Rotary Day at White House honors Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President of A Safe Haven Foundation, as one of its “Champions of Change” Awardees

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Rotary Day at White House honors Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President of A Safe Haven Foundation, as one of its “Champions of Change” 

Exemplary U.S. Rotary club volunteers to be recognized at D.C. event April 5 

Chicago, Il (April 3, 2013) – The White House on April 5 will honor, Neli Vazquez-Rowland, along with 11 other Rotary club members from across the United States as Champions of Change for her volunteer work to improve the lives of others during the second annual Rotary Day at the White House.

“Today we welcome twelve amazing Rotarians to the White House. Each of these men and women have spent countless hours helping communities both here in the U.S. and abroad. Collectively, these Rotary Club members have touched the lives of thousands of people—whether by improving health and providing health services, preventing hunger, supporting our poor communities, empowering unemployed, addicted, or homeless adults, or caring for students. The Rotarians we honor today truly exemplify the Rotary Club motto: “Service above Self” and in doing so show that the American spirit is a generous one,” said Paulette Aniskoff, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

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Neli Vazquez-Rowland, a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago, along with her husband Brian Rowland established A Safe Haven in 1994 as a comprehensive program that assists thousands of people dealing with homelessness, hunger, addiction, chronic unemployment and other issues. Programs offered by A Safe Haven include mental health and addictions treatment, education, housing, job training and placement, life skills training, financial literacy classes and a myriad of other services that assist the homeless population. A Safe Haven’s model applies the concept of individualized case management to provide new or chronically homeless individuals with the direct services they need to obtain and maintain housing and employment.

Along with her duties as President of the organization, Neli is also 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 recent meeting in Chicago Neli was quoted …..“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. 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.”

Upon being advised that she was being honored as a Rotary Club Champion of Change Ms. Vazquez-Rowland said…”I am truly humbled by this award and am honored to be recognized with the other 11 distinctive Rotary members. This award 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 difference in the lives of the homeless in Chicago and its surrounding 883764_503685446355887_417659263_oneighborhoods and I am proud to lead this organization. I am also proud to be a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago, an organization that continually reaches out to make our city and our world a better place.”

A Safe Haven Foundation is a 501 C (3) organization that helps people aspire, transform and sustain their lives from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose. A Safe Haven Foundation provides the tools for each individual to overcome the root causes of homelessness through a holistic, scalable model. A Safe Haven Foundation’s visible social and economic impact unites families, stabilizes neighborhoods and creates vibrant, viable communities. Visit us at www.asafehaven.org to learn how you too can make an impact on ending poverty. 

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