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Safe Sex Kits for Homeless Teens

I work at a Crisis Residential Center for teens in Seattle and King County. We get a monthly average of 40 different teens staying with us due to some sort of crisis in their housing. We take care of their basic needs and try to provide them with tools and resources for improving their situation. One of the things we notice is that teens in this situation are more likely to engage in sex without having the knowledge or the resources to do so safely. We address the knowledge by having the folks from www.scarleteen.com come and talk to them in a non judgmental, inclusive and positive way about STI, Pregnancy & healthy relationships. However access to everything one would need for having safe sex is limited, also what is limiting is a way for them to keep this stuff together during unstable housing situations. One of comments from a teen in class was how cool it would be to create a "Safe Sex Kit", something that would hold all the little things needed and would roll up and be discreet. We looked around, didn't find anything that was specific for this purpose and came up with a prototype that would safely hold a variety of materials (condoms, dental dams, lube, birth control, gloves, cleansing clothes, etc) and could easily been sewn together by teens and volunteers. We would pull this together by giving volunteers the materials and the pattern to sew them, collect the completed kits and then stock them with the various items needed. We would offer these to the teens that come to our shelter when they do the classes or if they identify that they would use this kit. The educators from Scarleteen.com could also distribute them in their outreach. Our goal would be to create and distribute 50 fully stocked kits by the end of 2012. This is doable because we have the knowledge, a prototype and access to other organizations who would be willing to provide materials, volunteers as well as items needed to stock the kits. We will also like to be able to provide at cost a copy of the book "S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College".

Funded by Seattle (January 2012)