Hygiene care closets empower Chicago schools to support student wellness, meeting both physical and social emotional needs.
Care Closets are stocked with essential personal care and hygiene items that some students and families may struggle to afford or maintain access to based on their finances or living situation.
They’re set up in discrete, known locations within a school building – like a counseling office, student resource center, etc – so students can access these items privately and free from concerns about potential social ramifications of seeking this type of assistance. Some schools have even set up mobile versions of Care Closets to get resources out to more students and reach more of their school.
The idea for the Care Closets came from a CPS counselor/social worker, and has grown rapidly from there. We heard this need echoed by dozens of school leaders, educators, and even students. We also saw schools initiating partnerships in their neighborhoods to create this resource for their school communities.
The types of items – dry shampoo, hair care, deodorant, lotion, menstrual care, etc. – we’re providing through these personal hygiene care closets are not covered by traditional school budgets or government appropriations, but they ARE vital to our students feeling prepared and empowered to learn, so we see this as essential to the mission of providing an equitable education for all students.
Your support helps ensure students know they are returning to a supportive learning environment that better enables them to thrive.