“We were hippies,” says Barbara Davis. They were anti-establishment, bend the rules, roll up your sleeves and get things done without infringing on anyone else’s rights kind of people.
Picture a medical clinic with a handful of long-haired doctors, nurses and a social worker in a church basement. Mattresses on the floor served as the waiting room chairs; sheets hanging from the ceiling delineated the different exam rooms. A card table served as the front desk.
The staff members put in their own money to buy the supplies or rounded up free samples to start what was then called the People’s Free Clinic in 1970.
They opened up the clinic one night a week for a handful of hours. That first night, the accounts differ, but Davis thinks they had about 27 people come through the basement clinic they set up at Congregational Church off 23rd Street near the University