ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Sex trafficking in Atlanta is big business and a big problem. The lucky few women who escape, struggle to rebuild their lives. They often have nowhere to live. But now a small community is being built just for them, the survivors.
It's a tiny house community. There are nine homes, a community center, and an outdoor pavilion. The homes will serve as transitional housing for the women. They'll live here for three years as they rebuild their lives.
"After three years, you'll have a whole 'nother group of women come in, and over the course of 30 or 50 years, you have hundreds of people who will be impacted by this community," said contractor Paul Kirby.
It truly took a community effort to build this community of tiny houses. More than 40 businesses donated materials and labor. Every Saturday 50 to 100 volunteers, many from local churches, would show up to help.
"We just try to get people slotted in, so everyone is doing something. Some of the volunteers had family members affected by the sex traffic trade, so it hits close to home for them," said Mark Whitehead who helped coordinate the volunteers.
The women who live in the tiny houses will have all gone through programs with Wellspring Living, an organization that gives support, therapy and professional development to those who have escaped the sex trafficking trade.
"They lost everything, and it's rebuilding a community and their self-esteem, and rebuilding hope for a future," said Mary Frances Bowley with Wellspring Living.
In just a few weeks, nine women, some with children, will have new hope for their futures as they move in to their brand new tiny homes. They'll pay rent and utilities, to build their credit, and their confidence while living in a safe place.
"Being able to help build this facility for these women to make it one step further back into society and for them to have a safe place to live where they can thrive is really exciting," said Whitechurch.
While there are a few more weeks before the tiny house community is finished, there's already talk of building others like it across metro Atlanta.