Chances are you took a shower this morning, or could have if you had wanted to. For most of us, leaving the house for work or school without cleaning up would be pretty much unthinkable. That simple notion — the quiet dignity of feeling clean — is behind a new effort to help the homeless in San Francisco. It’s called Lava Mae, a play on the Spanish word for “wash me”.
The idea is to convert donated city buses into portable bathrooms, with showers, toilets and changing areas. I met Lava Mae’s founder, Doniece Sandoval, inside an old Muni bus like the ones that will soon deliver dignity, one shower at a time. Sandoval is about a third of the way to her fundraising goal of $75,000 through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The Lava Mae campaign has less than a month to go.
Here’s part of my conversation with Doniece Sandoval: