The Story of New Horizons Village
A Historic Quest for Independent Living
October 15 - November 20
Wednesdays and Weekends 2-4 pm
The story of New Horizons Village is the story of a group of young adults with disabilities wanting more than being cared for at home or in a hospital. They wanted "adventuresome living" in a community that they designed where they could live together in fellowship. It was the dream of Joan Herman, a young woman confined to an iron lung after contracting polio who was convinced that she and other adults with disabilities could join together and build a community where they could live independently.
Joan formed New Horizons in 1955 and quickly attracted members. Many of the members with disabilities transferred to New Britain Memorial Hospital where Joan was. They did that in such numbers that the hospital eventually added a wing just for them. The Story of New Horizons Village is a long one. Joan formed New Horizons in 1955, the ribbon cutting for New Horizons Village was held in 1986. The more than thirty years it took for Joan's dream to become a reality were filled with fund raising, lobbying and all of the planning it would take to build and open this community. They were true trailblazers. This type of community for those with disabilities was unheard of at the time.
The good news is that New Horizons Village in Unionville's West District has been open now for thirty-six years offering 101 adults with physical disabilities the opportunity for self-directed living. Tenants rent an apartment in a fully accessible and supportive community that enables them to manage their own lives. The atmosphere of independence and accessibility at the Village combined with support services empowers tenants to lead an enriching life. In 2019 New Horizons, Inc. launched Sunshine Wheels providing reliable wheelchair and ambulatory transportation services for tenants at New Horizons Village and others in the area needing that type of transportation. In addition, New Horizons Village is currently being expanded with the construction of 22 additional apartments.
New Horizons Village
through the years