Hygiene for the homeless

I live in Portland, Oregon, which has a homeless population of over 6000 people.*

Our community often provides generous donations for this population, usually consisting of necessary items such as food and clothing.
But people often forget the need for essential hygiene items.
Being homeless does not mean the need for hygiene is absent. In cold weather especially, dry skin can be very uncomfortable, even painful.

To help meet this need, I have been making simple hygiene products from scratch, using all natural ingredients, packaging them in small plastic containers, and donating them to homeless shelters. I source the most inexpensive ingredients available without sacrificing quality.

So far, using an initial expenditure of $34, I have produced 32 ounces (2 pints) of skin lotion, body butter, and lotion bars and a dozen lip balms. As a comparison, 2 pints of commercial skin lotion cost an average of $26 at retail price,** and the average retail price of 12 lip balms is $34.20 ($2.85 each).***

Another urgent need is menstrual hygiene supplies. For $78, I can assemble 10 “menstrual kits.” These consist of enough sanitary pads and tampons for the length of an average menstrual period, plus a supply of sanitary wipes. As a treat, a chocolate is included in each kit.

I have also made 1 dozen containers of natural fluoride-free toothpaste, which can be rubbed directly on the teeth without the need for a toothbrush (although toothbrushes are included), and 1 dozen containers of natural deodorant.




Financé par Portland, OR (March 2024)