Children drawing with chalk
Photo: Felix Uribe, Courtesy of Tenderloin Community Benefit District

Tenderloin Community Action Plan

The plan for San Francisco’s diverse and inclusive Tenderloin neighborhood.

Mission, vision, and commitments

Our mission is to bring Tenderloin community's voice into action and transform that action into reality through investments. Our vision is for the Tenderloin to transition out of a state of crisis into a neighborhood where residents have equitable access to improved quality of life and a diverse and vibrant neighborhood for all. We aim to achieve this through facilitating community-driven initiatives, cultivating new capacities, and interagency collaborations and investments.

The Tenderloin Community Action Planning (TCAP) a neighborhood-driven collaboration between residents, community organizations, businesses, non-profit partners, led by San Francisco Planning in close coordination with many other City agencies.

The TCAP includes three components:

  1. Community Action Projects funded by Mayor Breeds allocation of $4 million to the Tenderloin in June 2022 
  2. Strategic Priorities for investments in four areas: Small Business support, Youth services, Public space planning and activation, and housing
  3. An investment blueprint through community leadership

The effort aims to focus on the needs of the neighborhood’s diverse and vulnerable populations, including: Black, American Indian, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern/Arab,  immigrants, other communities of color,  low-income people, people living with disabilities, seniors, families with children, youth, LGBTQIA++, and unsheltered residents.


The Tenderloin is a unique neighborhood with a range of perspectives, with the highest density of children in the city, and high concentrations of communities of color, seniors, people living with disabilities, artists, and community-based organizations and merchants. The neighborhood has long been a refuge for immigrants and the LGBTQ+ communities.

The Tenderloin has a long-standing history of activism and resiliency. The Uptown Historic District, the nation’s first Transgender District, North of Market Special Use District, and the Hotel Conversion Ordinance are a few examples of community-based efforts that preserve and protect affordable housing and tenants and celebrate the neighborhood’s diversity. Today, several community organizations and residents are continuing this tradition. Highlighting one of these achievements, the Tenderloin People’s Congress engaged over 1,200 community members in a conversation envisioning the neighborhood’s future in 2017, which resulted in the Vision 2020 Plan and sparked advocacy for San Francisco Planning to embark on a Tenderloin Community Action Planning process in 2021.

On December 17, 2021, Mayor Breed declared an official 90-day State of Emergency in the Tenderloin, allowing the City to waive certain laws to more quickly respond to the conditions relating to the health and safety of the people in the neighborhood. As the operational lead, the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) drafted the Tenderloin Emergency Initiative (TEI). The TEI is a three-phase plan that outlines an initial assessment of conditions, crisis operations, and plans for sustained operations in the Tenderloin to help stabilize conditions on the street.

As the TEI transitioned from crisis response operations to sustained operations over the course of the year, San Francisco Planning was asked by community members to incorporate this third phase of TEI’s sustained operations into the Tenderloin Community Planning effort. At the same time, Mayor Breed allocated $4 million to the Planning Department to fund community-sponsored projects to improve living conditions for Tenderloin residents. 

A full reflection by San Francisco Planning on City and community collaboration in the Tenderloin in 2022 can be found here

Tenderloin Neighborhood Map

The Tenderloin Neighborhood Map shares the boundaries used by San Francisco Planning and Department of Public Health for data analysis and resource allocation (bounded by Market Street, Van Ness Avenue, Powell Street, and Post Street).

Click to enlarge
Map of Tenderloin boundaries

Between the summer of 2022 and the early months of 2023, SF Planning engaged in an extensive collaborative effort with the Tenderloin community through a participatory budgeting process to identify community-sponsored initiatives and prioritize the allocation of the $4 million approved by Mayor Breed.

  • July 2022 to March 2023: Tenderloin Community Action to Reality Community Action Projects
    • Programmed Mayor Breed’s allocated $4 million by design a Participatory Budgeting process
    • Tenderloin Participatory Budgeting outreach and voting
    • Selected 21 projects
    • developed funding mechanism in partnership with four other city agencies (MOHCD, OEWD, DPH, HSA) and one consultant (United Way Bay Area) to coordinate implementation

Since then, the team has been working closely with the sponsors of these community-driven projects to support the 21 selected Community Action Grant Projects, in partnership with various City departments and United Way Bay Area.

