The life of the homeless is undoubtedly hard, and one of the problems they face is personal hygiene. Public showers are very rare in most cities. This is why a non-profit organisation in San Francisco is converting out-of-service city buses into mobile showers.
San Francisco is considered the “capital of the homeless” in the US, with over 6,500 homeless people living in the city, and it is therefore clear why Doniece Sandoval was born here.
Doniece was walking down the street when she heard a homeless man talking, in tears, complaining that he would never be clean in his life again. Then, some time later, she saw a homeless man she knew by sight, a Vietnam veteran, and he was in very bad shape. “I thought things like that shouldn’t have happened. They are human beings,” explains the woman.
And so, Doniece abandoned her job as a marketing manager and founded the non-profit organisation Lava Mae, with which she decided to provide a free mobile showers service for the needy. Her project began with a bus donated by the city of San Francisco, but given the great success in short other buses were donated to be converted.
“The wheeled showers will not solve the homeless problem, but fill a huge gap in the services available. Lava Mae tries to help those who do not have access to what should be between basic human rights, showers and sanitation facilities,”explains Doniece.