Transient Refuge: Bellfort Avenue Community Closet



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Picture this: the hotel room at the very end of the hall, with the constant rotation of visitors. A truck stop outside of town, alongside a major highway. Think of the local massage spa, with dark windows, tucked away in one of the many strip malls of the city. These spaces, although harmless to some, are where the hidden push and pull factors of human trafficking thrive. It is spatial conditions such as these where vulnerabilities meet exploitation, invading our public spaces and causing an estimated 40.3 million people to be victimized by human trafficking worldwide2. Every situation of trafficking looks different and therefore requires diverse approaches in terms of identification and healing. Transient Refuge poses an adaptive strategy of both physically and metaphorically filling in the gaps of society. By occupying vacant strip mall spaces and redesigning the experience, what was once an unsafe space can be transformed to operate as a Community Closet open to the public, victims, and survivors of human trafficking. This allows victims and survivors to have access to essential needs such as clothing, intentional spaces designed under the Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model, and connection to the surrounding community and services.



Human trafficking, Unsafe space, Safe space, Architectural variables, Healing constructs, Interior Architecture