Starting the fall of 2023, we transitioned towards the implementation phase of these projects, set to materialize over the next two years, from April 2023 to June 2025:

  • April 2023 to April 2024: Tenderloin Community Voice to Action Strategic Priorities
    • Collaborate with community to develop investment strategies on Small Business, Housing, Youth, Public Space
    • Lead working group/interagency conversations to solidify a Tenderloin focused investment plan for the next budget cycle
    • Empower community leadership to advocate for investments
  • April 2024 to April 2025: Community Empowered Tenderloin Investment Blueprint
    • Sustain a community-led and Tenderloin focused investment advocacy
    • Expand priority investment areas shaping a blueprint for local and state funding priorities

View the Overall Project Timeline

Key Strategic Areas

Simultaneously, drawing from ideas that the community had put forth in prior engagements and outreach efforts, SF Planning identified four key strategic areas: small businesses support, activation of public spaces, investments in youth programs, and housing initiatives.

For each of these areas, SF Planning has formulated a timeline for key actions and deliverables with City partners and community stakeholders (forthcoming).

Snapshot of the front page of the Tenderloin Community Action Projects

In 2022, Mayor Breed’s approved $4 million for community-driven projects in the Tenderloin, an unprecedented dedication of resources resulting from years of community organizing. San Francisco Planning led a first-of-its-kind participatory budgeting process to program these funds with 1,400 residents and workers voting on community-sponsored proposals. The selected Community Action Projects aim to enhance public spaces, promote cultural events, support youth, and enhance wellness and access to essential needs in the Tenderloin. As of October 2023, Community Action Projects have either started services or will start popping up in the neighborhood this Fall 2023.  

The implementation of these projects is made possible by interagency and cross-sector collaboration that includes San Francisco Planning, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Office of Economic Workforce Development, Department of Public Health, Human Services Agency, United Way Bay Area, as well as community leaders and entrepreneurs in the Tenderloin.

A detailed timeline of project implementation and services can be found in the Timeline tab. A full detailed description of the participatory budgeting process including various steps of outreach and engagement is documented here. The results of the process were first announced in February 2023. A comprehensive brochure of the selected projects is also available here

Collaboration for Collective Impact

Cover of Tenderloin Community Action Plan Cohort Packet

Each individual project selected as a Community Action Grant recipient contributes to capacity building within the Tenderloin, bringing unique, creative, or essential projects to the neighborhood. Together as a cohort, project sponsors are collaborating across project categories, leveraging organizational resources and experience to build collective impact. Collective impact translates to better outcomes and deeper impact achieved because of synergistic developments within the cohort.

In the most recent gathering, cohort members reaffirmed their support for the four areas TCAP cohort generally fall under: street stewardship, youth services, public space activation and improvements, and community wellness.   

The Cohort emphasized that funding for the Tenderloin needs to be rooted in addressing equity; that the solutions and investments for this neighborhood need to be at the scale of the issues on the ground. Consensus around “no cuts for the Tenderloin” was clear and strong. In addition to the Cohort, small business stakeholders of TCAP have emphasized their support for a persistent need for small business support especially along Larkin Street, as the key commercial corridor in the neighborhood. 

These conversations together highlight the following priorities amongst TCAP stakeholders:

  • Street stewardship – Maintain resources and enhance coordination amongst various resources (Urban Alchemy, Clean teams, Safe Passage, Night Navigators) for 24/7 stewardship and cleaning to create clear north-south and east-west paths for families and children in the neighborhood (examples: Leavenworth, Larkin, Ellis)
  • Youth services – Restore funding for youth programming (addressing the cuts announced as part of recently announced DCYF allocations) and elevate youth workforce development programs in the Tenderloin. 
  • Public space improvement and activation – Fund art and cultural programming on a weekly basis for activating alleyways and parks in the Tenderloin. 
  • Community wellness – Support the most vulnerable immigrant communities, specifically Arab community, with coordinated assistance to access housing and neighborhood resources.
  • Small business support – Coordinated investments and small business grants to revitalize Larkin Street as the main commercial corridor and Little Saigon.

