Gifts for the Journey is the social enterprise ministry of Franciscan Peacemakers in Milwaukee, WI.
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:
(1) Outreach: Street Ministry
(2) Housing and Healing: Clare Community
(3) Employment: Gifts for the Journey
(4) Education: Speaking and Advocacy
History of Franciscan Peacemakers:
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, 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.
Gifts for the Journey is social enterprise that provides employment for the women of Clare Community. While working at Gifts for the Journey, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales and administration.The women also learn to advocate for others affected by human trafficking by telling their stories of exploitation and healing at markets, community and church events.
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.
3333 W. Lisbon Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Learn how you can support the mission of Franciscan Peacemakers here:
Find Franciscan Peacemakers at markets and presentations here.
Our upcoming events include: