Did you know that 0% of hygiene products are covered by SNAP benefits?
Clothing, shoes and personal hygiene products are expensive. We know firsthand how poverty and homelessness impact hygiene security, but it is still startling to see the range of issues affecting both physical and mental health — and society as a whole — that inevitably arise.
Wearing dirty or soiled clothes for a prolonged period can be a factor in attracting a host of transmittable diseases, including staph infections and COVID-19. It can also lead to fungal and yeast infections.
Without access to clean clothes and proper hygiene, those experiencing homelessness can’t properly prepare for a job interview; if they somehow manage to find a job, they are in constant jeopardy of losing it. Nearly half of our clients, 47 percent, have all of their belongings stolen or confiscated at least once a week. Gaining access to clean clothes and hygiene products restores dignity and provides the confidence to pursue housing and a job.
Your clothes can reflect, and affect, your mood and overall mental health. There is even a term for this: “enclothed cognition,” a fusion of “the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them,” according to Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky, the researchers who coined the phrase in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
The repercussions from enclothed cognition can be life changing. The increase in self-esteem that flows from wearing clean and comfortable high-quality clothes can help to open the doors to employment and housing opportunities.
Our vision is that one day everyone living in the United States will have regular access to well-fitting clothes and essential hygiene products, and feel clean, confident and healthy.
We are incredibly thankful to We Matter Period! for creating individual care packages containing tampons, pads and panty liners. In total, 5,000 feminine hygiene packages were donated to Project Ropa.
Over the past year, Hang Out Do Good, a grassroots community group, has organized multiple clothing and hygiene drives for Project Ropa. Last month, the group dropped off a van-full of men’s clothing and hygiene products.
Community Clothing Bank
Our Community Clothing Bank now provides 17 nonprofits and mutual aid groups with monthly supplies of clothing and personal hygiene products. Our partners include community food programs, drop-in centers, food pantries, mobile dental and health clinics, outreach organizations, groups that provide transitional and permanent housing, and organizations specializing in workforce development.
In June, Project Ropa distributed 5,000+ clothing and personal hygiene products to our community bank partners, who provide direct services to unhoused and low-income individuals and families in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Project Ropa Clothing Pop-Up Market
Join us on August 7th and August 21st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at our warehouse in Gardena to shop our curated selection of new and gently used men’s and women’s designer clothing, vintage gems, closet staples, sample pieces and mendable items from well known brands. We also have 150+ rolls of surplus and dead stock fabric available for sale by the yard.
Make a Donation
Project Ropa’s work reduces the challenges facing those we serve by providing comprehensive hygiene access. When individuals and families have one less barrier to overcome, their load is lightened — and the cycle of poverty begins to break down.
Support our work to ensure that everyone has access to comprehensive hygiene products.