April 16, 2013, Chicago, IL—The American Red Cross will honor Neli Vazquez-Rowland as a Community Impact Hero, along with 12 other individuals in separate categories, at the annual American Red Cross Heroes Breakfast this Wednesday morning. Vazquez-Rowland, co-founder and President of A Safe Haven Foundation, is recognized as a ‘Community Impact Hero’ for her leadership in addressing homelessness and poverty. CBS 2 Chicago’s Kate Sullivan and Rob Johnson will emcee the American Red Cross Heroes Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. on April 17th at the Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Drive.
The honorees, including Vazquez-Rowland, have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others. Community heroes are being honored in the categories of Adult Good Samaritan, Blood Services, Citizenship, Community Impact, Disaster Relief, Emergency Medical Assistance, Firefighter, Law Enforcement, Military, Nurse and Youth Good Samaritan.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be recognized with the other 12 distinctive American Red Cross heroes,” says Neli Vazquez-Rowland, Co-Founder and President of A Safe Haven Foundation. “This recognition represents the efforts of so many individuals who I am blessed to work with and collaborate with on a daily basis. Together, we work to make a substantial impact in the lives of the homeless in Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods and I am proud to lead this organization.”
Vazquez-Rowland and her husband Brian Rowland established A Safe Haven in 1994 as a holistic, sustainable and comprehensive program that assists thousands of people dealing with homelessness, hunger, addiction, chronic unemployment and other issues. A Safe Haven collaborates with private and public sectors to deliver individualized and comprehensive social services, such as transitional and supportive housing, addiction treatment, adult education, and job training and placement. Vazquez-Rowland not only serves as an expert speaker and panelist for both domestic and international government, academic and business forums, but she also is an ardent advocate for programs that help the homeless and has promoted programs that combine the collective effort of individuals, government and the business community in addressing this social problem.
“At A Safe Haven, we believe that nothing can replace the importance of empowering people with social and economic stability, which in turn will help them break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient,” says Vazquez-Rowland. “When we invest in reducing poverty we get a return on our investment measured in additional tax revenues from employment, decreased crime, a decrease in substance abuse, higher graduation rates, and stabilized families and communities.
A Safe Haven helps people aspire, transform, and sustain their lives from homelessness and provides the tools for each individual to overcome the root causes of homelessness through a holistic, scalable model. For more information on A Safe Haven, visit www.asafehaven.org.