The city of San Francisco was decommissioning a part of their bus fleet. It’s the type of news blurb that most of us greet with nostalgia. Oh sad, I’ll miss those old buses. But for Doniece Sandoval, it was a golden opportunity for social change. She contacted the city to ask what would happen to the buses. She learned of a donation program, acquired one, and Lave Mae was born.
So what was her plan for the bus? Gut it, turn it into a multi-shower rolling hygiene center, and help the 3500 homeless people of San Francisco by providing access to a clean, hot shower. In doing so, she’s helped bring humanity and dignity to a portion of the population that is so often overlooked.
Turning a city bus into a space with two hot water showers complete with toilets was an adventure in trial and error. There’s just no manual to reference, no existing plans to follow. No one had done it before. But Lava Mae pushed and pushed, and with the help of some truly awesome contractors, completed the project.
If there are three things that make me feel hopeful, it’s selflessness, kindness and creativity. Lava Mae possesses all three of these elements:
- Selflessness in that they’re a non-profit.
- Kindness in treating the homeless residents of SF with humanity.
- Creativity in bringing life to an amazing concept.
It truly is a stand-out non-profit. Watch the video above regarding Lava Mae’s initial bus launch. It gives you a great idea about what they do, how they do it and why it’s so important. And then head to their website to donate.