A Resource Packet for Collaboration for the Community Action Projects Cohort is available here.

As a community-driven effort, the TCAP has relied on a variety of outreach and engagement tools and approaches, ranging from most intensive engagement tools to empower community leadership and self-determination, targeted community collaboration on strategic priorities, community consultations and listening sessions; to less intensive outreach tools to inform the community on resources and initiatives. Below are some of the major themes of outreach and engagement as part of our work. 

TCAP Outreach – Aligned with TCAP’s mission to bring Tenderloin community's voice into action, a portion of the mayor allocated $4 million was a dedicated $300,000 for sustained community engagement that is community informed and driven. The Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) was awarded the RFP for this opportunity. To maintain a diversity of voices in leading outreach and engagement in the Tenderloin, TNDC has brought on four community partner organizations including Glide, Chinatown Community Development Center, Tenderloin Community Benefit District, and St. Anthony's. Together the TCAP Outreach Partners will: 

  • assist in developing a leadership framework, 
  • provide additional community engagement and outreach 
  • support the development of a community leadership framework. 

These partners may undertake various tasks based on their capacities, including hosting meetings and fostering leadership development.

TCAP Partners the Planning Department currently meet bi-weekly to inform progress on the Tenderloin Community Action Plan (TCAP). They are currently conducting a thorough analysis of existing organized groups within the Tenderloin to help develop a leadership framework for resident outreach. 

This effort is pursuing San Francisco Planning’s community stakeholder group discussions in the Fall of 2022. After the first few meetings of a Community Stakeholder Group (see Get Involved! tab), key stakeholders requested a re-thinking of its purpose and goals. The goals and structure of the Community Stakeholder Group (CSG) were grounded in an initial framework developed in Fall 2022. As a result of feedback on the CSG through several community discussions, San Francisco Planning developed a new, draft framework for a reconstitution of the CSG early in 2023. 

Community voice landscape – Our team participates in many community-led meetings and events to continuously maintain the pulse of needs and issues in the neighborhood. These conversations helped shape the four strategic priorities and will continue to help identify areas where the community needs further interventions.  

Participatory engagement – The TCAP implemented a community-driven participatory budgeting process in Fall 2022 to inform programing the $4 million of Tenderloin funds. This first of its kind process relied on community sponsored and designed projects, and community votes to select projects to be implemented in the neighborhood. A full detailed description of the participatory budgeting process including various steps of outreach and engagement is documented here. 

Focus Groups – Our team formed and hosted focus groups conversations for two strategic priorities of small business support and youth services. The unique expertise or lived experience needed to shape the recommendations under these two priorities required bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders and community members under each of these topics. For a more detailed description of these focus groups please see the Strategic Priorities Tab.  

Work Groups – TCAP Public Space Working Group was formed for the Open Space Activation strategic priority. 16 participants, including 2 youths, were selected from the Tenderloin with diverse lived experience and expertise. For more information about the work of the working group please see the Strategic Priorities Tab.  

Open House – The Fall 2023 Update community event is the inaugural lunch of our broader report back to the community. The open house forum will provide a detailed update of our work, along with interactive information boards where community members can provide input on our progress. Stay informed about our next community open house by subscribing to our newsletter.

Years of engagement and outreach within the Tenderloin toward the development of the Tenderloin Community Action Plan enabled clear communication about community priorities for actions and investments in the neighborhood. These priorities have been distilled into four main strategic priorities: small business support, youth investments, public space and pedestrian improvements, and housing.

Small business

This priority reflects the community’s voting results during the Tenderloin participatory budgeting process, as part of the Tenderloin Community Action Plan, to build upon the diversity of the community and increase resources for small businesses.

