SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The City and County of San Francisco exceeded its goal of hiring 200 health workers to meet the needs of the beleaguered Tenderloin neighborhood, according to a press release Friday morning.

The department of public health hired 204 total workers who’ve been hired to support those experiencing homelessness, or who have mental health or substance abuse disorders.

In February, KRON4 reported that the first hundred had been hired.

FILE – In this July 25, 2019, file photo, sleeping people, discarded clothes and used needles are seen on a street in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Janie Har, File)

One reason Mayor London Breed declared an emergency in the downtown neighborhood was to expedite the hiring of these workers, which would have taken months if a declaration hadn’t been made, according to her office.

“We are thrilled to welcome in so many new people and see such energy and enthusiasm to better the health and wellbeing of San Franciscans,” stated Dr. Hillary Kunins, Director of Behavioral Health Services, inn the press release. “We have staffed up to a level that can begin to address the scale of need we see in our communities around mental health and substance use. The city has focused many resources toward addressing these critical needs, and now we have new staff members to join us in making it happen.”

The news release goes on to state that “The new staff include behavioral health clinicians, pharmacists, health workers, and others who will build out effective programs and services that can reach people where they are.”

Some of the new workers will be at the Tenderloin Linkage Center near Civic Center, and others will be at the office of coordinated care, part of the Mental Health SF initiative.

“The newly hired public health staff will play critical roles in the City’s response to save lives and support people with complex behavioral health needs by providing access to care, treatment, and connections to other needed services,” the press release states. “Under the emergency powers, SFDPH and [the department off human resources] streamlined the City’s hiring process while adhering to competitive, fair, and equity-based selection processes. SFDPH is working to build upon this hiring success and will continue to eliminate redundancies and combine onboarding activities wherever possible.

The state of emergency expired last month. Breed put her political fortunes in the city’s ability to address the evident mental health, homelessness, and drug crises in the Tenderloin.