New Milwaukee shelter offers women a chance to leave life on the streets

Bishop Donald J. Hyling walks through the new Clare
Community apartment sprinkling holy water to bless the
new facility. (Photo by Karen Slattery)
At the heart of the Franciscan Peacemakers’ Clare Community project is a newly renovated, bright and spacious three-bedroom apartment.

The home, awaiting occupancy, is located in a building that is part of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, 3114 N. Second St. The Franciscan Peacemakers hope it offers an escape for prostitutes working the city’s sex trade.

The Peacemakers recently hosted Bishop Donald J. Hying, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and dozens of friends and supporters at the new shelter’s dedication.

Standing in the sunny, spacious living area, furnished with a formal dining table and inviting overstuffed furniture, the bishop blessed the new home. He asked the visitors to pray with him for the women who will live there as they move away from a life marked by hopelessness and despair.

Hying called the project a “concrete expression of living the gospel,” adding that it offers the women “hope, dignity and love.” Following the prayer, the bishop sprinkled holy water throughout the rooms.

Peacemakers Steve Przedpelski and Carmen Mojica plan to fill the apartment by doing what they’ve done for years — travel the neighborhood in the nonprofit group’s van, bringing women bag lunches and inviting them to leave behind their lives of sex trafficking and drug and alcohol addiction.
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