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The mission of the Berkeley Free Clinic is to empower individuals and communities by providing accessible, client-centered health services and information. Since the Clinic opened, there has been an ever-present, albeit dynamic, need for its services as social conditions have undergone shifts and changes. It has become something of an icon in the area, and has served countless thousands in a variety of ways during its 45-year history. Its founding principles and structures survive to this day:
All services at the BFC emphasize education, self-knowledge, and increasing awareness and access to appropriate resources. Whenever possible, our goal is to demystify health care and other human services, both for the volunteer members of the Clinic and for clients. We believe that individuals and communities should be educated and empowered with regard to their health care. In practice, this means that we emphasize education and offer referrals to help meet any needs that are outside the scope of our services. We attempt to include our clients in their own care by inviting their input and observations, and by fully describing possible solutions to their concerns.