A Rich History of Purpose, Belief and Success

In the early 1920s, periodic efforts to create a “senior home” in Fort Dodge drew increasing support, but no funding. In 1946, incentives of 25 acres and $75,000 sparked grass roots fundraising, construction and the opening of what would ultimately become Friendship Haven.

Dream No Little Dreams

This phrase is quoted from the organization’s founder, Rev. Dr. Clarence Wesley Tompkins, a motivational and dynamic leader and Friendship Haven’s first executive director in 1947, a position which he held for 25 years. “Dream No Little Dreams” has been a guiding vision of Friendship Haven since its humble beginnings in a cow pasture more than 60 years ago. Land from the Fort Dodge Betterment Foundation, a lead gift from Mrs. O.M. Oleson, a brilliant leader Rev. Dr.Clarence Tompkins and tremendous community support made the dream for a senior home in Northwest Iowa a reality.

1950    Residents move into the East Building

1951    Friendship Haven Memorial Foundation is established

1955    Residents move into the West Building — Heritage Apartments

1959    Chapel on the Hill opens

1965    Dr. Tompkins’ dream of a geriatric health center becomes reality

1977    The first 11 of 52 town homes are occupied

1983    The Laura Epple Tompkins Special Care Unit for dementia opens

1987    The Herbert R/ Bennett Wellness Center opens for therapy

1996    Dr. Tompkins passes away on August 8. Introduction of Adult Day Services and Home Health Care

2000    Friendship Haven celebrates its 50th Anniversary — more than 5,000 residents since 1950.

2004    Building on the Dream Expansion project opens with completion of The Gardens Assisted Living, Celebration Center and Wellness/Aquatics Center

2005    Kenyon Place opens

2009    The Catalyst Rehabilitation Program launches

2010    Second Family offers in – home services and care management

2012    River Ridge Apartments opens to offer assisted living

2013    Simpson Health Center opens its doors

2013    Dedication of Tompkins Celebration Center, Tompkins Drive and Historical Display

2014    Schmoker Adult Days Services celebrates a free-standing building on campus

2017    Journeys at Friendship Haven opens the doors for enhanced memory care service

2020   Start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Campus closed to visitors.

2022   The Tom & Norma Schmoker Center is remodeled to anticipate future programs.

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