On its own, the site will not be the sole solution to conditions impacting UN Plaza. However, the development of the facility and its adjacent structures focuses substantial attention to the area of UN Plaza and will include a path of travel and general surrounding vicinity that is clear of illegal activity. This includes attention to the UN Plaza fountain, the BART entrances, and known locations of drug dealing and illegal vending. Additionally, the return of Urban Alchemy to UN Plaza as part of the Mid Market/Tenderloin Community-Based Safety Program and the staffed Linkage Center will assist in keeping the Plaza area clear of harmful activity.

Q: Will this become the Safe Consumption site?

A: This will not become the Safe Consumption site. The City is in development for a contract for a different building to become that facility.

Q: How has the community been engaged in this process?

A: Representatives of community-serving organizations, community benefit districts, residents, and merchants have engaged with the dynamic and iterative process of the Tenderloin Emergency Intervention plan, including the development of the Linkage Center. Site staff, including escorts, will be provided by community-based organizations and city staff, and the outreach and engagement strategy is being prepared and led by community organizations already engaged in the Tenderloin. As the site is activated and ramps up, the plan will adjust as necessary to ensure it meets the needs of the Tenderloin community.

Flyer for posting

Here is the flyer that has been posted around San Francisco

Last updated March 31, 2022