The first ever Linkage Center opened its doors in Tenderloin on Tuesday as the city, with the leadership of San Francisco Mayor London Breed, moves to address what she calls a state of emergency in the neighborhood, KPIX 5 reported.
People who are struggling with mental health concerns and drug use can be accommodated, up to 100 persons at a time, in the center at 1172 Market St.
The space forms part of the Tenderloin Emergency Intervention plan introduced by the mayor to solve problems in the neighborhood, including overdose deaths, drug use, and crime. The city’s Board of Supervisors approved the plan last month.
“Our work in the Tenderloin requires all of our city departments and community partners working together to address the major challenges we know exist,” the mayor said in a statement. “This is hard work, and I appreciate everyone joining in partnership to make a difference for the people of the Tenderloin.”
The center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. between seven days but with limited workers. A 24-hour operation is eyed soon for the space to cater to more persons in need of its services.
According to city officials, the center will connect persons with services and will also provide basic needs to the homeless.
“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,” Supervisor Matt Haney said. “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 San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Department of Emergency management oversees the center’s operations.