FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marvin Harrell
Office: 719.266.8300 ext.103
Colorado Springs, Colo. (January 2, 2020) – Just a few days before Christmas, Citygate Network President John Ashmen attended a bipartisan gathering in Washington on Transforming Mental Health Treatment to Combat Homelessness, Violence, and Substance Abuse. Heavy hitters were at the podium and on the panels: HHS Secretary Alex Azar, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Drug Czar Jim Carroll, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Assistant to the President Kellyanne Conway, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katie Sullivan, and others. C-SPAN carried it live. About midway through, President Trump walked over from the Oval Office and made a surprise appearance to thank the group for its work. At the center of the discussion was the premise that for the past several decades, civil rights have outweighed the need for helpful treatment, and that has to change if we are going to see things change on our streets. John reported that some recent policy changes are starting to make a real difference in this area. More information will follow in Citygate Network publications.
Ashmen has served as president of Citygate Network since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible, with a social work emphasis, and a master’s degree in organizational management. His writings have appeared in numerous books and journals, and on various websites, and he speaks and teaches ministry management and contemporary culture seminars around the world.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was the opening speaker. If you are especially interested in this topic, this transcript of his remarks will give you a flavor of the event.
John invited members Brandon Thomas from Winchester Rescue Mission (Winchester, Virginia) and Justin Behrens from Keystone Rescue Mission (Scranton, Pennsylvania) to join him. Brandon is a strong advocate for mental health issues and Justin is deeply involved in government relations. During the six-hour event, John also got to spend time with former Citygate Network Director of Public Relations Nicole Daniels Frazier, now working in the White House as Special Assistant to the President in the Department of Public Liaison.
About Citygate Network: Citygate Network is North America’s oldest and largest network of independent crisis shelters and rehabilitation centers, offering radical hospitality in the name of Jesus. With 300 member missions and ministries, Citygate Network exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted, and to accelerate quality and effectiveness in member missions. Every year, our members rally 300,000 volunteers and 10,000 full-time staff to serve approximately 50 million meals, provide more than 20 million nights of lodging, distribute some 30 million pieces of clothing, graduate upwards of 20,000 people from addiction-recovery programs, and provide many additional valuable services. For more information, visit www.citygatenetwork.org