November 5, 2015 (Chicago, Illinois) A Safe Haven Foundation welcomed Secretary Castro of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week. The Secretary joined ASH Co-Founders, President Neli Vazquez Rowland and CEO Brian Rowland, to tour A Safe Haven, to host a meet-and-greet with six veterans, alumnus and current residents of A Safe Haven, who have experienced firsthand the life-changing impact that the organization instigates for homeless veterans in-need.
“The inspiring team at A Safe Haven has created a one-stop-shop of services and support for homeless persons in the Chicago area,” said Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “The folks I met while visiting have faced challenges but now are empowered to grow their lives in meaningful ways. This facility is a great example of people coming together to create increased opportunity for some of our nation’s neediest individuals.”
The visit also included meeting the local Jesse Brown VA hospital Director Ann Brown and other local VA leadership and a tour of the USVA Community Referral and Resource Center located on site at A Safe Haven’s headquarters. The Secretary wrapped up his visit with a meeting with other homeless organizations, including the Chicago Homeless Coalition and their respective leadership to discuss the issue of homelessness and the collective efforts happening in Chicago on behalf of Military Veterans and others.
“It was an honor to welcome Secretary Julian Castro to A Safe Haven. As a leader for an anchor organization amongst many organizations working to end homelessness for all, it is all of our responsibility to inform our leaders of important innovative efforts that are being done on the ground on behalf of all those who have experienced these devastating living conditions. The unique challenges faced by homeless veterans, those brave men and women who have served our country, holds a special place in all of our hearts. Hearing and listening directly from the veterans who have already overcome and others who are still overcoming homelessness here was incredibly inspiring, and reaffirms why it is so vital for governments on the federal, state, county and city level to meet and join together in order to influence and support a better system that will effectively and substantially reduce and end homelessness and veteran homelessness indefinitely” said Neli Vazquez Rowland, President.