Shower-bus for homeless people rolls in San Francisco

Lava Mae is a startup that renovates donated, surplus San Francisco city buses, fitting them out with accessible showers that can be brought to homeless people around town.

The nonprofit organization raised $58,000 through Indiegogo, and its first bus is a prototype. They are working with community groups in 25 cities around the world, who've expressed interest in using the lessons from the pilot program for their own local programs. Locally, they've partnered with the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center.

The project's organizers see showers as a way to provide some dignity and basic hygiene to homeless people, but they also believe that the shower-buses will allow them to establish ongoing relationship with their patrons, helping them find ways to help them further.

Homeless Shower Bus Launches in San Francisco [Colin Wood/Government Technology]

Notable Replies

  1. rider says:

    My experience from actually working with and being around the homeless is that if you think housing prices or the cost of shelter is the problem and somehow providing them affordable shelter is the answer to the problem you are sorely mistaken. This is issue is much much more complex then the Utopian dream you are trying to paint here.

  2. Totally digging the gender-neutral/trans icon.

  3. dobby says:

    I was an urban paramedic so I mostly got to see the tragic and dying side of of these things but I had plenty of normal interaction with those who were unable to access normal housing as well. There is no easy utopian answer but the legally codified hate and oppression, especially the oppressive anti homeless laws, lack of real healthcare, overstressed and apathetic-to-homeless urban hospital culture in the US are a serious impediment to any kind of recovery once you drop below the socially acceptable living modes. Mental health and depression care will help some, comprehensive substance abuse assistance for others, but an opportunity to access a real living wage and a place to actually live; a realistic pathway to a life without shame or high handed quasi parental treatment will work for many especially those who lost living wage work and housing but still manage to make enough to live in a vehicle which is a large well hidden population. The types of homeless Venn diagram is complex with many difficult to assist outliers but it is a problem that needs better solutions than the admittedly admirable but still a band-aid on an arterial bleed help like this shower bus.

  4. Probably not. While we do have homeless people in Germany, they all have a right to get social help, i.e. rent money, a couple of hundred dollars a month and medical insurance, of course.

    Oh, you are referring to the third Reich. No, Americams would never do that. They'd never waste potential slaves that way.

  5. Actually, not all of them are homeless. For some it is indeed a business.

    Yes, and why shouldn't they? It's a free country, after all. As long as they don't do anything illegals, why not let them be?

    Yes, indeed. That's why people are indeed looking at concepts like citizen's dividend.

    It's vastly amusing that people flock around tv shows like Star Trek which basically promote a lifestyle based on this, but think that their warp fantasies and phaser pistoles are more worthwhile things to strive for than general human decency.

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