ARKANSAS WOMEN'S OUTREACH (AWO)
is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
OUR MISSION is to promote the wellbeing of local homeless women through access to adequate health services and education.
We help provide the basic items women need such as feminine hygiene products, underwear, wipes and condoms.
What are the issues?
Domestic abuse and sexual violence are the leading causes of homelessness for women, with 20-50% of all homeless women and children becoming homeless as a direct result of fleeing domestic violence. Homeless women are also far more likely to experience sexual violence than women who are not homeless. This is in part due to a lack of personal security when living outdoors or in shelters.
Many large-scale studies on rape crisis report findings that emphasize the violent and traumatic lives of homeless women. One of the most in-depth studies of a racially diverse sample of homeless mothers found that 92% had experienced severe physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lives, with 43% reporting sexual abuse in childhood, and 63% reporting intimate partner violence in adulthood. It was also found that, when compared to their low-income housed counterparts, the sexual assault experiences of homeless women were more likely to be violent.
Higher Risk of STI's
Sexual assault also affects homeless women's physical health. For example, in one study of homeless women, those who reported a rape in the last year were significantly more likely than non-victims to suffer from two or more gynecological conditions. A lack of comprehensive sex education also leads to higher rates of STIs and unplanned pregnancies among homeless women.
At any given time, about 10% of homeless women are pregnant, which is twice the rate (5%) of all US women of reproductive age. One study found that almost three-fourths (73%) of pregnancies among women experiencing homelessness were unintended at the time of conception. It is important to note that pregnancy and recent births are risk factors for becoming or continuing to be homeless.
Access to Health Care Services
Homeless women are less likely to have a regular source of health care including health insurance, cancer screenings, prenatal care, and specialty care. Homeless women also face barriers to gaining access to the health care system due to a lack of transportation, insurance, knowledge of where to go, and long waits for appointments. One study of homeless women found that they were significantly more likely than low-income housed women to report that, although they needed to see a physician during the past year, they could not manage to do so.
Lack of Education
Myths and misunderstanding drive some women away from pursuing various birth control options or understanding how HIV and STIs are contracted. Many homeless women don’t have a safe space to discuss real issues and solutions.
Access to Basic Feminine Hygiene Products
Local shelters and community programs receive few items addressing basic feminine hygiene. This leaves women with no choice but to use methods that are unsanitary and could potentially lead to illness. Further, a lack of proper feminine hygiene products prevents women from overcoming the stigma of homelessness and negatively affects their employment and housing potential.
What are the solutions?
By creating initiatives, programs, systems, and communities that respond collaboratively and respectfully to homeless women, we are able to have a larger impact in the homeless community. Our partnership with Canvas Community Church and The Van have provided a means for AWO to be an extension of existing services, reaching a larger population.
Coordination with Local Health Care Services
We aim to improve coordination between community programs and local health care services. By offering a resource list with detailed services, AWO is able to provide a connection to these services and coordinate with other community programs to ensure these women have adequate transportation.
Access to Education and Regular STI Testing
We provide a safe space for HIV/STI testing, reproductive health education, and discussion. The women are able to get answers to questions regarding their health, discuss personal issues in a safe environment, and make connections that reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Access to Basic Items
We are able to consistently provide items that fulfill a basic human need, such as feminine hygiene products. We are filling a gap in donations desperately needed by the women we serve.
By providing resources unique to women, we’re validating their needs as woman and as a person.
“Females are strong as hell.." ...especially homeless women with or without children. Handcrafted by none other than BangUpBetty and 100% of proceeds from this bracelet benefit AWO. You need one. https://www.bangupbetty.com/
Our primary goal is to fill in the gaps in existing programs to bring services centered around reproductive health and basic hygiene supplies to underserved women. We do not judge and try to provide realistic services and items these women need to live a safer and healthier life. We've partnered with organizations around Little Rock, UAMS and Canvas Community Church, that are already trusted institutions within the community we serve, adding an extension of much needed services. Our goal with UAMS is to create an education program where students gain credit hours and real life experience dealing with health crisis in our local community." Bracelet is sizable, solid brass, and STRONG AS HELL!
