LOMBARD – To put an end to period poverty among people experiencing homelessness in Illinois, state Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, backed a new law that will require shelters to provide free tampons and menstrual pads to the people they serve.
“Women and youth who are experiencing homelessness must already overcome so many obstacles in their daily lives,” said Costa Howard. “The added expense of buying menstrual products creates yet another financial burden on individuals who are already struggling, making it difficult or impossible for them to care for their own basic needs.”
Costa Howard passed House Bill 310, the Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless Act, to require housing shelters to provide free period products. The bipartisan legislation was signed into law by Governor Pritzker earlier this month.
Costa Howard’s bill came after NBC reported that tampons and pads are among the items that are most often requested by people living in shelters – yet these products are rarely donated.
“I am so glad that people are starting to talk about this important issue,” continued Costa Howard. “Period poverty is a reality for many, many people, and it causes additional distress for people who are experiencing homelessness. I hope that people in Illinois will take note of this new law and add period products to the lists of items they donate to their local housing shelters.”