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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.
Franciscan Peacemakers have had a visible presence on the streets since 1995 distributing bag lunches and personal hygiene items, allowing us to be in contact with women engaging in prostitution due to trauma, human sex trafficking, or drug addiction. In service to both these women and the wider community, we develop trust over time and provide information about Franciscan Peacemakers’ healing pathway to a sustainable healthy, safe, productive life.
Though currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Franciscan Peacemakers Hospitality Center opened in August 2019 to provide a respite from the streets for an average of 12-15 women per morning on Lisbon Avenue. The sanctuary provides a place to meet basic needs (restrooms and food) while also offering an opportunity for longer conversations with Franciscan Peacemakers staff, including Peer Support Specialist, Cynthia Perkins. In the short span of 6 months from its opening until the pandemic closure, the Hospitality Center was key to the referral of 2 women from the streets into the Clare Community program.
Housing and Healing
Clare Community was opened in January 2014 in response to the growing need for resident-based trauma care for women seeking a way out of engaging in prostitution due to trauma, human sex trafficking, or drug addiction. Named in honor of St. Clare of Assisi, Clare Community is a unique holistic program where exploited women find sanctuary and connections to resources needed to become sober, stable, safe, and prostitution-free while living in and contributing to the community. Clare Community currently consists of a 3-resident facility with plans to expand service for up to 9 women in residence.
Clare Community also encompasses a network of clients and volunteers who are not in residence but are committed to journeying together in healing. This community gathers weekly on Monday mornings for ‘Candlelighting’ - a time for prayer, reflection and mutual support.
The Franciscan Peacemakers Social Enterprise (formerly known as Gifts for the Journey) was launched in January 2013 as a supportive workplace where women in recovery from drug addiction and/or sexual exploitation are employed while learning skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales and administration. While acquiring the skills they need to earn a living wage, the employees who live at Clare Community have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account to begin a strong financial foundation upon their graduation from Clare Community.
Franciscan Peacemakers products include soaps, lotions, candles and bath bombs - beautifully handmade with all-natural ingredients by women working together toward individual and collective healing. Additionally, hand-made unique jewelry items are available at select retailers and at Franciscan Peacemakers’ booths at craft fairs and farmers’ markets.
Franciscan Peacemakers products are available at the following physical locations:
Franciscan Peacemakers Retail Store
3333 W. Lisbon Avenue in Milwaukee, WI
Open: Thursday and Friday, 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM and by appointment (call 414-949-1551)
Summer 2020 Market Schedule
List of Retail Partners
To inquire about becoming a retail partner and receiving wholesale pricing, please contact Shelly at 414-559-3479.
With our service rooted in Franciscan Spirituality we are committed to creating community awareness about women engaging in prostitution due to trauma, human sex trafficking, and drug addiction, including why it exists and persists.
Members of our Board and Staff are available to speak to your faith community, community service organization, business, school, or foundation. We explain how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how Franciscan Peacemakers ministries are working to help address the problem and provide a healing pathway to a sustainable healthy, safe, productive life for women seeking healing and recovery.
To begin getting to know Franciscan Peacemakers work, check out our podcast where you will hear from those connected to our programs - staff, participants, board members, volunteers with the hope that what we have learned in our 25 years of ministry can be applied to your life in some way.
Are you a parish or faith community looking to get connected and active in the work to end human sex trafficking? Please see the possibilities for collaboration with Franciscan peacemakers here.
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