Franciscan Peacemakers Social Enterprise FRANCISCAN PEACEMAKERS

Our Mission

Franciscan Peacemakers provides a pathway to a sustainable healthy, safe and productive life for women engaging in prostitution due to trauma, human sex trafficking or drug addiction.

The service approach of Franciscan Peacemakers includes:

Street Ministry

Hospitality and outreach to women engaging in street prostitution to begin building relationships of trust. Franciscan Peacemakers Outreach van visits highly prostituted streets in Milwaukee four mornings a week, bringing bag lunches, hygiene products, warm clothes and empathetic presence to women on the street. The Franciscan Peacemaker Hospitality Center provides respite and peer support for women on Lisbon Avenue for 3 hours each weekday morning.

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Housing and Healing

Clare Community is a two year program that provides housing for women who are on their journey of recovery from sexual exploitation and substance addiction. The three women who live in Clare Community are laying a solid foundation for life-long recovery, which they begin through an out-patient treatment program (usually 6 months). The residents have time in these two years to gain employment experience as well as to engage in healing various aspects of their lives: trauma care, physical, emotional and mental health, legal, relational healing. While in Clare Community they rebuild their network of support.

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Employment

Survivors are provided living wage jobs in our Social Enterprise which manufactures and sells all natural bath and body products, sold at various outlets including our retail store, located right on Lisbon Avenue in Milwaukee. Employees living in Clare Community save half of their income so upon completion of the program, they have money saved up for moving into independent housing.

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Education

Franciscan Peacemakers staff and board provide education to Catholic parishes, school, and community groups to raise awareness about human trafficking. The sale of our bath and body products also provides an avenue for raising awareness within the larger Milwaukee community. Our team is also a part of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force at the County level and interfaces with several Anti-Trafficking Advocacy groups in Southeastern Wisconsin.

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Our Story

Since 1995, Franciscan Peacemakers has been ministering on the streets of Milwaukee reaching out primarily to women engaging in prostitution but also to the homeless and families living in poverty. Bag lunches, personal care items and referrals to agencies able to address the complexity of women's needs given histories of trauma and abuse provided an avenue to build relationships of trust with women.

The reality that most programs serving women lasted only 60-90 days and frequently ended with the relapse of women to the streets, Franciscan Peacemakers was determined to create a better solution. Inspired by the model of Magdalen House in Nashville (now known as Thistle Farms), Franciscan Peacemakers opened Clare Community in 2014 to provide a more concrete, holistic and long-term option for women seeking a pathway to healing.

Clare Community is a 2-year, spiritually based program which provides rent-free housing while women attend full-time to their recovery and healing. These two years of living in community allows for a woman to really transform her life - building skills, confidence and a strong network of support.

Franciscan Peacemakers' Social Enterprise provides employment for the women of Clare Community and other women survivors in the Milwaukee area who are committed to their healing and recovery. Through the production and sale of all-natural, handmade bath and body products, our employees learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales and administration while earning a living wage in a supportive environment. Women survivors sharing their stories of hope and healing is a powerful antidote to the climate of secrecy surrounding human sex trafficking. Through their work and witness, the employees of Franciscan Peacemakers' Social Enterprise are strong advocates for an end to human sex trafficking.

Education and Advocacy is woven into everything Franciscan Peacemakers does - from the logo-wrapped van circling the streets of Milwaukee looking for women in need to the labels on our soaps sold at community events, churches and farmers' markets throughout the Milwaukee area - Franciscan Peacemakers spreads the message throughout Southeastern Wisconsin that a community-wide effort is needed to end human sex trafficking.

The work to end trafficking starts by standing with and for survivors, reminding them and the world of their inherent dignity. The work to end trafficking includes raising awareness of this dignity to those who create the demand for and who benefit financially from the sexual exploitation of women. The work to end trafficking includes the coordinated effort of community members who can recognize the signs, a strong law enforcement effort to bring traffickers to justice and an abundance of support for the healing needed for survivors, physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Timeline of Services and Programs

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