Oklahoma Knights of Columbus members had a dream – a warm loving environment where intellectually disabled adults could thrive. In the 1970s, most people with developmental disabilities were living in nursing homes or state-operated facilities. They knew firsthand there wasn’t a place specifically suited to meet the needs of the intellectually disabled community, and that weighed heavily on their hearts. In 1975, they set a plan in motion and took the first step toward the establishment of Center of Family Love.
Over the next five years, the Oklahoma Knights of Columbus launched a statewide grassroots effort to raised 1.5 million dollars. The financial blessings came in all amounts; and every single donation received was a blessing. Center of Family Love was named and created as a non-profit organization.
In 1981 the facility was ready for the first 48 residents. The new 20 acre campus consisted of an administration building and two residential halls. Through a grant from the Mabee Foundation a gymnasium and classrooms were added. Eventually, more foundation grants were received to expand capacity with two new group homes at the Center, a 6-bed facility in Yukon and two group homes in El Reno along with vocational centers offing job opportunities for residents.
In 1986, the Kristy Wittrock Memorial Greenhouse opened as a memorial gift by the Wittrock family. In 2000, Center of Family Love opened a 16-bed Loosen Geriatric Center. The Loosen Center is the only geriatric nursing center in the State of Oklahoma specifically designed for intellectually disabled adults. In 2012 two new Intermediate Care residential buildings were opened on our campus, Salatka Hall and Columbian Hall with another opening in 2016 named St. Andre’s. In 2016, Center of Family Love dedicated their gift shop and greenhouse in honor of Kristy Wittrock by naming the business Kristy’s Flowers & Gifts.