Cook County Jail Hosts ASH “Healing” Book Panel Discussion and Book Signing Event


Media Contact
Neli Vazquez Rowland, President

(Chicago, IL) November 3, 2021— A Safe Haven (ASH) President and Co-Founder Neli Vazquez Rowland is proud to announce the “Healing: Real Stories Told by Real People Who Have Overcome The Homeless and Opioid Epidemics” panel discussion featuring three ASH Alums and contributing authors was held at Cook County Jail.  The panel discussion and book signing event included Healing book author Neli Vazquez Rowland and contributing authors Alejandra Cano, Robert Hovey, and Belinda McKinley took place. Friday, October 29th at Division 11, Cook County Department of Corrections.  

“Healing” features the powerful and detailed testimonials of 12 people who lived in the shadows of society, suffered, and often endured decades of living in the depths of despair and hopelessness caused by the devastating and debilitating effects of poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, physical and emotional abuse. They also describe how they found hope to positively change their lives at ASH. For the first time ever, readers will get a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the contributing authors and success stories.

Since 1994, ASH, a Chicago-based organization, and its network of public-private partnerships have established and scaled one of the most comprehensive approaches in the nation. It’s a one-of-a-kind individualized ‘turnkey’ model and continuum of behavioral healthcare, economic development, and housing. By holistically addressing root causes, specific to the criminal justice engaged populations with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals, the ASH model has successfully helped to prevent, divert and end the vicious cycle of arrests, incarceration, and homelessness for jail detainees and reentry populations for men, women and their families.

Since its inception over 130,000 people have relied on ASH’s unique, individualized, and fully integrated approach for its services, opportunities, and resources so that they can live sustainable and self-sufficient lives.

Some of them came to ASH willingly through word-of-mouth referrals others through government agencies like the criminal justice systems and drug court systems mandating them to ASH programs. Today they are all inspiring living examples of what’s possible as they are pursuing their dreams of recovery, family reunification, independence, and living in mainstream society.

The nonprofit’s vision and mission are supported by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who are deeply committed to working together to help those in crisis while helping influence a paradigm shift in how our nation addresses poverty, homelessness, addiction, and incarceration. ASH’s leadership credits its like-minded public and private partners and their team for aligning their visions and missions to create a nationally recognized model to help break the cycle of homelessness.

Rowland believes that “while there are many approaches to helping the homeless, it’s good to know that our model of investing in a customized, holistic, fully-developed and comprehensive system that is focused on healing the complex issues of our most vulnerable people is transforming the lives of thousands every year, including women, children, youth and military veterans. Special thanks to Sheriff Tom Dart and Cook County staff for their partnership and shared vision on the need to help divert nonviolent offenders in crisis and in need of help for their complex issues.  ASH’s leadership team is also committed to putting the people, who often have significant barriers to employment, on a path to their highest level of independence, by either employing them in our social enterprises and/or opening doors for them for jobs and permanent housing.  The work that we do is rewarding and the payoff for all stakeholders is priceless!”

“I am extremely appreciative and excited about this event at Cook County Jail. We believe in the power of peer support and fostering hope amongst the individuals detained at the Cook County Jail with shared experiences. Those who have faced hurdles such as incarceration and addiction, and have overcome these hurdles, are inspirational.” DOC Exec. Dir. Dr. Jane Gubser

“Healing: Real Stories Told By People Who Have Overcome The Homeless and Opioid Epidemics” is available now on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

For information about A Safe Haven Foundation, visit

About A Safe Haven:

A Safe Haven Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, social enterprise that helps people aspire, transform and sustain their lives as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose. A Safe Haven provides the tools for each individual to overcome the root causes of homelessness through a holistic and scalable model. A Safe Haven’s visible social and economic impact unites families, stabilizes neighborhoods, and creates vibrant, viable communities. For information, visit # # #