The Pop-Up: A Lower Cost and More Mobile Alternative to Dedicated Anti-Trafficking Facilities


September 10 | 1:30 - 2:30 PM | Room 3010A

When most organizations plan to offer services pertaining to human trafficking, they most often contemplate a large, dedicated care facility. However, the stationary model may not allow access to the client base due to location, and the incredibly high cost places it out of reach for all but the most well-funded organizations. Over the past year, The Imagine Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio has been developing a unique facility and programming model taken from small, start-up businesses—the pop-up. This temporary and highly mobile model enables a low-cost alternative to high-cost infrastructure by utilizing existing, underused facilities, a professionally trained volunteer base, and a network of partnered organizations.

The Cleveland Pop-up is part of a prevention and recidivism reduction model that aims to implement career services to those involved within human trafficking—both potential perpetrators and victim/survivors in the belief that access to the formal economy through employment can help alleviate some of the contributing factors leading up to exploitation. During the intensive, one-day program, career services are located in close proximity to high-risk areas including hotels/motels, areas known to be conducive to prostitution, and halfway houses or prisons. In the Cleveland area, during the past year, over 200 clients have come to the various pop-up locations seeking career services to leave “the life” and earn employment within the formal economy.

The objective for this presentation is to introduce the advocacy and care community to a new and unique service model that allows providers to operate in a highly localized, mobile and cost effective way.

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