In collaboration with Office of Economic And workforce Development, in the short term, this work aims to program $380,000 voted by Tenderloin community during the participatory budgeting process. Since summer 2023, Planning and OEWD staff have been collaborating with various community partners*. Through a series of constructive conversations and workshops, staff sought valuable guidance on shaping the City's resources towards making a positive impact in the Tenderloin community. Staff also engaged with business owners directly by participating in an event organized by Tenderloin Business Coalition, and by interviewing Vietnamese and Cantonese-speaking business owners with the support of SEACC, to ensure that our work addresses the concerns of business owners from diverse cultural backgrounds. Building upon the community voice, the stakeholder group asked for a focused investment for a more significant collective impact, and identified Larkin Street as a corridor that needs this focused investment to once again serve as a vibrant corridor for the TL.

In collaboration with OEWD and New Community Leadership Foundation (NCLF), and other community partners, SF Planning rolled out the first small business support grant – TL Business Training Grant. Seven businesses on Larkin Street were selected to receive specialized business training and individual grants of $15,000 each, totaling $105,000 in support. These businesses include Saigon Sandwich, Pho 2000, Golden Kim Tar Restaurant, Golden Lotus, J & D Hair Studio, Quong Hoa Duong Ginseng Co, and Allstar Donuts and Burgers. They represent a range of diverse services including restaurants, personal services, and an herbal store.

In tandem with the business training grant initiative mentioned above, SF Planning is collaborating with OEWD to craft two other TL specific programs to improve existing storefronts and fill vacancies along Larkin Street, with both grant programs slated for launch in the fall.

These grant programs underscore our commitment to building community capacity to support small businesses within the Tenderloin, especially on Larkin Street corridor. They complement several projects funded by OEWD and SF Planning on Larkin Street. These include: 

  • Improve public space to create an inviting and welcoming environment for residents and visitors. 
  • Activate public space including alley and streets by offering music and cultural experiences to residents and visitors.

SF Planning and OEWD are also engaging in conversations within the city and community stakeholders to seek further support and resources for Larkin Revitalization and have written a Draft of the Larkin Street Revitalization Strategy. Stay tuned for more updates on these initiatives.

Small Business Project Timeline

Summer 2023

  • Engage with OEWD, small business support stakeholders and small business owners
  • Conduct small business corridor survey

Fall-Winter 2023

  • Finalize investment framework for small business support funding
  • Program funding into OEWD’s budget

Spring-Summer 2024

  • Marketing funding programs and distribute funding Tenderloin small business community

Fall 2024

  • Monitor funding and implementation with stakeholders
  • Reprogram funding to meet community needs if necessary

Small Business Support Stakeholders that SF Planning has been collaborating include Tenderloin Community Benefit District, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, South-east Asian Community Center, New Community Leadership Foundation, Tenderloin Merchant Association, Arab Grocers Association.

More detailed information of our work in this area can be found here.

Youth investments

The Tenderloin has one of the highest concentrations of children and youth in San Francisco, especially from immigrant families. The open-air drug market and use on the streets of the Tenderloin leave youth more vulnerable and exposed to the drug scene at the margins. In conversations with youth providers and experts, we have learned that investing in youth, and especially disconnected youth, in the Tenderloin may require elevating certain priorities.

The Department of Children, Youth, and their families (DCYF) launched a request for proposals for the 2024-2029 five-year funding cycle for children, youth, transitional age youth (TAY) and their families in August of 2023, which identified an opportunity for TCAP to elevate certain youth needs.

In a partnership with DCYF, our team conducted a neighborhood-specific analysis of gaps and priorities for youth investments. In addition to DCYF’s Community Needs Assessment, these results informed DCYF in decision-making for program grants awarded to serve Tenderloin children, youth, TAY, and their families. Ahead of DCYF’s decisions, this analysis elevates the voices of Tenderloin youths and their families, especially those from immigrant households, and ensure their direct input help shape investment decisions that affect their lives and well-being.

In April 2024, the Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF), released their Request for Proposals (RFP) recipients for their 2024 2029 budget cycle, which includes over $460 million in new grant funding to support children, youth and their families in San Francisco. 

