Woman uses shelter experience to create nonprofit helping homeless woman get feminine products
A woman who was once homeless is now using her experiences to give back to vulnerable women in shelters in need of feminine care.
Charlee Newman, a domestic violence survivor who spent two years living in a shelter, says she has seen many horrific things.
“I’ve seen women get raped, and the ugliest thing is that while I was there, is the women you could tell when it was time for their periods. They would go out and sell their bodies to get a box of tampons,” says Newman.
Nearly 12 years later, she says those experiences have helped her persevere.
“Hearing their stories and sharing the same space we lived in was critical, that I felt I had to do something,” says Newman.
She decided to create the Rise of Broken Women in 2019. Rise of Broken Women is a non-profit organization dedicated to supplying feminine products to women and girls in shelters across the city.
“Women on the street use tissue paper, dirty T-shirts, socks, cardboard, anything for their menstrual cycle. People in the shelters, sometimes is what they do is turn pads into tampons,” says Newman.
Newman claims the state doesn’t do enough to help a problem that’s left in the shadows.
“There’s nobody there for them. I’m sorry, but I just see this all the time. I see them in the shelter and I see women sitting at the table depressed. When they do get little money monthly, it’s emotional spending,” says Newman.
Using her love to give back to the very people she once shared a space with.
“It’s very emotional. I go to bed with these people and wake up with them. I wonder how they’re going to make it,” says Newman.
She says she is standing by her motto, “helping women rise, helps families rise.”
“I tell them all the time, ‘stay focused, put your blinders on. Stop looking at what you lost and start your life where you’re at,’” says Newman. “I’m the rise of broken women. It’s already there. All the bricks have been laid out.”