Personal Care Items

The Cause

The Women’s Centre would like to increase funding to our Basic Needs Assistance program in order to support more women in times of crisis. When resources allow, we provide women with access to food and personal care items such as pads, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, pregnancy test kits, and condoms. The needs of women in poverty differ from that of men as few organizations that work with low-income populations provide feminine hygiene products for women.

Pads, tampons, and adult diapers allow women to fully participate in their communities so they don’t have to miss work or school because of their periods. The Women’s Centre would like to expand this program as we recognize, in terms of feminine hygiene, the unique needs women have. On average, the Women’s Centre spends $460 per month on feminine hygiene products. A year’s supply of products costs one woman more than $70 per month; for an individual living in poverty, this is an extraordinary cost.

Due to our limited resources, the Women’s Centre can only provide twelve pads or tampons to women per month and we are unable to provide more supplies for women who require them. With increased funding, we would be able to provide more supplies for more women and decrease the barriers they experience from fully participating in society.

Who Will it Benefit?

The women who use the Centre and their families will benefit from the program. The overall goal of the Basic Needs Assistance program is to provide temporary relief to assist women and their families in times of crisis. Recognizing the unique needs of women in poverty is critical in ensuring they are fully supported in times of crisis. While receiving basic needs assistance, women are also able to access peer support services. People in poverty often require more than one service to assist them. Within peer support services, we work with other agencies to provide referrals for everything from furniture, baby care items, winter clothing, legal advice, and housing.

We measure the impact of our program by asking women how their experiences after using our services and accessing our programs. They participate in round tables discussion, surveys, and provide feedback statements to communicate their experiences.

We had 87,052 contacts from women in 2015. Of those:

86% of women coming to the Centre reporting getting support when they need it
80% of women reporting they feel they are given options when they come for assistance
69% of respondents saying they know more about resources in the community

Their feedback includes:

“The Women’s Centre has helped me when I am going through tough times always and I really appreciate them being there for us.”

“It has provided me with many resources that are essential to making me feel like I am a part of a community.”

“Coming to the Women’s Centre decreased my sense of isolation. It gave me a place to meet people and also helped me in job searching and finding other resources.”