Rampant drug overdoses in the Tenderloin district led San Francisco Mayor London Breed to declare a state of emergency in December of 2021. The following month, the city established the Tenderloin Linkage Center (TLC) to address the opioid crisis and chronic homelessness. The TLC connected people to health care services, housing assistance, clean needles, safe injection sites, and drug overdose reversals. Despite providing treatment to over 100,000 people suffering from addiction, the center permanently shut its doors in December of 2022, leading to a significant increase in monthly drug overdose rates. According to the medical examiner’s report, the overdose crisis in San Francisco is spiking with nearly 500 deaths recorded from January to August of 2023.
Tenderloin residents feel like they are once again forgotten in the golden city.
Kevin Mackey, a San Francisco born-and-raised resident living in the Tenderloin, frequented the TLC to access social services before the center was permanently removed. Open air substance abuse and drug overdoses are now ever-present as Mackey navigates the neighborhood on his road to recovery. He is working to better himself, and he enjoys reading magazines, playing basketball, and wandering through the city to pass the time. Although he knows a majority of his neighbors, Mackey lives in solitude, often staring through the building windows in contemplation as he reflects on his life decisions.
Back to Top