History & Background
On September 15, 1959, Otto and Mildred Heinzerling opened the doors of Peck O’ Wee Ones in a converted medical office building to care for an often overlooked population — children with severe and profound developmental disabilities. Mortgaging their family home in order to create a place for these children, the Heinzerlings and volunteers tirelessly cared for 12 children, ranging from infant to 6 years of age.
In 1973, following the deaths of Otto and Mildred, their son Robert A. Heinzerling, D.D.S., became the Executive Director of Peck O’ Wee Ones. In 1974, Dr. Heinzerling renamed the facility Heinzerling Memorial Foundation to honor his parents. It was only a matter of time before the organization needed to secure new space to accommodate Heinzerling residents and other children with severe and profound developmental disabilities.
In 1979, the new Heinzerling Memorial Foundation, a 22,400 square foot, state-of-the-art residential facility, opened on a 50-acre location in Southwest Columbus. This new home was licensed for 104 children up to age 22. Three years later, the Heinzerling Developmental Center, a 104-bed facility, opened its doors to serve those residents transitioning from the children’s building to a facility for adults. Improvements in recent years have included facility upgrades, the construction of a shelter house and creation of an outdoor sensory park that features adaptive swings, water areas, musical instruments, and tactile play stations.
Over the past 50 years, the Heinzerling Community has cared for hundreds of children and adults with severe and profound developmental disabilities, creating a legacy of caring.
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