I lost my health insurance and found out I was diagnosed with HIV. I was scared and in shock when I visited the clinic. They were compassionate, welcoming and did not judge me. I still attend their weekly support group and do what I can to give back to the organization that was there for me when I needed it.
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To address the thousands of adolescents and young adults that were streaming into San Francisco for the cultural revolution of the 1960’s, Haight Ashbury Free Clinics (HAFC) opened its doors in 1967 as the first free medical clinic in the country. During the first week of operation over 400 patients were seen. HAFC has been an innovator in delivering primary health care services to many of the people who can least afford them. “Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege” has been the guiding principle as well as its famous tagline.
Walden House was founded in 1969 in the same Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco to help homeless and runaway adolescents with substance use disorder problems. Today, Walden House treats people with mental health and substance use disorder problems at various residential and outpatient centers throughout California, including in-prison treatment programs, and facilities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, providing drug and alcohol treatment and mental health, vocational and housing services for people transitioning back into their communities. Like HAFC, Walden House has always served people who are uninsured, homeless and socio-economically disenfranchised, including those with HIV/AIDS.
Haight Ashbury Free Clinics and Walden House have both grown over the years, becoming national models for community healthcare, substance use disorder treatment and mental health services. The organizations merged on July 1, 2011 to best serve the most vulnerable members of our community.
On July 1, 2012, Haight Ashbury Free Clinics – Walden House adopted a new name: HealthRIGHT 360.
HealthRIGHT 360 gives hope, builds health, and changes lives for people in need. We do this by providing compassionate, integrated care that includes primary medical, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment.