Saturday, July 5, 2014

San Francisco Provides Free Hot Showers For Their Homeless...

Welcome to the land of broken dreams said the San Francisco cabbie in an offhand remark to his fare, pointing to the many homeless they were passing on the streets.
At first, fifty one year old Doniece Sandoval didn't take too much notice, she was used to seeing the many of San Francisco's three and a half thousand homeless on her city's streets. They were as commonplace as parking meters.
What wasn't commonplace was washing facilities for these folk. There was only seven.
Then as she was walking she heard a woman's plaintiff voice say what sounded like
'I'll never be clean'.
Suddenly this successful marketing and public relations entrepreneur had an idea
that changed her life.
She realised how terribly hard it would be for a street person to wash the grime of life from their bodies and retain some dignity by being clean.
And the idea of Lava Mae was born.
Lava Mae is Spanish, it means 'Wash Me'.
Doniece quit her job, raised $75,000 and set about converting some of the city's old Muni buses into mobile bathrooms. Each one would have two complete bathrooms with shower, toilet basin and changing room. The buses would be able to hook into the city's water supply by using fire hydrants at pre-determined locations.
This remarkable woman had a dream and
now it's a reality.
Free Showers For The Great Unwashed.
No red tape, no applications, no screenings,
no questionaires.
Just free hot showers.
Wouldn't it be great if other cities
cleaned up their acts...


  1. Good for SF. I've seen a Rotorua homeless woman at Polynesian Spa- she might have a locals monthly pass (which would be affordable on the Benefit ) or a Green Prescription or something similar. Maybe all the homeless people go there, or to the free foot pools in Kuirau Park. Nobody looks dirty anyway.

  2. What a wonderful contribution to mankind. In AZ...where it is so very hot, we have many, many homeless that idea would certainly work here.


  3. This idea sounds doable. Every city should have something similar to give the homeless a little dignity. After all, they are human too.

  4. Extraordinary. Emphasis on Extra. Wow!

  5. Ms. Sandoval is doing a great thing and deserves immense kudos for it. I hope there'll be much more of the same sort of practical positive action from many quarters.

    As I've indicated before, the whole subject of homelessness disturbs me very much. In societies as rich as those of the west have been for the past 70 years or so, there should not BE homelessness. Why do we allow a situation in which this happens to thousands of people in just about any large city? We're getting more pre-Dickensian all the time. It shows there's something seriously off about our economic system and its ideology. If you ask me, from an ethical standpoint, our advanced global capitalist industrial cybernetic technological society is basically, uh... CRAP.

    Just my humble opinion, of course.

  6. Kevin, your humble opinion is always welcome here.
    There are those 'homeless' who choose to live that way in order to retain their 'freedom' rather than live in the conventional system with the yoke of society's expectations and burdens forever around their necks.
    And who can blame them...

  7. I'd like to see the build out. How she/they set up the systems, greywater tanks, or it has to be hooked up to some kind of dump?
    With that much plumbing it all has to go somewhere. And the supply, what pressure is that? Must have to stage it down somehow. Maybe it just fills tanks and they pump from that? Then they'd have to have some power input, or making it. Don't see any panels.

    The trick would be to turn that into a whole system. Pick up "dead"/chlorinated water from the city, . . . use it to wash people, which w/ the right soaps is a fertilizer, . . . transfer it to a place that grows food, and such, to use as their irrigation water, . . . grow food to feed people, which need washing . . . ;)