Homeless Donations Are Missing Something: Tampons

A nonprofit helped Athens, Ga., address this often-ignored need and wants to expand its services.

by / October 18, 2018

Cities, nonprofits and people who donate to homeless shelters tend to think of necessities as food, clothing and soap. Often left off the list are tampons and pads for women who are menstruating.

In 2015, Governing reported on an innovative proposal in Athens, Ga., to provide feminine hygiene kits to homeless women. They included not just tampons and pads but also sanitary wipes, Midol and hand sanitizer. Today, that program -- known as fem(me) -- has become a vital part of the city’s approach toward providing care for its homeless population. And now, fem(me) wants to expand to other cities.

In this episode of "Go Public," we interview fem(me) Executive Director Rachel Allen about how they’re addressing this need, how they’re coordinating with the local government, and how they’re looking to grow.

Listen below. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.



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Paul W. Taylor Editor

Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., is the editor of Governing. He also serves as the chief content officer of e.Republic, Governing’s parent organization, as well as senior advisor to the Governing Institute. Prior to joining e.Republic, Taylor served as deputy Washington state CIO and chief of staff of the state Information Services Board (ISB). Dr. Taylor came to public service following decades of work in media, Internet start-ups and academia. He is also among a number of affiliated experts with the non-profit, non-partisan Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C.

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