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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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

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


For Simply The Basics

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

From United Nations, .

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.


Did you know?

67% of homeless reported one or more preventable health conditions

Simply The Basics

Where your dollars go


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

Simply The Basics

Key Facts and Figures


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


Latest posts by Simply The Basics

@simplythebasics We are a community organization. Supporting the community. Made possible by the community. Awesome to see collections all over the city!

1 week ago

@simplythebasics "Simply the Basics, a 3-year-old nonprofit organization and self-proclaimed “hygiene bank,” delivers products to schools once a semester to augment what they already have, and recommends each school put pads and tampons in the library as well as in restrooms and locker rooms for all genders. That’s partly to serve transgender and nonbinary students who menstruate, and also to make the issue more open to both boys and girls." Link in Bio #internationalwomensday #iwd2019 #menstrualequity

1 week ago

@simplythebasics What it looks like when you bring International Women's Day prep, menstrual packing, period stigma reduction, and family/youth volunteer opportunities together!

2 weeks ago

@simplythebasics Shakespeare for ALL Neighbors workshop! We worked with @sfshakesfest to coordinate a beautiful day.

2 weeks ago

@simplythebasics We coordinated a "Shakespeare for All Neighbors" workshop. Story in bio. "I had to leave my home three years ago because of violence,” Kato quietly said after the workshop. “I miss them so much. I have not been able to talk about the pain, but I could here. These are nice people. I am glad I came.”

2 weeks ago

@simplythebasics The @sfshakesfest joined us for a wonderful "Shakespeare for All Neighbors" luncheon - there's so much to life and the human experience. We are proud to host events that honor our stories and experiences!

3 weeks ago

@simplythebasics In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, we are partnering with @stanthonysf on a menstrual product drive to provide guests with feminine hygiene products. Every product raised by St Anthony's - we will match!! #period

3 weeks ago

@simplythebasics @thirdlove gives us the best support! Thank you for caring for women and girls - and for giving generously to our Women's Empowerment Day!

3 weeks ago

@simplythebasics We LOVE the Women's Empowerment Day! #headshots

3 weeks ago

Welcome to ALMA

Here's how ALMA works

ALMA is a platform for supporting top nonprofits.

Each fund is a portfolio of nonprofits. 100% of your donation is tax-deductible and goes directly to one of the organizations.

  1. Fund based giving

    Each fund contains a handful of top nonprofits picked by us or the community.

  2. Monthly donations

    Easily become a member by donating a small amount each month.

  3. Maximum impact

    100% of your donation goes to the featured nonprofits and you get an impact report.

  4. Build community

    Invite your friends to join and watch your impact multiply.

Simply The Basics blog, November 27 2018

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.

FAQs about Simply The Basics

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.

In the Fund

Seeking Shelter

Homelessness is pervasive in San Fransisco, especially compared to other cities. Every night, about 7,500 people are experiencing homelessness in San Francisco: families, youth and people with jobs.