Providing a safe place where women who are sexually exploited can find their value, purpose, and inner beauty while they discover who God created and personally formed them to be.
The Real Victims
For many years we looked at the “working women” who stood on our church door steps as the criminal in this plight of prostitution. We now know that is not the truth. It took a working woman to tell us that she was the victim.
“God told me if I came in here… You would help me.”
We listened to her story of deceit, coercion and threat of violence that forced her onto the streets. We accepted this as our clarion call to step up and help the women rather then tell them to leave our steps.
Not all of the women we speak to during our Friday night outreach are currently trafficked, however they have been exploited in some way in the past. Leaving physical and emotional scars of the tragic events they have endured.
With those we believe are trafficked we are building relationships of trust by caring for them in practical ways.
Deanne Lawson – Executive Director and Founder
Deanne has a passion for women who are marginalized by sexual exploitation. An RN since 1988, she has worked primarily in women’s health in the hospital setting and is currently employed as an RN at a local hospital. Mid 2011 her world was rocked by a woman who was a sex trafficking victim brought to Milwaukee from out of state. Not knowing the dangers or even the definition of human trafficking she assisted this woman to a safe place and eventually back to her home state. That began the journey to today’s 501(c)(3) public charity – Inner Beauty Center.
Deanne is also a mother of 3 and a wife to retired pastor – Grant. She finds gardening to be “therapy.” Two of her children are now adults and the youngest is in high school. Deanne is compassionate and definitely finds helping people most rewarding.
Laurie Tenpenny – Co-Founder of the Inner Beauty Center and Board Chair
She is also an Ordained Minister who is a survivor of childhood abuse. Laurie’s passion is to see the power of the gospel at work in redeeming, transforming and restoring lives. She has been ministering to victims and offenders for twenty years and believes God loves setting captives free and empowering them to be overcomers.
Mary Worden – Client Advocate and Hospitality
Mary came to IBC in 2014 as a volunteer at our drop-in center.
She and her husband, a pastor, have been married in 1979. She raised and home-schooled four daughters and one son and is now a grandmother of seven (and counting!) both biological and foster children. As a mother/grandmother figure Mary inspires homemaking and parenting skills in both staff and attendees.
Mary is passionate about her work and is committed to creating a homey and welcoming family atmosphere for our “girls” who have so often been denied that blessing in their lives.
“My love language is service” Mary says. “I’m better at baking a pie than giving a speech; but I’m a good listener”.