Many people know about domestic violence and the horror it wreaks on victims and their families while they are in those situations, but not everyone knows all the challenges they face when they try to leave. Many victims end up trying to stay in homeless shelters or couch hopping. However, these places do not provide the stability, resources, or assistance that victims need. And often, those who go to homeless shelters end up being forced to leave within a short time because of the restriction of time allowed to stay there. Yet, they have not reached a point where they can just move into their own apartment or house because they have not had the time to accomplish all they need to be able to do that. This facility is a bridge between these two events. A place that provides longer term housing yet provides the resources and assistance that victims need to keep the residents constantly changing. This facility provides a place for therapy, an office for advocates, and conference rooms for victims to make private phone calls or meet with an attorney. There is a workshop and presentation room so members from the community can come in and teach skills to victims to help them be able to provide for themselves. This area is separated from the rest of the building where the residents reside by a secure entrance. The resident area consists of a common area with multiple seating arrangements; a common kitchen and dining area, encouraging residents to develop friendships and have communal dinners; and a library for studying and accessing resources. On the second floor there is a communal computer room, a teen/child hang out space, more seating areas, a laundry room, and 6 separate residences. Each residence has a different layout, allowing for a variety of victim circumstances and needs.
The palette for the final design was kept to calming neutrals. Greens, light blues, woods and other natural materials were focused on as an ode to nature and to encourage a sense of home and healing. Views of nature were utilized in the design as much as possible without compromising security. The grounds will include a garden area and landscaping for the residents to be able to tend, as doing so has been shown to contribute to the healing process. Multiple conversation arrangements were included to allow residents multiple choices.
The workshop is a place where community members can come and teach skills to residents. From sewing to art and other hands-on skills, this knowledge provides residents new skills that they can use to provide for themselves.
The therapy rooms are places where residents and their children can come and receive the therapy they need to move forward in their lives and accomplish the things they need to heal and start over. Materials focused on natural elements and colors. Green in particular was used to represent nature and growth. Plants were also placed in the room to contribute to this idea.