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Hygiene programs are ways of providing basic hygiene facilities to homeless people. Some are stand-alone hygiene centers, while others are at locations that also provide other services to the homeless. They are one of the more modern responses to providing services for the homeless, especially compared to things like basic homeless shelters that just provide a bed and toilet for the night, or soup kitchens, which traditionally have not even had places for patrons to wash their hands.
At a minimum, they have a toilet, wash basin, and a shower. But many have other amenities, such as a mirror to assist with shaving and applying makeup, a diaper-changing station, electric outlets for appliances such as irons, private dressing stalls, hygiene supplies such as soap and toothpaste, tampons, pads, condoms, and/or laundry facilities.
Public support of hygiene programs has been growing, due in part to the realization that, besides basic humanitarian reasons, such facilities offer homeless people an alternative to using restrooms in libraries and other public buildings.
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