Oklahoma first established services for people with intellectual disabilities during the second legislature in 1909 with the creation of the Oklahoma Institution for the Feeble Minded in the city of Enid. After several name changes, the institution became known as Enid State School. The Pauls Valley State School was established in 1907 as a state training school for boys and was operated as such until converted to a state hospital for people with epilepsy in 1945 and to a state facility for people with intellectual disabilities in 1953.
In 1959, the 52nd legislature recognized the need for additional beds to serve a rapidly growing population of citizens with intellectual disabilities and appropriated one million dollars for the construction of a third institution on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Wiley Hissom, near Sand Springs. Later, in 1961, an additional 5 million dollars was appropriated to complete construction and fully equip the facility to be named The Hissom Memorial Center.
Until 1963, The Pauls Valley State School, the Enid State School and The Hissom Memorial Center, as well as the Taft State Hospital, were operated by the Department of Mental Health and Retardation. On July 1, 1963, these facilities were transferred to the Department of Public Welfare. At the time of the transfer, there were 2,300 residents in the Enid and Pauls Valley facilities, with a total of 709 employees. The Enid State School was extremely crowded with 1,444 children and adults in residence. The Hissom Memorial Center would be licensed for 500 additional beds.
To meet the needs of this growing population and to relieve overcrowding at the public facilities, the Medical Services Division of the Department of Human Services began contracting with private nursing homes to provide residential services for people with intellectual disabilities.
In 1971, institutional services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities were greatly influenced by the establishment of Medicaid reimbursement to facilities meeting the standard for care as Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded (ICF/MR) (Now called Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disability (ICF/IID)). Regulations required compliance with standards of staffing levels, development of treatment plans, provision of active treatment, use of medications and appropriate physical environment. The state operated facilities as well as many private nursing homes became licensed as ICF/IIDs to qualify for the Medicaid reimbursement.
The Robert M. Greer Center became operational April 3, 1989 as a 48-bed unit of the Enid State School. This facility serves a maximum of 52 people with a dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental illness. On January 1, 1992 the Greer Center began operation as a separate entity although remaining on the campus of Enid State School.
In 1992 Enid State School and Pauls Valley State School underwent another name change, and the two were renamed the Northern and Southern Oklahoma Resource Centers (NORCE and SORC respectively)
In 2012, the 243 individuals residing at NORCE and SORC began successfully transitioning into the community. NORC closed its doors on November 11th, 2014 and SORC closed on July 10th, 2015.