Lava Mae – showering is more than getting clean


lavamaelogoWe met up with Doniece Sandoval, the Lava Mae founder, a 2014 NGO from San Francisco, at Greenbuild International Conference and Exhibition to chat about the latest developments of the organization.

The organization provides radical hospitality and unexpected level of care with its mobile hygiene services and pop-up care villages for homeless people in San Francisco, USA.

We are have been supporters of the mobile hygiene buses in the Bay Area since its beginning. Based on the idea of the mobile food trucks, two public transport buses have been repurposed and refurbished with two toilets and two shower stalls each. They provide the possibility of 20 minutes of privacy, cleanliness and comfort to those in need. In the pop up villages, homeless people are provided with free haircuts, legal advice and medical services.

tumblr_n8vi80n43v1smdhzoo1_r1_1280To date, more than 2,300 individuals have taken more than 14,000 showers in the converted buses that set up camp around San Francisco every week. With more than 7,000 homeless people in the city, there is still a lot more to be done.

Lava Mae has gained quite a bit of media attention and has some prominent donors (apart from us), so the idea of the mobile buses has spread and soon Doniece and her team will be starting to provide access to showers and toilets (in a bus) in Los Angeles and San Diego.

We believe that access to showers and toilets should not be a luxury and will certainly rekindle the optimism in those we help.

Courtesy of Lava Mae

Lava Mae: Bus Showers for the Homeless from Mission Local on Vimeo.

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