There is so much that homeless men and women go without that we don’t realize is essential to human needs. For example, go to your bathroom and look through your cupboards and medicine cabinet. The homeless often do not have access to any of the basic supplies that you may find in a common household bathroom. While the homeless don’t have access to many products, the product that most women find in their bathrooms, and is also the most scarce donation to shelters, is tampons and other menstrual products.
Happy Period, founded by Chelsea VonChaz, aims to make tampons and pads accessible to women in need. Happy Period provides basic hygiene in kits to homeless women and transgender men who still have periods. Happy Period provides kits to shelters and directly to the homeless on streets who are not shelter residents. Each Happy Period kit contains; five pads, four tampons, five panty liners, two wipes, one bar of soap, and a fresh pair of underwear. One Happy Period kit can make a true difference in the quality of life for a woman who is homeless. Members of Happy Period gather about once a month and distribute kits to those in need, and anyone may join. So far, Happy Period has reached communities in 9 districts in the US and other areas in Canada.
The Start of Happy Period
Chelsea VonChaz began the concept for Happy Period last year when she was to work in Los Angeles, California. VonChaz saw a woman who appeared to be homeless while she was at an intersection. She noticed that the woman had blood stained bottoms and then realized that the homeless woman was on her period. This prompted VonChaz to call the local homeless shelter and ask if they distributed tampons to the residents.
“They said they were more likely to get donations of food, clothes, money — even toothbrushes or razor blades — than pads and tampons.” Said VonChaz in an interview with the Huffington Post, “That’s how the seed was planted.”
VonChaz then gathered her friends over the weekend and began distributing tampons and other hygiene products to homeless women in areas of California with high rates of homelessness. Since then, VonChaz has registered Happy Period as a nonprofit and has donated nearly 6,000 kits to homeless women across the US.
“A lot of us don’t think about the fact that homeless people get their periods. We all have periods — but for some reason we don’t think about it in terms of these less fortunate. This is a real issue for women’s rights.”
Acquiring tampons can be very challenging for the homeless. Existing taxes increase the cost of tampons that cannot be paid for with food stamps or other forms of government aid. The harsh reality is that monthly menstrual cycles are something that the homeless simply have to struggle through.
“I could do this forever,” said VonChaz. “I want this to be a movement.”
We would like to thank Happy Period for providing a better quality of life to those less fortunate for thousands of people. To learn more information about Happy Period, click here.