Local Watertown women and children receive hope and help: Interview with the Haus of Peace

Local Watertown women and children receive hope and help: Interview with the Haus of Peace

Catherine Hetzel, LPC-IT, Director of Community Outreach

The Haus of Peace organization, headed by Sue Trepte, is located in Watertown, Wisconsin. Staffed mostly by volunteers from the community, the Haus of Peace’s mission is to help women and children who have experienced homelessness and abuse. The center’s primary goal is to provide its house guests, who range from infants to older adults, with a safe environment by attending to guests’ spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional needs as they reshape and rebuild their lives.  

In an effort to help assist clientele with reclaiming their lives, house guests are asked to set a goal every few days that they are likely to accomplish. The supportive staff and outreach services provided by the Haus of Peace then sets into motion the realization of these goals. The Haus of Peace is connected with several community organizations including the Jefferson Literary Council to facilitate the completion of high school education and GEDs, as well as the Hope Program and God Touch Ministry to support the individual spiritual journeys of clientele during their recovery process. The organization also works with a variety of mental health counselors and community mentors to connect clientele to these vital services. Mental health care is a required service for Haus of Peace guests as they take back their lives and reintegrate in the community.  

To support guests daily living challenges, the Haus of Peace is affiliated with roughly 11 churches in the Watertown, WI area and two food distribution centers who help guests, both individuals and families, maintain healthy nutrition and diet and provide access to short-term housing grants. Roughly 80% of Haus of Peace clientele receive housing grants, and in 2020, the Haus of Peace reported a 100% success rate in assisting all their clientele in obtaining full-time employment and moving in to their own furnished apartment within 90 days of initial contact with the center. 

To round out guest services, the Haus of Peace also has van transportation to medical and mental health therapy appointments for women and their children, assistance with food budgeting, parenting classes, mindfulness workshops (i.e., on healthy/unhealthy relationships, communication styles, anger, addiction), PCP appointments, healthcare check-ups, and childcare. 

In all, the Haus of Peace is an organization whose goal is to provide a sense of normalcy to women and children while they rebuild their lives and reintegrate into the community. Volunteers are the life-blood of the organization, along with the many financial contributions and donations from other organizations that range from personal products such as cleaning supplies, paper products, warm wool socks, to bath salts and haircuts, all with the goal of providing the normalcy and creature comforts integral to maintaining the physical, psychological, and emotional needs of the guests of the Haus of Peace

**Serenity loves its community partners. Want to join us in reaching out to the community? Contact our Director of Community Outreach, Catherine Hetzel, LPC-IT at catherine@serenitytherapyclinic.com or call 920- 245-5081 for more information.