Haightashbury Free Clinic

The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic (558 Clayton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117; 415-487-5632) was founded in June 1967 by David E. Smith, M.D., with the help of other physicians from the University of California Medical School at San Francisco and community volunteers to provide medical services for the waves of young people, known as hippies, who came to San Francisco during the ''Summer of Love.'' These young people often lived in crowded, unhygienic conditions and were vulnerable to respiratory, skin, and sexually transmitted diseases. The Free Clinic offered an alternative to an established medical care system that members of the Counterculture saw as difficult to access, dehumanizing, unresponsive, and often judgmental about their nontraditional lives. The clinic s philosophy included beliefs that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that it should be free and nonjudgmental.

The free clinic became a source of innovative drug-abuse treatment, where many health professionals received their early field training, and treatment approaches were developed for the

Detoxification of Opioid, Sedative-Hypnotic, stimulant, and Psychoactive drug abusers. Today, Haight-Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc., provides a full spectrum of community medical services to an ethnically mixed population of the working poor, the unemployed, and the Homeless.

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