Run This World

201 – Neli Vazquez Rowland “Healing is a Lifetime Commitment”

Meet Neli Vazquez Rowland, the founder of A Safe Haven, a place where people in crisis can find the food, shelter, treatment, medical care, education, job training and job placement they need under one roof.

A first-generation American, the young Neli Vazquez Rowland, was a natural leader, becoming the first in her family to graduate from college. For 13 years, as an investment banker, Vazquez Rowland lead several firms across the nation. It was during her time as an investment banker, Neli had to rise up to the challenging and emotionally-draining task of overcoming an issue of alcoholism in her family.

This incident fueled a strong belief in Neli that no family should have to suffer through an already-tragic situation and in 1994, she established A Safe Haven with her husband, Brian Rowland. An organization determined to join forces with the private and public sector to ensure an efficient and sustainable approach to battle poverty and homelessness, A Safe Haven was welcomed instantly by business, academia and public policy leaders for its innovative and ground-breaking approach to an issue that has long plagued economies.

Neli is a go-getter. Her energy is limitless. Her goals are expansive. And they all revolve around making the world a better place for everyone. 

Be sure to sign up for their big fundraiser this year – the virtual Run / Walk to End Homelessness from July 17-24. Click here to start your own team & raise money to help others!


  • For more Neli – Read her Books:
    • Neli’s book “Healing” is so powerful. Buy it now on Amazon!
    • Her memoir “An Elegant Solution” coming soon
  • The power of volunteering
  • Stigmas: especially surrounding homelessness and addiction
  • The “invisible” population
  • Her background and how a walk into her school every morning sparked the seedling for A Safe Haven
  • How A Safe Haven works: The actual flow of the organization
  • “Housing as Healthcare” – You can’t begin healing until you have a roof over your head.
  • Nugget: Be optimistic. Don’t give up. I believe that the vast majority of people are good. Love will prevail. (Lots of nuggets!)