San Francisco

Simply The Basics

Providing individuals with their most basic human needs like hygiene kits and wellness products.

Simply The Basics
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Simply The Basics

From the Founder & President

Many homeless people don't have access to the basic hygiene needed for both health and dignity.

Simply the Basics is the nation's first full-scale hygiene bank, providing basic human needs like hygiene kits and wellness products to nonprofit partners.

With more than 70 partner organizations, 40 in the Bay Area, Simply the Basics has improved the physical health of the community, saved nonprofit partners time and resources, and created a community of wellness & compassion. We were honored in May 2018 by the United Nations for recognition in human rights services.

Meghan Freebeck

Simply The Basics

What we do

Program 1

Hygiene Bank

The purpose of our "Hygiene Bank" is to ensure organizations serving the homeless and low income community always have access to their most basic needs, and redistribute the items they do not to avoid waste. We remove the dehumanization of handouts, and empower our most underserved community members to have the dignity and benefits that come with good hygiene and choice.

Program 2

The Academy

The Academy allows participants to see beyond the present and immediate, encouraging a plan for the future, one in which the cycle of homelessness and poverty is broken. The curriculum offers courses, led by trained volunteers, that teach core life skills, job readiness, financial management, and enrichment.

Program 3

The Marketplace

We are building a Marketplace where individuals or communities can list anything they would like to donate and nonprofits can simply search to find what they are looking for. Anyone can list items to donate, but only a registered nonprofit can access contact information to coordinate receiving.

By the numbers

The impact


Hygiene products distributed every month .


Hours of staff time saved for each partner nonprofit every week .


Of recipients noted an improvement in their health or sense of wellness .

Did you know?

67% of homeless reported one or more preventable health conditions

Simply The Basics


Annual Budget
June 2017
Program Spend
Fundraising Spend
Management Spend
Founder & President
Meghan Freebeck
San Francisco, CA
# Employees
# Volunteers
Simply The Basics


1 week ago - @simplythebasics

The team at @doximity does more than just look fabulous in photo shoots (though they do)... they also volunteered to pack over 300 hygiene kits for our neighbors experiencing homelessness! Thanks for helping improve the health of our community!!

2 weeks ago - @simplythebasics

‪We believe choice matters. That's why we love hosting public hygiene markets where people can choose what they need the most!‬ Choice is empowering and dignified!

3 weeks ago - @simplythebasics

"I tried my best to help. I hope these things help you." - Nik said it best! You are a wonderful help - we appreciate you!

1 month ago - @simplythebasics

Thank you to the team at WISH for helping us with our packing this week!

1 month ago - @simplythebasics

4/5 of our Board of Directors joined donors and volunteers to kick off our gala season tonight. Hope to see everyone on May 30 at Constellations!

1 month ago - @simplythebasics

We collect, pack, and distribute thousands of menstrual packs for people in the community every month. Menstrual access is a basic human need!

1 month ago - @simplythebasics

@doximity is hosting a Hygiene Drive for our programs - shoutout to @lydeey for making the introduction! Doximity cares about health, information, and wellness. We appreciate you!

1 month ago - @simplythebasics

Why we do what we do.

1 month ago - @simplythebasics

This mighty team of five (and one dog) makes up the Board of Directors for Simply the Basics. Today we spent 8hours strategizing for the next 3 years. No spoiler alerts but... it's going to be pretty good!

1 month ago - @simplythebasics

Setting a new record, our volunteers came out in full force to pack 1,500 Hygiene Kits for the @phcsf Day of Service in under 3hours - that's 15,000 products! Impressive!


"In May 2018, we were honored by the United Nations for recognition in human rights services. " --United Nations,

Simply The Basics blog

The Beginnings

Five years ago, I moved to San Francisco to work in a Crisis Center. What I didn’t know at the time was that the greatest crisis I would encounter would not be in that work, but rather in my encounters on the streets of San Francisco where thousands of people were going to sleep every night.

For many months, I was filled with feelings of hopelessness. It was after seeing a mother and her young child waiting for space in a shelter for temporary protection from the rain that I made the choice to stop feeling hopeless and start taking action. I began with a small public appeal to collect menstrual products for women, a basic human need. In less than two days, we had collected enough products for every homeless woman in San Francisco. The community response was so strong that for a brief time I couldn’t shower because my bathtub had become tampon storage!

That initiative taught me two things: We were capable of solving the problem of people not having access to their most basic needs; and we were going to do it with the support of people like YOU, who were not only willing, but eager to make this program possible.

Simply The Basics

Common questions

How does Simply the Basics partner with other nonprofits?

An initial study revealed that nonprofit organizations were spending over 14 hours of staff time managing, sorting, collecting, and redistributing in-kind donations. Since the launch of Simply the Basics - we have gotten that number down by 6 hours every week! We have over 70 partners, including A Womens Place, Homeless Prenatal Program, the Red Cross and more.

How can I get more involved?

Hygiene Product Sorting & Kits: This is a great group opportunity! We have thousands of hygiene products that need to be sorted into our re-usable tote bags for distribution. Join us for a few hours as we create customized Hygiene Kits!

Host a Donation Drive: Collect donations on behalf of Simply the Basics. We will let you know the products we are most in need of, provide "How To" guides to hosting a successful campaign, and help you every step of the way!

Academy Instructor: We need teachers! You do not need teaching experience, but a propensity for helping people and a comfort level speaking in front of a group. We will provide training and course materials for basic learning skills classes. Let us know if you have any particular enrichment skills you would like to bring to the groups! Learn more about The Academy here.

Advisory Committee: Do you have any unique skills such as marketing, fundraising, graphic design, legal services, accounting, or anything else that you could share? We have a wonderful committee of volunteers that meets a few times a year where you could put your skills to a great cause!

How does Simply The Basics measure success?

Each year, we submit end of year evaluations to all partners and connecting with SF Emergency Services to evaluate infection and ER data.

Simply The Basics

Where your money goes


Full Hygiene Kit (10 products)


One month supply of menstrual care


Sponsors one class of the Academy


Allows STB to add a new nonprofit partner