The volunteers were committed to establishing a lesbian health service to provide quality, affordable, nonjudgmental comprehensive health care and health education for lesbians. They agreed to open a clinic, and name it after Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, lesbian activists in the city of San Francisco whose lives and work are intertwined with their enduring dedication to social justice.
Lyon-Martin opened its doors in February of 1980, operating two evenings per week with an all-volunteer staff. After several months, it became clear that a full-time clinic was needed in order to provide continuity of care and adequate follow-up of the diverse medical problems seen in the patients. A permanent space was sought and found on Fillmore Street, where Lyon-Martin began operating 5 days, plus two evenings per week, with both paid and volunteer staffing.
After 2 ½ years on Fillmore, Lyon-Martin again outgrew its space and relocated to Mission Street in the Los Portales Medical Building. Several years later, Lyon-Martin moved to Market Street where it operated until late 2017.