In the early 1980s, the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph Hospital responded to a need to empower Milwaukee residents who were living in poverty and unable to access resources, leaving them lost and neglected. These nurses developed an innovative, collaborative approach to address the need in the community, and a structure that continues to advance the SET mission today.
Facilitating conversations with religious congregations, the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters developed a proposal that introduced a collaborative model through which to meet the needs of the poor.
The name, SET Ministry, originally was an acronym for serve, empower, transform.
Founding Religious Congregations
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes – Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Sisters of Charity of the BVM – Dubuque, Iowa
Daughters of Charity – Evansville, Indiana Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Felician Services, Inc – Chicago, Illinois Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Omaha, Nebraska
Order of St. Camillus – Milwaukee, Wisconsin Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi – St. Francis, Wisconsin
Priests of the Sacred Heart – Hales Corners, Wisconsin Sisters of the Divine Savior- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Religious of the Cenacle – Chicago, Illinois Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother – Oshkosh, Wisconsin
School Sisters of St. Francis – Milwaukee, Wisconsin Society of the Divine Savior – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
School Sisters of Notre Dame – Elm Grove, Wisconsin Wheaton Franciscan Sisters – Wheaton, Illinois
Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters – Milwaukee, Wisconsin  









Historical Timeline

  • SET Adult Services team ranked 1st among all Family Care Care Management Units in Milwaukee County.
  • SET received the first-ever President’s Community Impact Award from the Medical College of Wisconsin in recognition of the work SET does to improve the health of the community.
  • SET becomes the anchor community partner of the Fostering Futures collaborative. This collaborative intends to translate science into practice to reduce the impact of childhood adversity and improve the child-welfare experience for children, parents and families.
  • SET honored 25 people at its 25th anniversary celebration with a successful community-wide event. See Honorees Here
  • SET joined Milwaukee's continuum of care and began to guide families and individuals transitioning from homelessness.
  • The PEACE Program is launched
  • SET received a Best Practice Award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging.
  • SET pioneered the on-site case management model for services-enriched public housing communities in Milwaukee in collaboration with the Milwaukee County Department on Aging and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, with a three-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for services in two high rises.
  • SET launched the School Services Program
  • SET launched the model in the Milwaukee community within three subsidized public housing facilities for the elderly.



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