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Sojourner Family Peace Center

Sojourner and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin formed a unique partnership to create one of the first co-located child advocacy and family violence centers in the country. Located at 619 West Walnut Street in Milwaukee, the new Family Peace Center is one of the first in the nation to provide comprehensive services for victims and families impacted by domestic violence.

The innovative Family Peace Center expands on a proven, collaborative model, which combines co-located service providers in one easily accessible location.  The goal is to provide victims of domestic violence and their families access to integrated, streamlined and cost efficient services. In addition to Sojourner programming (crisis housing, system advocacy and individual support), the Family Peace Center accommodates a number of co-located and visiting partner organizations and service providers. These organizations include Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as well as the Milwaukee Police Department Sensitive Crimes Unit, Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services, Aurora Healthcare Abuse Response Services and others. Families receiving services at the Family Peace Center will have access to a wide array of services to support their efforts to achieve justice, healing, self-sufficiency and freedom from abuse in a safe, secure and supportive environment.

Through this partnership, Sojourner aims to transform our community’s response to family violence, ultimately making Milwaukee and its surrounding communities healthier, safer and a more peaceful place to live.

The co-location of services for individuals and families impacted by domestic violence eases the burden on both the victim and the community. Implementing this model promises to have profound benefits on the lives of survivors of family violence. Coordinated services available at the new campus will reduce long-term generational family violence and treat the whole person – mind, body and spirit.

The Family Peace Center is based on the nationally known and proven Family Justice Center model. Similar family Justice Centers around the country have led to a reduction in family violence, better quality of life and tax savings for the communities in which they are located. Noted benefits include:

• Reports of domestic violence tend to increase with the initial opening of the center, but decease over time. This trend is attributed to an increase in accessibility of services at the center, followed by a move toward prevention.
• In 2000, before the San Diego Family Justice Center opened, the city experienced 30 domestic violence-related homicides; in 2008, the city experienced three domestic violence-related homicides.
• Family Justice Centers around the country report increased victim safety and empowerment, efficiency in collaborative services for victims among service providers, offender accountability and community support for services to victims and their children.
• Family Justice Centers also report a reduction in homicides, reduced fear and anxiety for victims and their children and reduced recantation and minimization by victims.

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Size: 72,000 s.f.

Services Provided: Architectural Planning and Design, Structural, Mechanical, Plumbing Engineering, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture

Completion Date(s): 2016

Contractor / Construction Manager: Mortenson Construction


Jack Blume, AIA, CDT

Jack Blume, AIA, CDT

Civic + Government Project Architect

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