Founded in 1973 by Brother William Geenen, CSC, to help older adults in Southwest Florida live with dignity and independence, the Friendship Centers quickly led the way in developing innovative, cost-effective solutions to the challenges of aging. A belief in “People Helping People” focusing on volunteerism, has shaped the organization since its inception, creating a national model for the delivery of services to older adults.
The Collier County component of Senior Friendship Centers, Inc. was established in 1985 with the vision of providing comprehensive medical and dental care to the aging population in Collier County. This task started in the old Baptist Chapel on 7th Avenue in the heart of Naples, land purchased with funds raised in the community and with the remainder of the funds utilized to establish an endowment fund that sustained the facility’s operations through 2006.
In 2006 Senior Friendship Health Center faced funding challenges and in order to save the facility and continue to provide services to the community SFHC sold the Chapel opting to lease space off of Pine Ridge Road and place the remaining 1.2 million into an endowment. This endowment remains today and provides 5% towards the operating expenses of Senior Friendship Health Center.
January 2016 marked the start of a new chapter for Senior Friendship Health Center and the opening of our new shared facility located off of Airport-Pulling Road. This site, a collaborative between the Health Care Network of Southwest Florida, Florida State University, and Senior Friendship Health Center, aims to comprehensively care for the underserved aging population in Collier County. This innovative center utilizes each organizations strengths to provide the full continuum of care including geriatric primary care, multi-specialty medical care, dental care, patient education, and community resources.