Hygiene Essentials Keep Veterans Clean and Healthy

July 18, 2018

Opening your drawers first thing in the morning, it is second nature to pull out a freshly laundered pair of socks and underwear to start the day. You might also not think twice about the shampoo and soap waiting for use in the shower. For the 40 veterans who see us at the Frontline Drop-In Center each day, this daily ritual is far from their reality.

Drop-In Coordinator LaJune Davis knows simple items such as soap, toothbrushes, and fresh socks are essential to the veterans she sees every day. “Keeping clean when you’re living on the street is difficult. We provide as much as we can to the veterans that come in and ask for hygiene items.”

While community counselors and case managers at Swords to Plowshares are working with veterans to find them housing solutions, keeping clients clean and healthy can be a challenge. A lack of public bathrooms means showers can be far and few between. Taking a day to wash a load of clothing can mean forgoing the time it takes to find shelter for the evening or purchasing a meal.

Donations from the community allow us to distribute hygiene items and fresh undergarments to veterans we encounter on the streets in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as those who come to the Drop-In Center for assistance. These items are essential to the kits assemble and pass out each day.

“For folks coming in to see us, things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, washcloths, shampoo, and shaving cream are the most requested items,” Community Counselor Grant Hower said. Swords to Plowshares has established a wish list of the most requested and distributed items for the veterans we encounter every day. Purchasing an item from this wish list will ship directly to our offices for immediate distribution to the veterans assisted by Swords to Plowshares each day.

Please consider a purchase from the Dollar Days wish list to help the veterans at Swords to Plowshares as they work toward self-sufficiency. Items for purchase can be made at