Periods when homeless: Safe Spaces
Why you need a safe & private space during your period:
- To change products, To clean your hands, body, and clothes.
- To have a space to rest and feel comfortable.
- Limited spaces in shelters.
- Shelters may have limited times that one can access facilities.
- Some shelters only allow people to shelter overnight.
- Public restrooms may not be safe or easily accessible.
- Especially during COVID when so many have closed.
Periods when homeless: Products & Extra Clothing
Why you need period products and extra clothing during your period:
- Period products are used to collect or absorb the period blood.
- Underwear is necessary for some period products like menstrual pads.
- Comfy clothes, especially if you experience bloating or are sensitive to temperature changes.
Why period products and extra clothing are hard to get while experiencing homelessness:
- They cost money!
- It can be difficult to keep them safe and dry, so having extras might not be an option.
- Shelters may not have enough for everyone who needs them and options are usually limited.
Why you need access to education and treatment if you have a period:
- It’s important to know how to care for yourself and when you should seek professional medical help.
- Education on how to maintain good menstrual health is vital.
- Access to treatment for any period-related issues is a basic right.
Why health education and treatment are difficult to access while experiencing homelessness:
- It can cost money!
- Limited use of the internet or communication.
- Feelings of isolation preventing seeking professional medical help.
- Continue to educate yourself and think of how you can make a difference.
- Because you definitely can and we need lots of people working on this issue!
- Support shelters and organizations that provide safe spaces, period products, and health services.
- Spread the awareness of this need.
- Look into ways to initiate or support changes in your local government to support those experiencing homelessness.
- #TheHomelessPeriod is a UK-based organization that fought for shelters to have funds for menstrual products.
- Support the Girls is based in Washington, DC and donates period products and bras to shelters and organizations.
- #HappyPeriod was started in Los Angeles and hands out period product care packages directly to people living on the street.
- RACKET. is a Broadway-based donation drive that raises awareness and donations for shelters in New York City.
- Lava Mae was founded in San Francisco and provides mobile showers and toilets with hot and cold running water for people.
- PERIOD. delivers period care packages to people in need and was started by a young woman who experienced homelessness herself.
- Project Pink Box was a donation project that provided machines in public restrooms that dispense free period products along with safety information for those experiencing domestic abuse.
- Bloody Good Period is a UK based organization that delivers period products to asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.
Let us know how you think we can change this issue!
Homelessness statistics – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Homelessness – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Weiss-Wolf, J. (2017). Periods gone public: taking a stand for menstrual equity. Arcade Publishing.
Written by Morgan Ludington
April 3, 2021
Edited by Lilypads