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]