has provided a compassionate presence to women engaging in prositution on Milwuakee's streets. By going to the street with our outreach van, distributing bag lunches and hygiene supplies, the Franciscan Peacemakers have built relationships of trust with women managing multiple traumas - poverty, sexual abuse and exploitation, addiction and homelessness.
Many recovery programs serving women last only 60-90 days. The complex histories of trauma that women who are trafficked and exploited experience required something more than these short-term options. Franciscan Peacemakers was determined to create a better solution to truly support the healing of wounds faced by the women being encountered on outreach.
Inspired by the model of Thistle Farms in Nashville, 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 meaningful, living wage 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, Franciscan Peacemaker Social Enterprise employees learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales and administration. The women also learn leadership skills and teamwork - getting firsthand experience in building relationships of trust and care.
Education and Advocacy is woven into everything Franciscan Peacemakers does: from the logo-wrapped van circling the streets of Milwaukee accompanying women on the streets 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.
Women survivors sharing their stories of hope and healing is a powerful antidote to the climate of secrecy surrounding sexual exploitation.Through their work and witness, the employees of Franciscan Peacemakers Social Enterprise are strong advocates for an end to human sex trafficking.
The work to end trafficking starts by standing with and for survivors, reminding them and the world of their inherent dignity.
- raising awareness of this dignity to those who create the demand for and who benefit financially from the sexual exploitation of women;
- the coordinated effort of community members who can recognize the signs of exploitation;
- a strong law enforcement effort to bring traffickers to justice ;
- an abundance of support for the healing needed for survivors, physically, mentally and emotionally.
You are invited to stand with survivors and work for the end of sexual exploitation - because ALL of us were created to enjoy peace + all good.
Timeline of Services and Programs
Capuchins Bob Wheelock and Michael Sullivan provided the founding vision of reaching out in love to those who were suffering on Milwaukee's streets and even after the Capuchins moved on from serving in the organization, these Franciscan values remain vital to our culture:
- kinship with all creation,
- humble service to the suffering
- bringing peace + all good to the world.