These efforts helped identify the following 6 key challenges for Tenderloin Youth. Each of these challenges informed a recommendation for DCYF.

The TCAP team will continue to engage with youth service providers and the community to elevate youth needs and identify collaborative approaches to addressing any gaps in services.

The Tenderloin Youth Services Analysis can be found here.

Public Space Improvements and Activation

TCAP has made a Public Announcement on the launch of the Tenderloin Public Space Initiative Working Group! 

The application for this working group received an impressive pool of 31 applicants. The selection process aimed to assemble a cohort with a wide range of perspectives and life experiences, enriched by passion and interest in Public Space. TCAP sought candidates from various racial, ethnic, and LGBTQ+ backgrounds, as well as spanning different age groups and educational and professional backgrounds. Additionally, it was important to ensure representation from individuals less commonly engaged in other TCAP-related initiatives as a means of building capacity and bringing additional voices to the table. As a part of the selection process, we targeted specific groups within the community, including youth, seniors, frequent public space users, artists, cultural leaders, street ambassadors, people with disabilities and those engaged with unhoused communities.   
The TCAP Public Space Working Group had their first meeting on May 30, 2024. This pilot working group is comprised of 16 participants, including 2 youths, and will focus on the following, 

  • A revitalization of the neighborhood alleys – Transform alleys into open space and recreational opportunities. 
  • The design of neighborhood gateways – to mark and celebrate the identity and strengths of the Tenderloin.
  • Placemaking on commercial corridors and public safety hot spots – to support Tenderloin residents and local businesses. 
  • Activation of underutilized lots for recreation – to increase open space and recreational access.

These efforts will focus on a placemaking approach which could be a powerful complement to enforcement and health services interventions by creating positive experiences, deterring drug dealing, and use on the sidewalks, and improving public safety, and quality of life. We aim to coordinate placemaking interventions with increased public safety enforcement from various agencies, as a neighborhood recovery strategy. In this way, we could replace drug related activities with positive neighborhood serving events and improvements. 

More detailed information of our work in this area can be found here.


Building on the Housing Element process and Home by the Bay Plan, the Tenderloin team identified community priorities from past outreach events, the Tenderloin Community Survey, and through conversations with community organizations and housing providers. These priorities are:

  1. Improve and maintain conditions of existing deeply affordable housing assets. The existing stock of deeply affordable units is at varying degrees of quality. Poor unit quality is one reason unhoused individuals reject housing offers or eventually exit their housing units back to homelessness.
  2. Protect vulnerable residents at most risk of homelessness. There is a high concentration of vulnerable residents, such as seniors, youth, individuals living with disabilities, and families with children, living in the Tenderloin. Tenderloin residents are the lowest wage earners in comparison to other San Francisco residents, therefore have a higher likelihood of facing eviction and require more protections and subsidies to stabilize them.
  3. Preserve affordability of existing assets through acquisition. Tenderloin’s housing stock consists of SROs and multifamily buildings that have lower price points compared to the rest of the city. The City’s acquisition strategy, including State investments such as Project Homekey, has intended to distribute these assets throughout the city and avoid concentrating these resources further in the Tenderloin. Tenderloin also is home to many SRO units in master leased properties in state of disrepair due to the ownership and operations structure.
  4. Expand on-site case management services, especially behavioral health and substance use. A large portion of PSH and SRO residents struggle with mental health issues and increasingly substance use disorders. Formerly unhoused individuals also require intensive care to be able to live indoors. The ratios of service providers to residents are currently low at many of these units which results in many incidents, damages, and challenges in the PSH buildings.
  5. Improve access to affordable housing suitable for families with children and Transitional Aged Youth. The Tenderloin's diverse population is uniquely comprised of special populations, which include families with children and Transitional Aged Youth, populations that are generally ignored when building housing.
  6. Reduce vacancies in existing permanent supportive housing addressing vacancies in supportive housing. High vacancy rates in PSH have been a highly discussed multi-faceted issue. Poor unit conditions are one of the main reasons for high vacancy as discussed under Priority 1. Other factors include long processing delays from the Coordinated Entry System as well as high staff turnover. Street conditions also play a major role in high vacancies.

