"A holistic approach to addressing abuse:" Unique family justice center gets big donation from Selig family

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Putting all the essentials for helping abuse victims in one place: That's the idea behind a planned "family justice" facility. Private donations, including a big one received this week, are helping to make it a reality.

"This is Walnut and 6th Street, so the first part is the partnership space, then education center, and the shelter," Carmen Pitre, the executive director of the Sojourner Family Peace Center said.

Pitre says she's excited about the new facility her organization will share with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

The Sojourner Family Peace Center is known for its work in dealing with families experiencing abuse and trauma, while Children's Hospital works with children experiencing abuse and trauma.

Robert Duncan is the executive vice president of community services at Children's Hospital.

"The beauty about this project is not just the building that we're building and the co-location, it's the bringing around of the holistic approach to addressing the trauma and violence and abuse that our families and children suffer in a manager that we're wrapping the services around them verses putting together two different plans of action," Duncan said.

"I'm very proud of that partnership and the journey we've been walking together," Pitre said.

The state will chip in $10.6 million for the project, and the two organizations will come up with matching funds through private sources.

On Monday, July 14th, Children's Hospital announced it had received $2.5 million from the Selig family to go toward the unique family justice model.

"This gift really solidifies the sustainability of the child advocacy center which will be located in our center, so I'm grateful because kids need us all to rally around them," Pitre said.

Pitre says the fundraising has gone very well -- and they'll be ready to break ground on the new facility at 6th and Walnut this fall.

The center will also include space for law enforcement officials, medical officials, legal and social services and job training.