Think about the last time you showered.
Did you even give it a thought?
Most of us take for granted it’ll be there whenever we want it. But for San Francisco’s homeless, getting clean is a challenge. Here’s why:
- There are only 8 places in the city offering showers for the homeless.
- Most are centrally located making it difficult for those who make their homes in other parts of the city to access.
- With 1-2 shower stalls at best in each facility that translates into 16 showers for the 3,000+ men, women and children living on the city’s streets.
The U.N. and the World Health Organization define access to water and sanitation as a basic human right. Yet many San Franciscans go without.
My God, go three days without a shower. Just three days. Pretty soon, you just feel like a worm, a social worm.
— Don Suiter, a homeless San Franciscan
Lava Mae believes that everyone has the right to be clean. That’s why we’re launching mobile showers and toilets for San Francisco’s homeless.
THE PLAN & THE TEAM
Inspired by the mobile food movement, Lava Mae is putting showers and toilets on wheels. Thanks to the city’s generous donation, we’ll be transforming decommissioned MUNI buses into fully functioning shower and sanitation services that will allow us to reach the thousands of men, women and children who struggle to find access to either.
The buses will be gutted and retrofitted with two showers — each with its own private changing area — and two toilets. The bus will be driven by volunteer bus drivers and will traverse the city making stops at partner organizations serving the homeless. Our goal is to provide 100 - 125 showers per bus per day. In our third year, we’ll have a total of 4 buses providing 400 – 500 showers every day.
Upon hitting the streets of San Francisco, Lava Mae will:
- Expand and increase access to the number of showers for the city’s homeless.
- Collaborate with our partners by adding to their services while leveraging their expertise working with the homeless.
- Seed opportunity: with hygiene comes dignity and with dignity, opportunity.
And this is our timeline for getting out there:
But before we can do any of this, we have to retrofit our first bus at the cost of $75,000.
We need your help to do it. If you believe that everyone has a right to be clean, donate NOW. Be part of an innovative solution to give our homeless the fresh start they need, one shower at a time.
Where will your money go?
The entire $75,000 will be used to retrofit the bus. That means: gutting it, building in 2 private showers, changing stations and 2 toilets, buying on-demand water heaters, creating ventilation, updating the electrical system, and adding in water drainage. The funds will also allow us to explore and adopt sustainable solutions such as solar power and gray water recycling.
The complete budget looks like this:
How will the bus look?
Kind of like this (but bigger):
Doniece Sandoval / Creator
Doniece has orchestrated marketing, PR and development for both private and nonprofit organizations. Her passion is finding unique solutions to problems that matter to her. Homelessness has been on her radar for quite some time but she was at a loss as to how to truly help—until she passed a young woman on the street crying over and over that she’d never be clean. Lava Mae is Doniece’s answer.
Brett Terpeluk / Architect
Brett is the principle and founder of StudioTerpeluk and designs small to medium scale residential and commercial projects as well as exhibits and furniture. Brett worked for over ten years with Italian architect Renzo Piano in Genoa, Italy, and San Francisco, CA. He was lead architect for Piano on the California Academy of Sciences, the largest LEED Platinum Museum in the World.
Danielle Siembieda / Community Engagement
Danielle is a master of digital engagement including social media, community building, geo-locative technology, app development, guerilla marketing and urban game design. She has created campaigns for ground breaking organizations including Leonardo/ISAST, ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network and The Triangle Lab (A project by California Shakespeare Theater and Intersection for the Arts).
Trish Richman / Identity Sheriff
Trish is a creative/art director specializing in branding and product development.
She has worked with top American brands and retailers creating useful and beautiful products for the home. Currently, she is leading the creative for a San Francisco start up and wears all the design hats there - brand, print, web, marketing and app design.
When she heard about Lava Mae and met with Doniece, she knew she had to be involved in this essential project.
What’s in it for you?
- First and foremost, the knowledge that you’re powering an innovative solution to a serious social problem
- Warm fuzzy feelings that come from making it possible for someone to reconnect with their dignity and this basic human right
- Tax deductible contribution – we have fiscal sponsorship from ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network, a 501(c)(3) that brings art and technology together to shape the future
- Cool perks