It was 1970 and flower children were congregating in Laguna Beach, seeking free love and LSD. The inevitable results of all that partying and mind-expanding were taking a toll on the minds and bodies of the young — and on the resources of a small community.
In response, a group of civic-minded volunteer physicians got together and founded the Laguna Beach Free Clinic, one of a larger movement of free clinics around the country that sprang up to serve a huge, unmet need. The first Free Clinic opened up at Glenneyre Street and Park Avenue, according to Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Tom Bent, who has been with the clinic since he was a volunteer doctor in the early 1980s while he was completing medical school.
The clinic eventually moved to Ocean Avenue where Anastasia's restaurant is now, before relocating to its current address, 362 Third St.