This is Lava Mae’s charge: provide sanitation, assist in deterring potential public health problems, and perhaps most critically, provide a much needed service to help a population struggling to retain a sense of dignity and self worth.
In essence, Lava Mae seeks to solve a small piece of what the United Nations and World Health Organization define as, and Lava Mae believes is, a basic human right: access to water and sanitation.
People ask "why mobile?" Our answer is twofold:
In a city like San Francisco, where real estate prices are exploding, mobile ensures that our service isn't subject to rising rents and potential evictions.
And perhaps more importantly, going mobile gives us the flexibility to reach the homeless who are scattered throughout our city.
In communities across the globe, there are thousands of homeless people living on the street.
In San Francisco, where we're launching our project, there are 7, 350 homeless people - half of whom make the streets their home.
And yet, there are only 8 facilities, each with one or two stalls at most, where they can shower.
We've been contacted by groups and individuals across the globe - from Singapore to Sao Paulo, LA to Atlanta - who want to create a Lava Mae for their community.
We're here to help. Our business plan, budget, best pracitces and insights are there for the asking.
Let's create a mobile revolution!
A shower goes beyond having the opportunity to get clean. It provides a sense of empowerment and humanity that gives confidence in the face life’s daily challenges. Without the ability to get cleaned up, how can anyone successfully pursue relationships, employment, or even permanent housing? Lave Mae is a vital resource in the fight to end homelessness. ---Kara Zordel, Director, Project Homeless Connect
Lava Mae is brilliant and simple. Giving homeless individuals access to showers and personal care is so important. You can imagine that many disconnected individuals could take their first step to end their homelessness by stepping into a Lava Mae shower. HOPE is excited to partner with Doniece and Lava Mae and show the world that San Francisco, once again, can meet people’s needs where they are and bring a direct and dynamic service that helps end homelessness in our City.
---BEVAN DUFTY, HOPE - Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement, Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee
Vital to maintaining one's dignity while living on the street is the ability to keep clean. Currently there are not enough shower facilities for the enormous number of homeless people in San Francisco to do this. Lava Mae will fill that gap. 100% of the Gubbio guests (most of whom are unhoused and unsheltered) that we surveyed said they would enthusiastically welcome and use mobile shower and toilet facilities in the Tenderloin.
---Laura Guzman, Director, Mission Neighborhood Resource Center.
Lava Mae will be a big benefit to those in the Tenderloin. Our showers are open every Friday afternoon and they are booked solid. Our toilet facilities are open every day of the week and are used nonstop.
---Tim Svoboda, Director, Youth With a Mission SF