The Berkeley Free Clinic was founded in 1969 as a "street medicine" clinic that quickly found a niche and a permanent home in the Berkeley community. It has become an icon in the area, and has served countless thousands in a variety of ways during its 40-year history.
Fees have never been charged for any services, materials, medications or supplies provided at the Berkeley Free Clinic. Income has been generated solely via individual or organizational donations and government programs.
An emphasis on education, self-knowledge and an increasing awareness of appropriate resources infuses all of our medical, dental, counseling, and information/referral services. Direct services are provided almost exclusively by volunteer lay health care workers. Volunteers receive extensive and specific training in classroom and clinical settings. Whenever possible, our goal is to demystify health care and other human services, both for volunteers of the Clinic and for clients.
At the Berkeley Free Clinic, we treat each client with respect and dignity and view their needs within the larger context of their unique circumstances and access to resources. Treatments, referrals and guidance are provided in a client-centered context, and are appropriate to their lifestyle, culture, language and financial situation. We attempt to include clients as thoroughly as possible in their health care process.
The mission of the Berkeley Free Clinic is to empower individuals and communities by providing accessible, client-centered health services and information.
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Our approach to healthcare is guided by:
A community that is empowered to sustain its own health.