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Our History

In 1977, a group of psychiatrists and social workers from the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Harvard Medical School decided that they needed to help people with psychiatric conditions, many of who in those days lived in hospitals, learn to live as members of the community. They founded Vinfen as a nonprofit company and established one of the first group homes to help people transition to community living. Because the founders wanted to avoid any potentially stigmatizing words in the company’s name, they avoided terms such as “Behavioral” or “Psychiatric”. And because this home was on the corner of Vining Street and Fenwood Road, they named the company Vinfen.

Vinfen began with a mission of helping people with psychiatric conditions live healthy, satisfying, productive, and valued lives as full members of their community. Today that mission is the same, although we have expanded the populations we serve, our geography, and have continuously adopted advancing science-based clinical and rehabilitation technology to provide better services.

Since the beginning, our values have also remained the same. Vinfen is committed to:

  • Providing the highest quality services that support and empower the people we serve and their families, to improve their lives
  • Creating a supportive work environment where caring and knowledgeable staff are committed to the people we serve
  • Demonstrating innovation, collaboration, and partnership
  • Sound financial stewardship and results.


Service-delivery systems were once centered on large, state-operated institutions. In the 1970s, Vinfen led the transition from institutional settings to community settings based on individualized support and family-scale homes. The movement away from institutionalization served as a defining moment. It rightfully acknowledged that all people deserve humane treatment and that everyone should be given the opportunity to live fulfilling, productive, and valued lives.

Through the 1980s and into the 1990s, Vinfen established a reputation for developing solutions to support people with a wide range of psychiatric conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and behavioral challenges. We also were recognized for early adoption of the recovery and peer provider movements in the area of psychiatric rehabilitation, and of self-advocacy and strong behavioral services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In 2000, Vinfen expanded its services to Connecticut.


Vinfen was approached by the Connecticut Department of Developmental Disabilities in 1999 and asked to submit a proposal for providing services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The proposal was accepted; and early in 2000, Vinfen Connecticut began providing services eight individuals in three community living arrangements.

Within the first year, Vinfen Connecticut developed a reputation for providing high-quality, person-centered services to help people live valued, productive lives in their communities. This led to an expansion in our services to provide day and employment services. We also began providing specialized, culturally sensitive services to Latinos with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We created service-enriched housing options that felt like family homes.

In 2006, Vinfen Connecticut broadened our scope of services to create programs for adolescents and adults with psychiatric conditions as a partner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Today, Vinfen Connecticut provides an increasing array of residential, day, and employment services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and psychiatric conditions.

Our strategic vision recognizes that we must continuously adopt and adapt better clinical, rehabilitation, and behavioral technologies as they emerge, collaborate with other health and human services organizations to provide better integrated care, and engage with and respond directly to consumers who will increasingly choose and manage their own services based on value- proven outcomes with clear and reasonable costs.

Our vision and our history are captured in Vinfen’s tagline: “Transforming Lives Together.”