DIGNITY IS IN THE DETAILS
5 MINUTE READ
Have you ever put something under a microscope and looked at it really, really, really close?
If your answer is yes, you’ll agree that when we look at things in extreme detail, we’re often surprised by what we find. Plus, we often find out a whole lot more than what meets the eye.
This International Women’s Day we decided to take a closer look at homelessness in women, and what we found was not only shocking, but devastating. Did you know that women experiencing homelessness are faced with a diversity of issues that often go unseen because of society’s blanket approach to homelessness? Issues such as period care get easily forgotten yet poor period care can endanger a woman’s health. Then there’s the fact that a woman is more susceptible to mental health issues, which in turn, often cause physical issues for her and make it even more difficult for her to gain a sense of dignity from the society around her. We haven’t even gotten close to the challenges that come with the responsibility of childcare – home or homeless, this is a huge responsibility. There’s also the issue of susceptibility to violence. Even on the streets, abuse exists, and many women experiencing homelessness will have to fight off abusers as if their life depends on it – and sometimes, sadly, it does.
You see, homelessness not only looks different to everyone, but it is different for women. There are small, nuanced details that get lost to the wider eye of society and that take a microscope to really be seen. And if we don’t see them? Well, we risk missing the things that a woman experiencing homelessness not only needs to survive, but what she needs to feel the dignity she deserves.
Dignity is in the details.
And it’s how we look at those details and deal with those differences that counts.
So, are you ready to look at the details with us and bring women experiencing homelessness the dignity they deserve?
Great! So, let’s get learning.
DID YOU KNOW?
Homelessness looks different for everyone but sometimes we forget that in between the larger differences, there’s nuanced differences that specifically affect women experiencing homelessness.
Due to a whole range of factors, women who are experiencing homelessness face unique challenges that many might not know much about - unless they look at the details…
Some of these challenges include:
Mental health: women are more susceptible to mental health problems therefore their experiences with homelessness may be made worse by these invisible struggles.
Menstruation: period poverty is a very real issue and many women still do not have access to the essential and appropriate care they need to manage their menstruation each month. This can not only deprive them of dignity and create physical discomfort, it can be extremely dangerous and with a lack of proper care, they can face severe health issues down the line.
Violence: many women in a situation of homelessness are subject to violence due to being seen as weaker or a vessel to be taken advantage of.
Childcare: some women experiencing homelessness still have the responsibility of looking after their children. This is not only a time and energy demanding task but it can be extremely costly which can lead to prolonged situations of homelessness due to a lack of financial support.
Financial/pay discrimination: factors such as the gender pay gap can aggravate a situation of homeless, particularly when factors such as rising inflation rates and costs are added to the equation.
MEET OUR CHARITY
Meet our Giving Partner: The Marylebone Project!
The Marylebone Project is a London-based organisation that provides direct support to women experiencing homelessness. With over 90 years of experience in supporting vulnerable women impacted by homelessness, the Marylebone Project is one of the longest-running women support centres in the UK.
The organisation operates with two key forms of support: their Hostel Accommodation Resettlement Support Programme and The Sanctuary (a 24/7, 365 drop-in centre). They pride themselves on the attention to detail they apply to their work with women impacted by homelessness and they are committed to looking at the complexities that accompany a woman in this situation. The Marylebone Project is a safe haven for these women and they work hard to help empower and equip these individuals to live their lives to the full and reintegrate into their societies with dignity and confidence.
Some of the women they support include those who have faced domestic abuse, human trafficking, modern slavery, alcohol and/or drug abuse, unemployment, emotional trauma, loneliness, learning disabilities, as well as racial and ethnicity issues.
The average age of the women supported by the Marylebone Project is between 35-45 years and many of these women will stay for up to 18 months. Following this, they’ll be further supported by the organisation’s Resettlement Team as they progress on to some form independent living or temporary accommodation.
Within the Marylebone Project’s services there are 112 residential beds that provide shelter, hope, safety and support to women at risk of rough sleeping or being in an unsafe environment. In addition to this amazing programme, they also help women to reenter the workplace by providing them with the support, skills and training they need to do so.
THE DIGNITY KITS
Each Dignity Kit has been carefully put together with women in need in mind. In it, these women will find both essential and self-care items so that their needs are met and they’re looked after.
Each Dignity Kit provides:
- 2x TOTM Period Kits
- 1x Pair of Oi Socks
- A handwritten card of encouragement
- Specially-designed Tote Bag