U.S. IL Congressman Mike Quigley Goes “Under-Cover” at A Safe Haven Foundation To Learn and To Empower Homeless In Honor of Women’s Month
Chicago, IL, April 1, 2016 –On Wednesday March 30th, closing out Women’s History Month; Congressman Mike Quigley went “under cover” at A Safe Haven Foundation and conducted mock job-interviews for ASHF residents. The Congressman had the opportunity not only to discuss the important issue of homelessness in the city of Chicago, but to witness ASHF’s industry-leading model to end homelessness spearheaded by its female leader, President and Co-Founder Neli Vazquez Rowland.
“Our homeless residents are here for many reasons. Some have experienced drug and alcohol abuse and are in search of recovery and stability; others are victims of unemployment or under-employment. Many women and children also find their way to A Safe Haven due to issues such as domestic violence. In particular, ASHF is one of the few agencies in Illinois equipped to accommodate women with children who are homeless,” said Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President/Co-Founder of A Safe Haven. “We are excited that Congressman Quigley was able to join us “under cover” at A Safe Haven as a part of Women’s History Month! Each one of our homeless residents has a unique story and we are certain that in working directly with these men and women, the congressman had a true feel not only for the challenges they are working to overcome, but the life-changing impact A Safe Haven imparts in the lives of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”
In addition to conducting ASHF residents participating in job-readiness training, Congressman Quigley had the opportunity to meet with two ASHF residents and job-training graduates, Denijal Zugor age 21 and Davion Almon, age 23. Both young men are current residents of ASHF well on their way to achieving self-sufficiency. Denijal is a graduate of the Culinary Arts Program and Davion a graduate of the Welding Program; both have received industry-recognized credentials and are actively working in their field. They met with Congressman Quigley to discuss their experiences and the positive impact that A Safe Haven has had in their lives; however midway through, the meeting the men politely excused themselves, as they had to go to work-demonstrating their ongoing commitment to their newfound employment and stability. The Congressman then met with Vazquez Rowland to discuss her personal journey to founding A Safe Haven, as well as the important work ASHF is doing to transform the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness and other barriers to long-term independence.
“It is startling to know that tens of thousands of people experience homelessness in Chicago alone. More communities could learn and benefit from the integrated approach used by A Safe Haven, which tackles the root of the homelessness problem by helping individuals learn the skills and training necessary to achieve sustainable self-sufficiency,” said Rep. Quigley. “It is inspiring to see strong female leadership helping citizens substantially change their circumstances for the better. I am grateful I had the opportunity to learn about and be a part of the process A Safe Haven uses to help Chicagoans secure a better future.”