A small gesture goes a long way.
It goes without saying that there is a homeless crisis in Ireland at present.
Along with the already tragic circumstance of being homeless in the first place, many other issues arise.
For women, one forgotten about issue is how they deal with getting their periods while living on the streets.
”At present, there are over 1000 women sleeping on the streets of Dublin alone, and countless others who are living in emergency accommodation or in extreme financial strain at home. These women deserve the same basic level of hygiene each month that the majority can afford,” Petra Hanlon of the Homeless Period said.
This is why a new initiative has been set up in Dublin to help tackle the problem.
The tagline on the project says it all: ‘None of us know what it is like to be homeless -but we can all appreciate the basic needs of being a woman.’
The Homeless Period is an initiative which encourages people to donate sanitary products to homeless women.
What The Homeless Period does is ask women to simply buy one extra pack of tampons/pads when they are buying their own and to ask a friend to do the same.
These are then distributed to various charities around the city who will pass them on to women in need.
”For homeless women, and women who are struggling financially having a period really is a dreaded time of the month. The cost of sanitary products for women each month in Ireland can be up to €10,” Petra explains.
”Women who are homeless, living in emergency accommodation, or who are struggling to feed themselves and their children will unfortunately have to make a decision between buying tampons or food. With limited or no access to sanitary products, they’re often forced to improvise with other means, or to go without.”
”The Homeless Period Dublin is an important initiative to not only bring donations of sanitary products to those in need, but also to break down the taboo surrounding periods and to educate that this is a monthly basic hygiene need and expense for all women,” She added.
In Dublin, you can currently drop your donation off at any Simon Community shop or centre, in Smithfield in the Market Pharmacy and in An Siol Community Development Project on Manor Street.
The initiative is currently active in Dublin and Belfast and London but it is important that more counties in Ireland take the initiative on board.
”I have however been approached by women in other counties who are keen to set up the initiative in Cork and Limerick.” Petra said.
Petra adds that it is ‘vital that more companies/organisations come on board as donation points in other areas of the city to allow for easy access for donations’.
If you’d like make your business or building a drop off point, you can easily register here and if you don’t have a designated area you can give as a drop-off point, you could alternatively sign up as a collector or distributor of the products.
If you’d like to start the initiative in your county then register a drop-off point in your area.