It all started back in the California Gold Rush (1848-1855). “Gold fever” brought 300,000 people to the Golden State from around the world. Some struck it rich. But many more fell by the wayside.
In time, many would-be goldminers ended up in San Francisco, often severely ill, destitute and needing help. In 1867, an “Almshouse” that would later become Laguna Honda Hospital opened in a four-story wood-frame building on the old San Miguel Rancho, west of Twin Peaks. In 1906, the hospital provided care and emergency housing for victims of the Great San Francisco Earthquake. Still, more room was needed, and a beautiful Spanish Revival structure was erected in 1926.
In 1956, a group of concerned citizens created the Laguna Honda Hospital Volunteers, with the goal of making life better for residents beyond medical care and treatment. And that tradition has has never stopped. In 2010, when substantial funds were needed to construct new hospital buildings, the Volunteers (renamed Friends of Laguna Honda) helped make it happen.
Working with civic leaders, millions of dollars were raised to expand and modernize the facility, which serves nearly 800 San Franciscans today. With a focus on environmental design, Laguna Honda became the first “green-certified” hospital in the state.
Situated in a peaceful, natural setting, Laguna Honda’s 16 different “neighborhoods” allow residents to live together in communities, while maintaining a degree of independence. Now part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health and still funded by the City of San Francisco, Laguna Honda is one of the nation’s largest, most modern skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, caring for severely ill, elderly and disabled people, including those facing the end of life. It continues to support the well-being of our community–a living symbol of civic pride in action.
CityBridge is proud to be part of this life-saving resource, which keeps San Francisco strong.