The Foundation for Mental Health, Inc., now known as the David Lawrence Foundation, was formed and in 1976 and incorporated in 1977. At the time, the not-for-profit was one of the first Foundations in the country whose purpose was to help a publicly funded community mental health center through private fundraising. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated millions of dollars for the Center for both operations and capital needs.
In 1980, the Foundation embarked on its first Endowment Campaign called the Foundation for Mental Health Fund with a goal of raising $1,000,000. Throughout the 80’s, this fund and other fundraising initiatives helped the Foundation achieve their fundraising goals to complete the build out of the Center’s main campus on Golden Gate Parkway and acquire and construct the Center’s new satellite location on Horseshoe Drive.
In 1980, the Foundation opened Encore, a furniture resale shop on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. Also in the early 80’s the Foundation Auxiliary was formed whose main purpose was to staff the resale shop and manage the day to day operations of Encore. This army of volunteers also helped with public awareness events and community involvement activities.
Due to the popularity of Encore and the increasing demand for quality resale furniture, the Foundation later built a large, department store style, location of Encore on Davis Boulevard and the Foundation’s main offices were consolidated to that location.
In the 1990’s, the Foundation raised a significant amount of money to help with the Center’s increasing need for facility expansion. The Foundation raised funds to help the Center acquire the new satellite office location on Tamiami Trail North, expand the Bridges program, and fund the expansion of the new Detoxification Unit.
In 2000, the David Lawrence Foundation began the Restoring and Rebuilding Lives Campaign to increase its endowment fund. The goal of the campaign was to raise $6,000,000.
In 2004, the Foundation acquired a 5-acre parcel located just down the road from the main DLC Campus on Golden Gate Parkway for the Center’s future development and expansion needs.
In 2009, the Foundation donated more than $1,000,000 towards facility expansion and improvements projects of several buildings on the main campus including the Children’s Outpatient Services Center, Access and Urgent Care Building and the Emergency Services Assessment Center. In addition, the Foundation provided $150,000 towards a matching grant with the Naples Children and Education Foundation to fund one bed on the Children’s Crisis Stabilization Unit.
The Foundation continues to work hard to meet the growing financial needs of the David Lawrence Center. In addition to the continued operating support the Foundation provides to the Center each year, the Foundation is working on a long-term strategic plan to help meet the Center’s facility expansion requirements.