Tenderloin Center shuts down $22 million open-air drug market trends now
San Francisco's open-air drug market in the Tenderloin District has closed less than a year after opening to the public.
The site, opened by San Francisco Mayor London Breed earlier this year as a way to tackle the city's ongoing drug crisis, cost about $22million to operate.
The Tenderloin Center, an addiction services site was often referred to as a 'safe place' for addicts to 'get high without getting robbed,' according to one person who used the center.
In the first four months of the center's opening, the open-air drug market also referred just 18 people of the more than 23,000 it welcomed.
Overall less than one per cent of visits ended in a 'completed linkage' to behavioral health programs.
City leaders, including Breed, now say the site was a 'temporary solution' offered up as a way to avoid the more than 640 overdose deaths San Francisco saw in 2021.
The Tenderloin Center appeared deserted Monday when local media checked out the site
A woman is pictured injecting herself with drugs close to San Francisco's Tenderloin Linkage Center in January
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This chart shows the number of accidental overdoses in San Francisco throughout the year
Despite their efforts, 2022 has been nearly just as deadly as more than 500 people have died from overdoses throughout the Northern California city. In 2021, the city recorded 641 total deaths.
Officials had also hoped the site would offer a place to deal with the homeless crisis the city has faced in recent months and years.
Some estimates indicate that hundreds of people visited the Tenderloin Center while it was open and more than 350 overdoses were reversed at the location.
Workers were seen handing out pamphlets to those outside of the open-air drug market, referring them to other places where they can obtain vital resources.
Breed and others have not announced plans for a similar site at this time.
The closure, which debuted to mixed-reactions, now has some thanking the mayor while others criticize her for taking away what they say is a critical resource.
Others, however, described it as a massive waste of taxpayer dollars.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed has been harshly criticized over her open-air drug markets which some described as a place for homeless individuals to get high without getting robbed
These charts from the City of San Francisco show the preliminary data surrounding overdoses through November
'This has been something we've been demanding from the mayor for months,' said San Francisco city supervisor Dean Preston in an interview with ABC7, who also said they have 'hundreds of people' relying on it.
Dr. Hillary Kunins, an official with the San Francisco Department of Public Health said the center closed for multiple reasons, including a $75,000 a month lease that was ending.
'The Tenderloin center was also