Chicago, IL April 10th, 2017—ICEMR Social Sustainability Working Group Committee hosted a kick-off event on Monday, April 10, 2017 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, in the CGIS South Building located at 1730 Cambridge Street in Room S030, to discuss a new A Safe Haven initiative in collaboration with Harvard Davis Center and the International Center for Emerging Market Research at RUDN University.

The initiative will bring world-class scholarship to emerging market issues such as poverty and recidivism, issues at the forefront of A Safe Haven’s mission. A Safe Haven Foundation’s groundbreaking and award-winning model takes a comprehensive approach to addressing poverty and inequality by creating real, sustainable community change, beginning at the grassroots level. The findings from the research will impact and create real-world solutions and help initiate a paradigm shift in the way our nation addresses the root causes of poverty.

“A Safe Haven is proud to be aligned with the United Nations goals and priorities in many areas involving social and economic development. It is vital that the world comes together to address poverty as a main priority, and international human rights issue. It is our collective responsibility to provide relief and to support a system that addresses and solves poverty long-term. The anecdotal evidence we’ve gained since 1994, in developing a one of a kind vertically integrated eco-system and model indicates that by solving poverty at the root level, with a comprehensive approach, the domino effect relieves and heals many of the consequences of poverty, like crime, violence and social unrest. It is our vision to expand the A Safe Haven model so we can tackle these issues on a grand scale. We are honored to have been recognized and selected to serve as the subject of this research case study. This collaborative research has incredible implications that may help influence a paradigm shift in the way our nation allocates resources towards more holistic, robust and sustainable social and economic systems,” said Neli Vazquez Rowland, President and Co-Founder of A Safe Haven.


“I believe that involving emerging markets in a positive relationship to our global societal problem-solving strategies will allow us all to operate more effectively as a society. Studying societal gaps and finding solutions will allow us to use research results as a measure of the overall performance. I connected the two programs because am a strong believer in social responsibility. ASH is true social responsibility in practice, the comprehensive ASH model holds relevance to all emerging markets by highlighting that poverty-related issues do not constitute a monolithic problem. We can’t ignore the fact that the world is deeply interconnected, and we must work together to find solutions if we are to save ourselves and leave a better world for generations to come.” said Dolly Amaya, a Harvard Graduate and the Liaison between the Harvard ICEMR and ASH.


The study will address the impact of community-based services in terms of recidivism, cost of incarceration, number of sentences, and the economic cost to the correctional system and community. The project will track individuals referred to A Safe Haven’s Interim Housing Program to determine the impact of providing evidence-based screening for behavioral health issues and substance abuse in addition to individual’s access to housing, education level, employment history and qualifications on an individual’s ability to obtain and maintain independent living free of criminal involvement. Further, a cost benefit analysis will be developed to determine which social determinants have the greatest influence on participant’s involvement in the criminal justice system. Through this study we hope to show the positive long-term effect of alternative health and rehabilitation reentry services treatments—both on individuals and the surrounding community. The cost of re-incarceration will be addressed alongside the societal costs/impact to public safety systems, judicial systems, employment, taxes, and violence/crime rates. Finally, the study will track individual participants and measure the effects of supportive services on over-all behavioral outcomes. Items specifically measured may include: improvements in personal/family life, how behavioral health/substance abuse issues are managed, criminal justice involvement, housing stability, and employment retention and progression.


Benefiting from a committed team of experts from different parts of the world, the International Center for Emerging Markets Research (ICEMR) is based at RUDN University in Moscow. Efforts of the ICEMR will be led by Scientific Director Prof. Bruno S. Sergi, who is an associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a lecturer at Harvard University Extension School. According to Prof. Bruno Sergi, the first priority is to bring Russian, American, and European experts together to identify solutions and opportunities in the new realities faced by emerging markets. The ICEMR will benefit from an impressive range of research experts and academics, including six Nobel laureates (James J. Heckman, Daniel McFadden, Robert F. Engle, Christopher A. Sims, Lars Peter Hansen, and Angus Deaton), many top economists, professors, and attorney Alexander Rodriguez.


About A Safe Haven Foundation

A Safe Haven is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, social enterprise built upon an innovative and world class private/public model that is designed to help people aspire, transform and sustain their lives as they transition from poverty and homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose. A Safe Haven provides the tools for each individual to overcome the root causes of poverty through a holistic, scalable mode. A Safe Haven’s visible social and economic impact unites families, stabilizes neighborhoods, and creates vibrant, viable communities. For more information please visit:



RUDN University is one of the leading research universities in Europe. Based in Moscow, It is one of the leading state higher educational institutions in Russia. It is the only university in the world to unite students from 145-150 countries every year. RUDN University has a multiple structure of faculties and majors, typical for classical universities. More than 77,000 graduates from RUDN University work in 170 countries, including 5,500 PhD and Doctorate degree holders. For more information visit



The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies is the intellectual home of Harvard scholars and students with an interest in this critical region of the world. The Center’s mission is fourfold: To generate and disseminate original research and scholarship on Russian and Eurasian studies; to promote the training of graduate and undergraduate students interested in the region; to create and sustain a community of scholars at all levels of academic achievement; and to ensure that society at large benefits from the exchange of information and ideas at the Davis Center. For more information visit