✨Our Summer Donation Drive is almost here!!✨ Drop Off Locations to be posted soon! 👙
Looking for an adorable & socially responsible gift for your significant other, yourself, or your best gal? @electricghostprinting is offering this series of empowering panties and using the proceeds from each pair sold to donate an entire week's worth of underwear to a woman in need. Head to www.electricghost.com to pick up a pair!
MAKE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT THROUGH SPONSORSHIP.
Funding for our program is used to purchase items that directly impact the lives of the women we serve. We have a variety of methods of sponsorship. Below are our different levels of financial sponsorship. We also accept donations in kind as well as product donations.
a $5,000 donation would help assist 165 women. You would receive a large logo placement as title sponsor on our website and monthly email blast, acknowledgment on all social media posts, large logo placement at events, and our annual report.
a $2,000 donation would help assist 66 women. You would receive a small logo placement on our website and monthly email blast, acknowledgment on all social media posts, small logo placement at events, and our annual report.
a $1,000 donation would help assist 33 women. You would receive your name listed on our website and monthly email blast, and your name listed at events.
a $500 donation would help assist 16 women. You would receive your name listed our on website and monthly email blast, and your name listed at events.
FRIENDS OF AWO
a $100 donation. You would receive your name listed on our website.
Your generosity and support would be greatly appreciated by AWO and the homeless women in the Little Rock community. Anything you are willing to do would be a great benefit to us. Please let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to donate in another way or host an event with a portion of proceeds going to AWO or a donation drive.
MAKE A DIRECT IMPACT BY DONATING TO AWO.
Our needs list is short but these items make a huge difference in a woman's life.
AWO CORE NEEDS LIST:
Adult diapers (preferably Depends size s/m and l/xl)
Baby wipes (preferably unscented)
Cotton underwear (size 6-12)
Cotton sports bras (size M- XXXL)
Tampons (regular, super, and super plus)
Pads (heavy with wings, lite flow with wings)
Women and families represent the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the U.S. Over 85% of homeless families are headed by women- specifically, by single women with children- and domestic violence is a principal cause of homelessness among single mother families.
Inadequate housing and shelter options, evictions, discrimination, poverty, and other factors contribute to the crisis of homelessness caused by family violence.
Through personalized outreach and prioritizing women’s health and safety, we can help ensure that each woman has access to the care and support she needs.
Homeless women are far more likely to experience violence of all sorts compared with women who are not homeless due to a lack of personal security when living outdoors or in shelters.
By increasing access to necessary health resources and providing a safe space for women to share their experiences, we can create the community of support and awareness these women deserve.
Thank you, Arkansas Online for featuring AWO in today’s high profile volunteer piece! Check it out for an interview with co-founders, Katy Simmons and Rachel Achor and learn a little bit about our work!
Join us each Wednesday evening at Canvas Community Church!
Meet Ann, our biggest fan and greatest helper, who has been by our side since week 1. We can never thank her enough for all of her love and support! ❤️
Flashback to our first day in our ✨NEW OFFICE!✨ Thanks to the love and support we continually receive from our community, we have had a lot of big changes under way over the last few months! We are so excited to be furthering our work in support of women in the local homeless community. If you are interested in getting involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 💕
We are so thankful to MacKenzie Johnson and her #1000womeninneed campaign for providing us with over 1,000 feminine hygiene product donations! MacKenzie is a local high school senior who organized the 1,000 Women In Need project in response to what she saw as a gap in resources for women in the local homeless community. We admire the passion, dedication, and hard work she put into making a difference in the lives of homeless women in Little Rock! 💕
Our hearts are so full of love for our local community tonight. Thanks to the dedication & hard work of countless volunteers, organizers, & healthcare workers, we were able to provide desperately needed mammograms for several women in the homeless community tonight. UAMS's MammoVan is doing incredible work for AR women.
What could be better than a night of strategic planning and adorable puppies? Meet Rex, the newest addition to our #AWO family! And stay tuned for exciting announcements regarding our programs and how you can get involved! 🐶💕