Culture, Distributing Dignity, homeless shelter, homeless women, sanitary care items, sanitary products, the homeless period -

Many Homeless Women Don’t Have Access to Sanitary Products and That’s BS

Homeless women need sanitary products, too.

Sanitary products. All women need them at one time or another during their life. And while no woman or girl jumps for joy when she puts a box of tampons in her grocery cart at the store, she’s thankful she can afford these necessary items.

Now, imagine if you were homeless and couldn’t afford to buy tampons, pads, or a diva cup. What the heck would you do? Who could you ask for help? Luckily, some smart folks created a useful hashtag campaign called #thehomelessperiod that has shed some light on this common issue many homeless women face.

According to XOVain, the hashtag that turned into a petition was created in the United Kingdom. The petition calls for getting “sanitary care items into homeless shelters where supply is low or non-existent.” The UK petition asked the government to do an incredibly simple thing: to give an allowance to homeless shelters to provide sanitary items to women. According to the petition, shelters already provide condoms, so providing some pads and tampons for women in need shouldn’t be too hard.

Since the petition has gained some steam in the UK, a similar discussion has begun in the United States. The Huffington Post reported on the issue in January 2015. The Huff article discusses that often times, sanitary pads are at the top of the list for “items in need” at shelters.

Luckily, there’s an organization in operation in the United States that is exclusively dedicated to getting homeless women the hygiene products they need. Distributing Dignity, a non-profit organization, was stated in 2009 when a couple was donating clothing to a homeless center in Camden, New Jersey. “Joanie Balderstone and her partner, Rebecca McIntire, asked the women there what else they really needed,” reports the Huffington Post. “The overwhelming consensus was pads and tampons, the couple wrote on their organization’s website. That interaction is what spurred the pair to found Distributing Dignity, a nonprofit that donates bras and feminine hygiene products to women in need.”

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