It's a taboo subject to begin with, but for homeless and low-income women, menstruation not only impacts feminine health and hygiene, it also causes an undue financial burden. On average, women spend $70-dollars a month to properly manage their periods -- to much for impoverished women to afford.
While women make up a third of the country's homeless shelter population, most shelters don't get donations of sanitary products -- and government programs, like food stamps, don't cover the purchase costs of feminine care -- which is why women have been known to trade food stamps for tampons.
According to a United Nations report entitled, Criminalization of Homelessness in the United States of America, homeless women are also degraded by not having access to adequate facilitities during their menstrual cycles. Futher, lack of sanitation is closely related to escalated incidents of rapes, sex trafficking, and girls dropping out of school.
To address these needs, I started an organization called Code Red, which believes that hygienic comfort emboldens a woman and her self-confidence, encouraging her to be the best she can be no matter her environment and socio-economic status.