Blue Water Safe Horizons 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 itself 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 the 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 in Port Huron. The facility provided shelter and support services to men, couples, and families.
Carolyn’s Place, a 20-bed shelter facility, was dedicated on December 14, 1995, in memory of former Executive Director Carolyn Superczynski. DARES became Safe Horizons in the year 2000. Safe Horizons became Blue Water Safe Horizons in 2012.
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 assisting later-in-life survivors of domestic and sexual violence by providing legal services and outreach for those individuals. Since that time, Blue Water Safe Horizons has been committed to preventing abuse and assisting people 60 years of age and over who are abused, or who are at-risk of abuse.
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, Blue Water Safe Horizons anticipates offering enhanced programs and services to those impacted by domestic and sexual violence in our community.