The AbbVie COVID-19 $5 Million Dollar Community Resilience Fund Selects A Safe Haven As Partner in Tackling Healthcare Among the Homeless

CHICAGO, IL May 21, 2020 – A Safe Haven Foundation (ASHF) has been selected as one of 26 nonprofit organizations to receive a donation from the $5 million AbbVie COVID-19 Community Resilience Fund. The fund was created in March to help nonprofits with their immediate response to COVID-19 and support the needs of their frontline homeless workers in service to vulnerable populations in hard-hit communities.

“We are humbled and honored to be named a charitable partner with AbbVie to help fulfill their goals for their program, which includes providing frontline workers with much needed critical personal protective equipment, providing families access to housing, healthcare and behavioral health care, to support vital services for homeless and at-risk populations,” said Neli Vazquez-Rowland, president and co-founder of ASHF, 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. “The much-needed funding will go right to work on the front lines, including protecting our staff, and will help us prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus among our 400 homeless living in our bed facility, and provide services to COVID-19 positive homeless in the co-located and segregated, 100-bed, COVID-19 isolation space.”

ASHF was a first mover in opening up Chicago’s first isolation space on April 11 to serve homeless people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic or have symptoms but do not require hospitalization. The Center provides homeless individuals with a safe environment to shelter-in-place and also receive the healthcare, behavioral healthcare, nutrition, and support they need.

The Isolation Space was created through a partnership between A Safe Haven Foundation, The City of Chicago Department of Public Health, and Rush University Medical Center (RUMC). Patients in the Isolation Center are seen by RUMC staff, either in-person or by telehealth, and ASHF Haven staff monitors patient progress and offers telebehavioral healthcare services. Thanks to the city and other private funders, the Isolation and Medical Respite Center added an HVAC negative air system in compliance with the strictest aerosol air flow system to avoid cross contamination with the rest of the 400-bed facility at 2750 Roosevelt Rd. in the North Lawndale community. A Safe Haven is an anchor organization and considered the largest single integrated model serving and meeting the needs of the homeless in Chicago.

A Safe Haven is strategically located in the most poverty stricken North Lawndale neighborhood, and adjacent to the Little Village community where residents are disproportionately African American and LatinX. Together they represent the highest numbers of deaths from COVID-19 in Cook County.  As the virus emerged, A Safe Haven was a bellwether, calling attention to the susceptibility and vulnerability of the homeless to the virus, their inability to shelter-in-place, and the resulting risk to public health. A Safe Haven has not experienced a COVID-19 outbreak because of their unique semi-private suites and rigorous infection control policies.

“We are grateful to A Safe Haven for housing and supporting our homeless community members during this crisis,“ said Melissa Walsh, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility & Global Philanthropy, AbbVie. “We are glad to support the organization’s efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect the incredible frontline workers caring for those who are positive or at-risk for COVID-19.”

“Because of AbbVie’s new funding, A Safe Haven will help serve more referrals of more homeless and COVID-19 positive patients from hospitals throughout the Chicagoland area who require isolation and may be homeless or living in a doubled-up situation,” said Vazquez-Rowland. “Upon discharge from the Isolation Center, we can refer them to an appropriate level of care or provide direct assistance or provide services to address their individual root causes of poverty and homelessness such as substance abuse, education, unemployment or lack of affordable housing.”


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. For more than 25 years, A Safe Haven has provided the tools for each individual to overcome the root causes of homelessness through a holistic and scalable model which includes substance abuse treatment, education, job training and employment, and phased-housing. A Safe Haven’s visible social and economic impact unites families, stabilizes neighborhoods, and creates vibrant, viable communities. For more information, visit, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,  or Youtube.


About AbbVie


AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.