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Originally from Chicago IL, Shenise came to Milwaukee in 2002 to pursue a better and positive lifestyle, leaving behind her family and acquaintances. In Milwaukee, she could be away from negative influences but should an emergency arise, travel time was minimal. In her effort to establish positive connections, she was introduced to the Franciscan Peacemakers and met Deacon Steve.
Shenise participated in the Franciscan Peacemakers programming, a support group for women. While expanding her network, and gaining her independence, she searched for and gained employment. Her first job was at the downtown Metro Mart, a grocery store that offers fresh and cooked food along with gourmet items and a fresh bakery. Initially hired as a demo clerk, Shenise was promoted to the Meat & Seafood department where she learned food safety and butcher techniques. After five years of employment there, she moved to a smaller, private company that had contracts with office buildings in Downtown Milwaukee. Using her lived experience, she became Residential Staff member at Project H.E.A.T., a sober living Transitional House. She supported residents as they remained sober, attended 12 step program meetings, and sought and gained employment to live independently.
Shenise’s personal knowledge of the struggle of those who have been exploited and have suffered from addictions led her back to work for the Franciscan Peacemakers. At that time, the Franciscan Peacemakers Social Enterprise and Clare Community residence was just starting. Shenise has performed a variety of tasks with the organization, from making products to selling at events.
Shenise uses her poetry writing and speaking talents to speak at events to provide education and awareness or talk personally to a woman to encourage her to make the decision to make positive changes. Additionally, these gifts of accentuating positive and beneficial qualities in people and items will now be utilized to sell Franciscan Peacemakers products to stores and other business owners to increase the market and the message.
Shenise is an active member of NA (Narcotics Anonymous), and the mother of one adult daughter, Ashley.