A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
PSYCHIATRIC FOUNDATION OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (PFNC)
The organization started because a patient of Dr. Robert Kimmich wanted to make a tax-deductible gift to NCPS around 1993. A lot of legal work and time were put into establishing PFNC as a 501(c)3 organization so that gifts became tax-deductible.
In the early years of the Foundation the funds that it received (almost entirely from psychiatrists) were spent on a resident award for a research paper, and then on stipends to residents to attend the NCPS Annual Meeting. PFNC participated in (but didn't initiate) the making of a movie documentary, an art show related to emotionally disturbed children, and depression screening programs.
Then, Mrs. Mary Jane Brinton decided to give funds to PFNC and about $20,000 went to the Brinton Education Fund. She had more money she wanted to give, and several suggestions were made, not all of which had to do with direct service. The PFNC Board decided that the program that would have the most direct impact would be a homeless project, an area of Mrs. Brinton’s interest. At the time there was disagreement on the Board about whether a direct service project was a good idea. For 10 years, Mrs. Brinton gave about $100,000 a year to the Brinton Psychiatric Homeless Project (BPHP).
The PFNC Board was then able to raise funds from other foundations. PFNC received about $350,000 from The California Endowment, specifically for the Brinton Psychiatric Homeless Project. PFNC also received $50,000 from the Kaiser Foundation for the Golden Gate Bridge Barrier project, as well as $20,000 from a community foundation related to St. Francis Hospital.
During the time that PFNC operated out of the NCPS office, rent and operating costs for administering PFNC were paid to NCPS. In 2004, when PFNC moved to a separate office space in order to be closer to its homeless project staff, those funds were no longer paid to NCPS. In 2010 the PFNC staff was laid off and the office closed when Mrs. Brinton decided to wind up her philanthropic affairs and ceased to fund the BPHP. She died a few months later at age 88.
At this time PFNC continues its work on the Golden Gate Bridge Barrier Project, headed by Dr. Mel Blaustein, and hopes to continue the NCPS Residents Stipend Project. New sources of funding and new projects will be developed.