Heroes of the Week: The Alma Center Volunteers and Staff Help Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence
The nonprofit Alma Center (2821 N. Fourth St.) was founded in 2004 by Terri Strodthoff and provides evidence-based, trauma- and healing-informed programming to adult males with violent histories to help them break the cycle of domestic violence. Its programs include Men Ending Violence, a trauma resolution and education program that explores the root causes of violence with intimate partners (serves 300 men annually); Restorative Fatherhood, an education program that helps men who have been abusive to their children to recognize, acknowledge and ameliorate the trauma they’ve caused (serves 100 men annually); and Wisdom Walk to Self Master, a guided healing circle that uses psycho-educational intervention and indigenous healing principles to help transform men’s trauma into positive strength (serves 50 men annually). In 2015, Alma Center served more than 300 men and since its founding it has worked with more than 4,300 men in the Milwaukee community, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children. Additionally, a recent outcome study found that completion of Alma Center’s core program, Men Ending Violence, is associated with an 86% decrease in repeat domestic violence offenses.
“It is hurt people who hurt people. We cannot educate, train, employ or house the hurt away, and we certainly cannot punish it away,” says Alma Center President Strodthoff. “For too many boys in Milwaukee the world is a sobering place where men beat each other, couples fight, drugs run rampant and people around them get shot. The truly sobering explosion of homicides in Milwaukee over the past nine months has made it abundantly clear how deeply and profoundly the generational cycle of violence affects the growing number of at-risk families in our community. The Alma Center is working to break that cycle through understanding, evidence-based healing and transformative change.”
The nonprofit is currently in need of updated technology and media equipment, as well as volunteers to help with the Men We Love male role model celebration event this June. Men We Love is a photo journal book featuring commissioned portraits and personal stories that will be released on Father’s Day weekend. Additionally, while the organization only serves men at this time, it is hoping to work with couples in the future and monetary donations can help make this happen. Those interested in volunteering or donating can contact Peter Zehren at email@example.com or 414-265-0100 ext. 110. Those interested in utilizing Alma Center programs can call 414-265-0100. For more information, visit almacenter.org.