“What do you think of when you think about homelessness?”
This was the opening question posed to Hamlin 8th graders by the dynamic and altruistic Meghan Freebeck. Ms. Freebeck is the founder of Simply the Basics and has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as a 40 Under 40 honoree.
The Mission of Simply the Basics is to provide for individuals, organizations, and communities their most basic needs with dignity so that they can focus on bigger goals. We simply remove barriers, allowing people to have the opportunity to achieve.
The goals of Simply the Basics include:
-improving the overall health and wellbeing of low income families and people experiencing homelessness
-facilitating the operations of nonprofit organizations by securing and managing their in-kind donation process, allowing them to focus their time on clients
Here is some of what Ms. Freebeck shared:
-Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, hygiene is of the utmost importance.
-Simply the Basics works with “participants,” not “clients,” because they are working with people as partners, “not providing a service without their input.”
-Foot infections are a leading reason why people experiencing homelessness go to the hospital (Simply the Basics provides much needed socks in their hygiene kits).
-Some women experiencing homelessness resort to using leaves, newspaper, or toilet paper when tampons are not available (Simply the Basics regularly provides tampons to their participants throughout San Francisco).
After Ms. Freebeck’s presentation, Hamlin students had the opportunity to pack 75 hygiene kits, adding a handwritten card along with various items including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and socks. The kits will be delivered to Downtown Streets Team, an organization that serves people in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.
Below is a short video of Meghan Freebeck:
To learn more about Simply the Basics, please visit: http://www.simplythebasics.org/