Invest Tenderloin, It's About People


Invest Tenderloin is the campaign and work program by which TLCBD will increase funding and services in quality of lives programs over the next two years leading to the TLCBD renewal in 2020.

The general theme of Invest Tenderloin is to deepen, rather than broaden our existing work while focusing on and sharing the personal stories of those affected by quality of lives programs.

We strongly believe that sustainable improvements to the quality of lives in the Tenderloin must be developed and lead by the community. It is the TLCBD’s role to provide support and leadership in working on the issues, and we task ourselves to define those areas in which we can have a direct and substantial impact and those we can provide support or service.

Some programs are already underway, while others will be phased in, based on priority and as funds are received. Invest Tenderloin will diversify TLCBD funding resources, raising approximately $1M over two years. A matrix shows in what areas funds will be implemented, with the majority—about half of new funding—invested in the Clean program. All program improvements should be in place no later than the beginning of our next fiscal year, July 1st, 2018.

Invest Tenderloin has evolved from a several month effort on behalf of the TLCBD to engage community members on quality of lives issues.

During the September 7th edition of Tenderloin Talk Live, we worked directly with community members in facilitated working groups to think through and address what Quality of Lives improvement would look like, what would be the community’s role in such improvement, and how the TLCBD might provide support and leadership to such efforts. Read more about the September event here.

In addition, TLCBD has taken account of surveys, community meetings, block safety groups, and general discussions, observations, and analysis of existing projects and programs. We can agree we don’t need another survey to tell us cleanliness and safety rank among the top of concerns.

Lastly, TLCBD staff and Board of Directors held two separate work retreats to further develop the plan that would become the Invest Tenderloin platform. Deepening our programs is about improving the experience of the sidewalk with and for ALL community members.

During the Board of Directors retreat, members were challenged to answer the following questions:

  • Quality of Lives for who?
  • How do we define Quality of Lives?
  • What is the Return on Investment in Quality of Life Programs?

The response to the question, Quality of Life for who was surmised as residents (housed and un-housed) children, seniors, families, business and organization employees.

The overall strategy of Invest Tenderloin is to increase funding to programs and projects that will greatly improve the walk along the sidewalk. One in which:

  • The sidewalk is clean of dirt, litter and free from things to step in
  • There are no unpleasant odors
  • There are clean attractive trash cans and public restrooms
  • There are places to sit
  • Seeing graffiti is unusual
  • Store fronts are clean, attractive and occupied
  • There are positive public space activations
  • You are free from being harassed by drug dealers
  • You don’t observe individuals openly using drugs

It is vital we tell the story of the Return On Investment as demonstrated in individuals’ lives. We regularly report on daily numbers such as kids and seniors served or number of needles picked up, but the true measure of our success is the positive and deep impact we have on peoples’ lives. To get a sense of how investment in quality of life programs changes lives, read here and here.

TLCBD will focus its direct leadership and resources in three areas:

I. PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT – Clean & Safe programs

II. NEIGHBORHOOD PRIDE – Community Engagement

III. ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY – Work Force Development


Clean Program:

In order to significantly increase the quality of lives, as measured by a walk down the sidewalk, cleaning investment in the Tenderloin must be increased. The goal of the TLCBD is to change the approach to the daily cleaning. We will move from a route-based system to a system where a clean team member is assigned a number of blocks that become their daily responsibility. The clean team member will get to know their neighborhood and develop a sense of ownership and pride and providing opportunity for deeper engagement with neighbors including residents and merchants.

 Safe Program:

Our direct effort at improving safety is through our Safe Passage program. Safe Passage is an intervention whereby residents create a safer environment during peak times when children and seniors are walking. Through Invest Tenderloin, we will be expanding our work in the safe areas including:

  •  Expanding the Safe Passage programs by increasing the number of paid corner captain positions.
  1. Add 2 paid corner captain positions to the afternoon school program
  2. Add 3 paid positions to the safe passage senior program to expand the morning shift and senior walking groups
  3. Add 3 paid positions to work with block safety group development
  • Daily presence of Corner Captains during 2:30 block group activations
  • Upgrade Safe Passage radio system
  • Adding to our security camera system, 6 locations-54 views each year
  • Adding a new “Director Quality of Lives” staff position to support and expand the communities block safety programs.
  • Work with City departments to improve the safety and accessibility of pedestrian movement


Neighborhood pride is all about engaging the community in the effort to improve quality of lives. TLCBD will provide leadership and resources to the community in the following areas:

  • Growing and strengthening Block Safety Groups
  • Growing Safe Passage programs and employment opportunities
  • Supporting community based cleaning and safety efforts
  • Managing a clean, safe and activated Hyde-Turk mini park.
  • Activating other public spaces
  • Leading community based special events
  • Supporting community based organizing efforts
  • Growing communication channels and frequency of communication


Expanding economic opportunity by:

  • Increasing employment opportunities with:
  1. Safe Passage
  2. Block by Block, Clean Team
  3. Downtown Streets Team      
  • Developing programs to expand the workforce development opportunities. Partnering with existing workforce development programs and employment centers.
  • Developing an outreach program to strengthen existing businesses and attract new business investment
  • Working with property owners to improve and maintain their facades

While we have divided these program areas into different categories, it’s clear that quality of life issues are complex and require a holistic approach. Usually none of these programs areas is completely independent of the other. To see how the whole picture comes together, read up on our Turk-Hyde Pilot program.

We look forward to reporting back on the progress of Invest Tenderloin. If you would like to learn more about our work plan, or want to partner directly with us, please contact us.