The Tenderloin and western SoMa are neighborhoods in transition, slowly climbing from rock bottom to livable. Renovated SROs (single-room-occupancy hotels), the primary housing in the central city, have new electricity, plumbing, elevators that work, laundry rooms and more. The housing is stabilizing the homeless, giving them a launching pad into a productive future. Also within these neighborhoods on the way up are young, affluent professionals who are buying $500,000 central city condos.
Salvation Army has a new $57 million community center/housing complex, part of the transformation of a pretty rough section of the Tenderloin. Nonprofit developers such as Community Housing Partnership, TNDC, Mercy Charities and others have become increasingly major players for housing in the city; Care Not Cash SROs are helping to improve the inner-city housing stock as homes for the homeless; late-night entertaining and daytime cultural activities are proliferating; the mammoth new Federal Building on Mission at Seventh streets is changing everything around it; the Civic Center is being upgraded and Sixth Street spruced up. Community benefit districts are now in the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and Yerba Buena Center area.
These are just some of the major changes in the neighborhood. All are signs that the inner city’s time has come. It is maturing into a government business district with nonprofits and public agencies working side by side to serve the largely fixed-income, low-income, disabled, homeless and newcomer populace. The residents are served by the hundreds of mom-and-pops, bars, restaurants and small merchants who keep most storefronts bustling.
This is a section of the city that needs a voice, especially now that so much is happening to it and around it. Because so many of the residents are poor, few vote and many are dysfunctional, they can more easily be forgotten, shunted aside, rolled over, circumvented or exploited by landlords, bureaucrats, big businesses, out-of-towners and other neighborhoods.
Central City Extra keeps residents informed about issues that affect them. It also is a forum from which otherwise unheard voices can reach decision makers able to improve life in the neighborhood.
These are our readers — the 30,000 residents on fixed low incomes who live in the Tenderloin and the Sixth Street corridor and their more affluent newcomer neighbors. Also in the heart of the city are an estimated 800 nonprofit organizations and their staff members, and more than four square blocks of public office buildings housing thousands of workers. At least 3,000 of The Extra’s current 8,000 circulation is delivered to these workers who share a common interest with the residents and service providers, their five-day-a-week neighbors.
Distribution by Neighborhood: Civic Center, South of Market and Tenderloin
Distribution by Zip Code: 94102, 94103 and 94109