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.