Hygiene and health are intimately interwoven, and poor hygiene is an inevitable result of homelessness. Establishing proper hygiene is key to a sense of self and better health. This includes regularly brushing teeth, washing hair, washing hands, cleaning with soap, wearing deodorant, menstrual hygiene products, and clean underwear and socks. When people don't have access to these products, many consequences will develop ranging from unemployment to serious diseases. Simply the Basics provides basic hygiene to programs and people, thus building a healthier community and stronger homeless programs overall.
Often homeless people will utilize a local homeless shelter or a day center for their hygiene needs. However, having access to a shelter doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will be able to bathe due to the number of homeless and the shortage of resources at shelters. Additionally, nonprofit organizations shared that on average, more than 14 hours of staff time a week was spent collecting, sorting, and storing donations.
Simply the Basics has launched the first large-scale Hygiene Bank in the nation. The purpose of our "Hygiene Bank" is to ensure organizations serving the homeless and low income community always have access to their most basic needs, and redistribute the items they do not to avoid waste. We remove the dehumanization of handouts, and empower our most underserved community members to have the dignity and benefits that come with good hygiene and choice.
Total Distribution as of September 20, 2019
Dental Hygiene: 126,446
Menstrual Hygiene: 193,089
Healthy Food & Snacks: 4,193
Infant Care: 43,843
Other (Lotion, Combs, First Aid, etc): 113,760
Razors/Shaving Needs: 14,604
Soap, Body Wash, Wipes, Deodorant: 197,337
Household & Towels & Bedding: 3,087
Socks & Undergarments: 32,943
Complete Hygiene Kits in Reusable Tote Bags: 65,251
TOTAL BASIC NEEDS DISTRIBUTED: 883,644