Friendship House Association of American Indians

About Us

What is your program/organization?

Friendship House Association of American Indians (FH) is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization, established in 1963 to serve American Indians who were relocated from their reservations to the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 1963, Friendship House has served more than 5,835 residential clients and hundreds of youth consumers and provided community events for countless numbers of American Indians throughout the Bay Area. Friendship House operates three program facilities: the Friendship House American Indian Healing Center that includes an 80-bed adult residential substance abuse treatment program and is located in San Francisco; the Friendship House American Indian Lodge, a 9-bed facility for women and their children, located in Oakland; and the Friendship House Youth Program, an afterschool and summertime youth center, located in San Francisco. Geographic areas served by Friendship House include San Francisco, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda and San Mateo counties. However, Friendship House outreach efforts extend beyond the Bay Area to include all of California and the Western Region of the United States.


The mission of Friendship House is to promote wellness in the American Indian community through services that address recovery and resilience. Friendship House provides community engagement services along with substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and recovery services that integrate evidence-based practices with traditional native healing methods.

Approach to programming:

Many American Indian communities, including urban settings such as Friendship House, have established tribal and intertribal practices to strengthen connections to family and community to improve the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of American Indians across the lifespan. Prayer, song, drum circle, sweat lodge ceremonies, talking circles, Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) and many other traditional methods are integral Friendship House programs.

Who We Are


Friendship House is a 24/7 days a week program and is staffed by 48 employees. Friendship House Board of Directors and Personnel have professional and cultural affiliations and extensive experience serving American Indians.


Current News

important updates

American Indian tribal and intertribal practices are integral to all that we do across: 1) the Friendship House (FH) Adult Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program, 2) the FH Youth Program and 3) the FH Community Gatherings and Celebrations Program. The Friendship House Community Defined Evidence Practice (FH CDEP) focuses on American Indian healing practices that address recovery and resilience for the target population of American Indian/Alaska Native youth and adults of FH programs. For California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) purposes, the FH CDEP utilizes a non- experimental study design, measuring variables as they naturally occur through the programs and services of Friendship House. Resilience and recovery are studied through the lens of cultural healing practices, specifically, Talking Circles, Traditional Healer Ceremony, and Sweat Lodge Ceremony. Cultural gatherings that engage the FH Youth Program and American Indian community are studied to a lesser degree.

Coming soon

Talking Circles are implemented twice a month
Sweat Lodge ceremonies are implemented twice a month
Traditional Healers group and individual ceremony services are implemented once every month across a 2-day period
Cultural Gatherings and Celebrations are provided seasonally and annually and engage community members, youth participants and their families, and program residents of the substance abuse treatment program. Upcoming: Friendship House Youth Program Presents: Pumpkin Carving & Costume Party.

Contact Us

Principal contact persons

Dorthy Lebron, PhD, Principal Investigator

Nelson Jim, LMFT, Project Director

general contact


415 865-0964

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