More detailed information of our work in this area can be found here. 

Housing Project Timeline

Summer 2023

  • Housing Element Outreach: Activating Community Priorities
  • Compile feedback from outreach event
  • Validate feedback with housing partners

Fall 2023

  • Meet with City Agencies to discuss Tenderloin Housing Partners

Winter 2023-Spring 2024

  • Continue to engage with housing partners on priorities

Spring-Summer 2024

  • Review potential housing legislation and budget that impact the TL

Street Conditions

The City provides various street outreach and response efforts throughout the City, with some efforts specific to the Tenderloin.

The Joint Field Operations (JFO) is a multi-departmental effort to improve street conditions in the Tenderloin. The JFO began in January of 2022 in response to the Tenderloin Emergency Initiative. At the time, the JFO was intended to be a short-term approach to supporting individuals experiencing homelessness or struggling with substance use disorders to access resources and treatment and the Tenderloin Center (TLC). Upon the closure of the TLC, the JFO became an ongoing approach to service-linkage with a continuing component of street cleaning. The JFO functions seven days per week from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and is staffed by many city departments including the San Francisco Fire Department, SF Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, Department of Public Health, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Police Department, and the Department of Emergency Management.

You can learn more about the geography of JFO activity and view the monthly calendar listed below.

For more information on San Francisco’s array of street response efforts and what to do when you observe someone in distress on the street, please go to the city’s Okay to call/ SF Coordinated Street Response Program website.

Joint Field Operations Calendar for JUNE 2024

June 1 – Quadrant 2
June 2 – Quadrant 3
June 3 – Quadrant 1
June 4 – Quadrant 2
June 5 – Quadrant 3
June 6 – Quadrant 4
June 7 – Quadrant 1
June 8 – Quadrant 2
June 9 – Quadrant 3
June 10 – Quadrant 1
June 11 – Quadrant 2
June 12 – Quadrant 3
June 13 – Quadrant 4
June 14 – Quadrant 1
June 15 – Quadrant 2

June 16 – Quadrant 3
June 17 – Quadrant 1
June 18 – Quadrant 2
June 19 – Holiday – No JFP
June 20 – Quadrant 4
June 21 – Quadrant 1
June 22 – Quadrant 2
June 23 – Quadrant 3
June 24 – Quadrant 1
June 25 – Quadrant 2
June 26 – Quadrant 3
June 27 – Quadrant 4
June 28 – Quadrant 1
June 29 – Quadrant 2
June 30 – Quadrant 3

In March 2023, the Department of Public Health launched a reconfigured neighborhood-based street response team called Bridge Engagement Services Team (BEST) Neighborhoods. The team provides trauma-informed behavioral health assessment, engagement, and community-based therapeutic interventions 7 days a week, with a focus on clients who are unhoused, diagnosed with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder, and who are disconnected from the health care system. BEST Neighborhoods currently has two teams working primarily in the Tenderloin, SoMa, Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury areas.

San Francisco Planning’s Tenderloin team is committed to serving as a stronger conduit to elevate community priorities in addressing the street conditions in the neighborhood.

Community planning has the best outcomes when people with a broad range of perspectives and experiences contribute to the conversation. 

The Tenderloin team will be working with community partners to host community conversations to engage Tenderloin residents and neighborhood groups in ongoing initiatives.  

To receive the Tenderloin Team newsletter, please sign up for email delivery. Past Newsletters can be found below:

Past Meetings

Other Meetings and Events

Fall 2023 Update: Community Event
October 5, 2023

Participatory Budgeting Workshops
November 10, 2022 – In-Person at Boeddeker Clubhouse
November 3, 2022 – Online

Planning Commission
October 20, 2022

Community Conversations
October 5, 2021

Past Community Stakeholder Group Meetings

2022, September 15 2022, October 18 2022, November 17

Governance Structure Working Sessions

2023, January and February