In October 2006 the sub-region Leadership Conference of Religious had a meeting about the horrors of human trafficking in the United States and worldwide. The religious sisters in the Diocese of Toledo spent the following year studying and learning about the facts of this issue.
In August 2007 the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Ursuline Sisters, the Sisters of St Francis from Sylvania and the Sisters of St. Francis from Tiffin joined in making a collaborative stance against human trafficking stating that they would do all in their power to bring this issue to awareness and use their combined efforts to stop the sale of human beings for labor or for sex.
Sisters in Shelter ~ Clare’s House opened its doors to the first resident in October, 2008.
The Sisters of St. Francis in Tiffin, Ohio had become involved in housing young women who had been involved in human trafficking during the year 2007. Understanding the growing need for housing in our local area the Sisters decided to open a house for this purpose. Two Sisters agreed to staff the house and provide a home like setting and communal style of living for the women who been involved in human trafficking. Sister Mary Kuhlman and Sister Jane Schimmoeller are the Sisters who live in the house along with the women who come until they are able to become more independent in their own lives.
In the past few years women have come to stay at the house and have stayed anywhere from 9 months to 3 days. These women come to Clare’s House through the FBI or other referring agencies such as Second Chance out of Toledo or Pathstone out of Bowling Green.
Some women have been able to go on and make healthy choices about their lives and continue to be mentored and encouraged by the Sisters of St. Francis, finding jobs, learning to drive and purchasing a car, completing GEDs, etc. Unfortunately, others have chosen to return to unhealthy relationships and have again become a part of the human trafficking trade.
We welcome any trafficked woman who is seeking to gain control of her own life.