TWIN FALLS, Idaho — To provide women without a home access to essential hygiene products, Ooh La La Boutique owner Liyah Babayan organized and donated dignity purses.
Inside the purses, women will find a variety of items such as feminine hygiene products, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, lipstick and more.
While the purses provide women in need with essential self-care items, they also help the women feel valued. Teri Randell is experiencing homelessness and said the dignity purse makes her feel like a respected human being.
“When you’re in a shelter, you don't always have the resources to get the pretty things,” Randell said. “Life goes on, but we seem to disappear because we have no home. In some cases we have no jobs, but somebody cares.”
Angelina Owens, Valley House resident, said she has never owned a purse as nice as the one she received.
“It gave a bit of confidence, actually,” Owens said. “Not all women get to have a purse like that and it makes them feel good about themselves, makes them feel more uplifted.”
Growing up, Liyah Babayan experienced homelessness and understands the barriers to access hygiene. Now, she encourages the community to step up.
“As social entrepreneurs, be active participants in their realities and that includes advocating for hygiene, advocating for access to hygiene and making sure we are approaching members of the community, our client base, in a compassionate position,” Babayan said.
The dignity purses come in all shapes and sizes, making a difference in the lives of many women in the Magic Valley.