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Our Mission

The mission of Sisters in Shelter is to support survivors  and illuminate the atrocities of human trafficking through community education and advocacy.

          Our Services for Survivors

  • Short-term emergency and long-term safe housing

  • Comprehensive programs for addressing trauma, emotional needs, medical needs, counseling, educational needs

  • Support groups  


                       Our History

Our history dates back to 2005 when the Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin, Ohio joined forces with the Religious Sisters

of the Toledo Diocese to do all that was in their power to eradicate

six trafficking from Northwest Ohio.  Under the guidance of founder, Sr. Mary Kuhlman, a house on the Tiffin Franciscan campus was made available fore providing safe shelter for trafficked women, an advisory board was formed and extensive educational programs were developed to raise awareness of the horrors of human trafficking.

In 2014 Sisters in Shelter became a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation with Sr. Mary Kuhlman as its first director, an eleven-member Board of Directors, and a house that was donated by Tiffin Mercy Hospital.

In 2015 the organization opened its safe house, moved into a rented office in downtown Tiffin, and a Case Manager position was created to assist with volunteer management and to provide safe house residents with individualized case plans to assist them in their healing journeys.  Grants and individual donations provided the funding.

In 2018 - 2020  programs were extended to provide services to victims of domestic violence and a not-for-profit social enterprise business, Hope's Landing, was established as a SIS partner with the goal of providing training and work experience with pay for women who completed the SIS program and the intent of donating all profits for human trafficking and domestic violence programs and services.  The office was moved to a different downtown location.

As a result of the increase in the scope of service, the addition of the social enterprise entity, the experience of reduced grant funding and donations along with the stresses of the COVID years and operational challenges, the Board of Directors realized in late 2021 that all of this was unsustainable.  The decision was made to legally separate the relationship between Sisters in Shelter and Hope's Landing and to return to providing services only for victims of human trafficking.

In mid 2022 the safe house was temporarily closed; there was no longer paid staff; the office was moved to the safe house.  Two of the original founders of the organization (Sr. Mary Kuhlman and Judy Hofmann) agreed to serve as full-time volunteer administrators to guide the organization through its next phase:  rebuild and strengthen the Board, identify and apply for more grant funding, improve website and social media communication, establish partnerships with organizations and people who have similar missions; conduct an extensive donor campaign and a corporate sponsor campaign; preparing safe house for re-opening with 24/7 staffing; establish sustainability for the future; increase efforts to educate the public and volunteers.   

At the beginning of the second quarter of 2023 necessary maintenance work in the safe house has been completed, the office has been moved to the Seneca-Tiffin United Way building; volunteers have been trained to assist in providing services for survivors and educational/awareness programs in the community; plans for hiring staff are in process; the safe house will be re-opening in April. 

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