A son was born, but his father thought the sky had fallen. Everything looked dark in his life because his son was not like other children. The son, born in a time when people felt there was no chance for a child with Down’s Syndrome to live a normal life in the community, was raised with love by mother and father.
Believing in the Lord’s words and ways, they watched their son grow. The years passed and the father prayed that GOD would “loosen the son’s tongue”. He wanted his son to be able to say what he wanted, to share his feelings, his dreams, and his fears. Father and mother realized that the good Lord had other plans. They were to be his voice and the voice of many other children. They would give hope and courage to people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Thinking about their son’s future and their increasing age, they pursued a vision. The father started by telling his story and expressing their dream to community members about providing a home. A home where people with developmental disabilities could live, grow, be guided, and be loved unconditionally. With a $100.00 donation the dream started. The pursuit of the dream did not come easily. Setbacks, delays, and heartaches were met along the way. The struggles and negativity were met head-on. Each challenge faced was turned into an opportunity. With these opportunities, Friendship Haven was founded in 1973 by Loren and Lil Petersen.
In 1975, Friendship Haven began serving 14 people in the community of Sherburn, Minnesota, expanding service to 20 people in 1978. During 1990, the ICF/MR was converted to a class B facility and waivered services began in Martin County. Additional waivered services began in Watonwan County in 1991 and Jackson County in 1992. In 1993, Friendship Haven, Inc. officially changed its name to Community Options & Resources (COR).
A core of team members wrote a Mission Statement reflecting Loren and Lil's dream.
The Mission Statement reads "To provide a service promoting the ability of each individual to lead a productive and enjoyable life in all environments with the support of professionally skilled staff.”
These words don't just sit on paper. They are alive and lived every day by people receiving services, staff, managers, board members, friends, and family.
Opportunities are presented, struggles are faced, and accomplishments, no matter how small, are seen and celbrated.
COR continues to carry out Loren and Lil's dream to give people with disabilities a place to live, grow, be guided, loved, and most of all, they have a place to call home.