April 10, 2013, Chicago, IL—In partnership with the United States Veterans Administration, A Safe Haven Foundation and Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of the Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC). The CRRC, a collaborative, multiagency program, was created for the purposes of streamlining access to housing, mental health support, and other social services needs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken decisive action to end Veteran homelessness by 2015. The location of the CRRC at A Safe Haven headquarters will result in greater efficiencies in delivering housing and services and will also yield greater success in achieving our goal of ending veteran homelessness.
“Our success will serve as a national model. A Safe Haven programs are scalable and we are currently working with leadership in other cities to replicate and
expand our footprint. This strategic collaboration is a way to significantly reduce stubbornly, reportedly high wait times for benefits among returning veterans,
which is a contributing factor to the disproportionate rate of homelessness among veterans.” says Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President and co-founder of A Safe Haven Foundation.
The 2010 Census reported that on any given night, 62,619 veterans are homeless. Former service members are eleven percent more likely to develop life-threatening diseases than non-veteran homeless people, according to the National Survey of Homeless Veterans. With $85 billion in sequester cuts, veteran supporters are concerned that the federal government’s budget proposal may affect veterans. A Safe Haven Foundation and the VA are creating a solution-oriented approach, which prioritizes veterans and expedites social-service delivery.
“After four years of advocating, planning and anticipation, I am thrilled to see the resource center come to fruition. With the help of our public and private
partnerships, ending veteran homelessness is within reach,” says Vazquez-Rowland.
A Safe Haven helps people, including veterans, 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. A Safe Haven is co-founded by Brian Rowland, a Veteran. A Safe Haven employs 200 people and veterans make up over 12% of the staff. Neli Vazquez-Rowland, co-founder and president of A Safe Haven Foundation, was named one of 12 White House ‘Champions of Change’ at Rotary Day in DC last week. For more information on A Safe Haven and programs available for veterans, visit www.asafehaven.org.