TLCBD's Official Letter Against 440 Turk Proposal

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Included here are the contents of a letter addressed to Mayor Edwin Lee, the Board of Supervisors, and the San Francisco Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing (HSH) regarding the Tenderloin Community Benefit District's position opposing a proposed use of 440 Turk Street as a homeless resource center:

An emergency meeting of the Board of Directors of the Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD) was held on August 7, 2017; the minutes are attached.  The Board of Directors after hearing input from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (DHSH) and residents and business owners unanimously passed the following resolution supporting the DHSH’s original proposal to site administrative offices and functions at 440 Turk Street.  However, the Board also unanimously opposed its use as a 24-hour homeless resource center (Resource Center).

Motion

“To support the original proposal by the Department of Homeless Services to site administrative offices at 440 Turk Street. And, to oppose the whereas clause, which is a modification of the use of the site to include a Homeless Resource Center at 440 Turk Street.”

The TLCBD believes that a change of use to a Resource Center from the initially approved use for administrative functions would be inappropriate and not in the best interests of the community we represent – property owners, business owners and residents. The Board's decision was based upon a number of factors which include:

·      The block in question has the second highest concentration of residential dwelling units in the Tenderloin. The services and hours proposed in the change of use would negatively affect the quality of life for our residents many of whom are seniors or families with children.

·      Most, if not all, of the services proposed for the DHSH site at 440 Turk are already provided by existing non-profit organizations in the Tenderloin. We would recommend that existing services be better supported and coordinated before new services are added.

·      Small businesses in the area, especially those located on Turk and Larkin Streets and the Tenderloin Elementary School, would be negatively affected by the proposed uses.

·      The proposed services would attract users and clients from outside the Tenderloin to a neighborhood that already has the highest number of service providers of any neighborhood in the City.  While we are a compassionate neighborhood, there are limits if we are to become a truly livable neighborhood for all.

·      The proposed new Resource Center would increase an already negative quality of life and exacerbate existing street safety issues today prevalent in and around the 440 Turk Street site. Observations drawn from other service locations would suggest that the impact of a new Resource Center would only compound a situation that is currently unacceptable and most certainly would do nothing to improve existing conditions.

·      Before any new City services are located in the Tenderloin, we must stabilize existing conditions as the current level of crime and street level quality of life issues is unacceptable and would not be tolerated in any other neighborhood.  SFPD would use this service center as a city-wide resource with officers from precincts all over the City dropping off people at all hours who are causing problems and distress in other neighborhoods and adding to the strain on an already overburdened Tenderloin community.

The TLCBD is committed to help facilitate a true community process that allows meaningful community input to help identify new services and service locations that will support community needs. Because of the lack of initial community outreach, the lack of transparency in revealing, much less discussing, actual plans, and what we perceive as a general sense of disrespect toward our Tenderloin community, the trust that is needed to sincerely and meaningfully engage with the DHSH outreach process is lacking.

The stakeholders in the Tenderloin, the housed and unhoused, are forced to experience, on a daily basis, the lowest quality of life and the highest level of crime of any neighborhood in the City. The City’s resources as well as those of the neighborhood must be directed toward reducing crime and improving the quality of life in the Tenderloin. We owe it to the families, children and seniors, housed and unhoused, that call the Tenderloin home.