It was 1979 and a group of women from the Middletown community were providing a safe house for victims of domestic violence and their children. During the night hours one evening a victim’s partner found the safe house and lit the structure on fire. Fortunately no one was injured and all were able to get out safely. Unfortunately the structure burnt to the ground and now there was no place for victims of abuse to go in times of emergency. This lead the group to a clinic on Main St in Middletown that was providing Medical and Dental care to those with little to no income and most often no insurance. This clinic is the Community Health Center, Inc. This group of women approached the CEO Mark Masselli and asked if he would be willing to take on the reorganization of the program and become its leader. He responded with a resounding yes; since that time New Horizons has been one of the many program services of the Community Health Center, Inc.
Although a very different service than providing medical, dental and behavioral healthcare in 1979 CHC saw the need and took the initiative to open the first domestic violence shelter in Middlesex County. With the support of Middlesex Hospital, Middletown Police Department, CT Valley Hospital, and Senator Christopher Dodd the Community Health Center, Inc. wrote a grant and raised funds to have the ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for victims of domestic violence.