The Agency began in 1977 as a volunteer program dealing with sexual assault and child abuse. It was known as St. Clair County Rape Task Force. The Task Force found themselves dealing with numerous victims of domestic violence. Due to duplication of efforts, in 1978 it was decided to incorporate with committees focusing on separate issues and become known as St. Clair County Domestic Assault and Rape Elimination Services [DARES]. From 1978 through 1981 DARES was funded through small local donations. In November 1981, DARES received its first major funding from Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. On December 1, 1983 DARES opened its first shelter facility and offered temporary shelter along with 24-hour crisis support counseling by telephone or in person.
Pathway Shelter Home opened April 8, 1991 at 511 Union Street, Port Huron. The facility provided shelter and support services to men, couples and families. Carolyn's Place, a 20 bed facility, was dedicated on December 14, 1995 in memory of former Executive Director, Carolyn Superczynski. DARES became Safe Horizons in the year 2000.
In 2009, Safe Horizons joined Lakeshore Legal Aid, in conjunction with the Port Huron Police Department and the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office, with a commitment to providing legal services and outreach for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in later life in our county. Since that time, the Agency has been committed to prevent abuse and assist people 60 and over who are abused or at risk of abuse.
Safe Horizons became Blue Water Safe Horizons (BWSH) in 2012.
In July 2016, the Board of Directors decided to change the strategic direction of the Agency by voting to return to its original focus of domestic and sexual violence. On May 1, 2018, the homeless services transition was complete. Moving forward with a renewed vision and mission, the Agency anticipates enhanced programs and services to those impacted by domestic and sexual violence in our community.
2015-2016 Annual ReportClick the link below to download a copy of our 2015 - 2016 Annual Report
Annual Report PDF