It is common for homeless women to know where to find meals, clothing, and a place to sleep, but tracking down feminine hygiene products is a daily struggle.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, women make up around 32% of the homeless population in the United States. Feminine hygiene in this demographic is not something we think about. The issue is larger than simply being in short supply of products.
Elaine Guinn, Executive Director at New Hope Family Shelter in Bloomington, says that even if the shelter does have feminine hygiene products available, which is a rare occurrence; women seldom ask for them because they are embarrassed. Guinn says this exposes a bigger issue: menstruation remains a taboo subject.
For more information on how to help, contact the New Hope Family Shelter at www.newhopefamilyshelter.org or a homeless shelter near you.
Author: Elizabeth Wadas, HNS multimedia journalist