Newmarket Woman Crowdfunds To Give Tampons And Pads To Toronto’s Homeless Women
This article was written by Al Donato for The Huffington Post Canada. Oct 21, 2016
Periods are the worst for everyone, but for homeless women and trans individuals that time of the month can be especially devastating.
On top of dealing with unstable living conditions, homeless people who experience periods can struggle accessing menstruation products.
“Being homeless and having your period just makes everything else worse. Logistically, it’s tough just getting pads or tampons, but it’s also harder if you don’t have access to sanitary facilities to keep yourself clean,” one homeless woman told Cosmopolitan.
A Newmarket, Ont., woman wants to make this a struggle of the past for Toronto’s most vulnerable, where only abused women’s shelters distribute tampons and pads freely. Shelters are massively underfunded, as stated in a Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses survey.
Rebecca Denise, a 24-year-old dietary aide, started a GoFundMe campaign that aims to eradicate homeless menstruation woes with free period care kits. Called Bitches Build Empires, it pledges to use all donations to build packages that will contain essentials that give them dignity and relieves them of the monthly stress.
She was called to action by a video by Bustle, which looked at the menstrual difficulties facing Los Angeles’ homeless women.
Examining the issue at home made her realize Canada’s homeless women faced similar brutal conditions.
For the past 10 years, about 27 per cent of Canada’s homeless population are women, reports a 2016 Homeless Hub study.
A Street Health report in 2007 revealed that 32 per cent of homeless women in Toronto had a hard time getting pads and tampons.
Women surveyed by the report said they experienced chronic fatigue, pain, concentration issues, and stress on a daily basis.
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