One Month At A Time
We need to realize that poverty doesn't only consist of being hungry for bread, but rather it is a tremendous hunger for human dignity. We need to love and to be someone for someone else. - Mother Teresa
As a member of the CCYS Youth Advisory Board, and the youth representative on the Big Bend Homeless Coalition Board, I've become more aware of the issues of dignity surrounding homelessness.
Especially for women, and transmen, one of the most significant issues of dignity are those surrounding their menstrual cycle and access to period care products.
My proposal is a sustainable coalition of different community groups already in existence - groups serving the homeless population, Bags of Hope and other sewing service groups, and the women groups in Tallahassee, like the Junior League, which I'm a youth member of - to provide for this fundamental need in a discreet and dignified way.
- Survey these populations and divide them into categories according to which outreach service they have access to. For example, I'm a volunteer at Going Places Drop In Center and I know there is a young population of women and transmen who come there for their basic needs.
- Eventually, I'd like to increase the dignity factor of this project by allowing the women to choose the products they'd like to use - tampons, disposable pads, a menstrual cup, "period panties" or washable pads - based on what serves their needs best.
- I would work with each organization - through my board seat on the BBHC - to find out how we can best integrate our program with what they may already have available. How women can pick up their monthly supplies in a dignified way, and not disrupt programming already occurring at each facility.
- But most of all I will continue to reach out to interview women and transmen facing homelessness and find out how to best meet their needs. while allowing them the dignity of independence.
- Eventually, when the project is fully functioning I would like to bring the initiative to the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls for long term support opportunities.
You can become involved in this start up program by:
- Donating disposable period products,
- Helping sew - or donate wallets or other discreet carriers for period products.
- Letting us connect with the home less population you serve to provide for their period needs.