ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – To help mitigate the impact of poverty on unhoused women in Illinois, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, backed a new law that will require shelters that give housing assistance to women or youth to provide free menstrual hygiene products.
“Feminine hygiene products can cause a large financial burden on individuals,” said Manley. “For those women who are already struggling or are experiencing homelessness, daily life can become even more difficult if they do not have access to products that allow them to care for their monthly basic needs.”
Manley supported House Bill 310, the Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless Act, to require housing shelters to provide free period products for women and youth. This measure, which was signed into law earlier this month, came after NBC reported that tampons and pads are among the least donated items for women experiencing homelessness, despite being highly requested. Women spend more than $2 billion per year on feminine hygiene products.
“This new law is commonsense and supports one of the basic needs of women in crisis,” continued Manley. “I am proud to see this legislation signed into law as it will help restore dignity and humanity to unhoused individuals who are already experiencing hardship by making feminine hygiene products free in shelters.”