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 provides 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 with a new direction and mission. Safe Horizons received the first Supportive Housing grant in 2002, consisting of 10 slots for mentally ill clients. Currently 75 slots are involved with the Supportive Housing Program. Safe Horizons has provided more than 70,000 nights of stay for the benefit of the residents of St. Clair County.
Safe Horizons became Blue Water Safe Horizons (BWSH) in 2012.