The idea for the Women’s Clinic began in fall of 1996. During that time, there was steady discussion of specifically reaching out to women and children, who normally comprised a minority at the regular Tuesday night General Clinic. The reason for this most likely stems from the fact that the General Clinic is open during the evening, and is therefore unsafe or inconvenient for that particular population to utilize.
In an effort to address these concerns, a expansion of the General Clinic was put into place on Monday afternoons at the Berkeley Free Clinic drop-in center. After a semester-long trial run, it was found that the new ‘Expansion Clinic’ was not accomplishing its original goals. Following a six month hiatus of re-planning, the new drop-in center was re-opened at the Dwight Way Women’s Shelter in the spring of 1998.
The only parking is on the streets. To enter, go down the walkway on the west side of the building and ring the bell to the door on the left. Shelter staff will let you in. The Women’s Clinic mainly serves the group of women who seek assistance at the Dwight Way Women’s Shelter, caring for roughly thirty clients per night on average. Nevertheless, all services are available to nonresidents, provided on a first-come, first-served basis with a priority to clients who have not previously received services.
- Medical services
- Optometry (appointment referrals) provides a preliminary eye examination for clients at the clinic site given by graduate students in the UCB School of Optometry. Clients needing glasses as diagnosed and then scheduled for a full eye examination at the Meredith W. Morgan University Eye Center on the UC Berkeley campus.
- Chiropractic (biweekly) services provide adjustments given by volunteer professional chiropractors from the community. They mostly treat clients who suffer from minor back pain. Treatment consists of a chiropractic adjustment (directed and controlled pressure of individual spinal bones to their specific positions). Other additional treatments include ice, heat, nutritional advice, and exercise.
- Legal services
- A masseuse or UC Berkeley volunteers and students from Health and Medical Sciences 98/198 provide massage to relax muscle tension.
- Manicure, pedicure and nail painting
- Foot Care has volunteer students provide gentle podiatric care, hand out nail clippers, emery boards and anti-fungal to our clients, who often walk for hours and have limited access to showers
- Health education and hygiene supplies
- Children’s activities and services
- Continuity of Care Advocates (CoCA)