Model & Strategy

Lava Mae’s mission is to deliver dignity and unlock opportunity for those experiencing homelessness — one mobile shower at a time. Lava Mae is transforming decommissioned San Francisco MUNI buses into bathrooms on wheels.  On board every bus are two private pods each with a shower, toilet, sink, and changing area.

Lava Mae works closely with local government and operates in partnership with a range of nonprofits serving the homeless ranging from drop-in centers and health clinics to post-probation re-entry programs.  In order to provide 360-degree support that meets homeless individuals where they are, Lava Mae facilitates Pop Up Care Villages, which convene a range of mobile service providers in the same at the same time to deliver holistic care.

At a Glance
Founded: 2013
Systemic Poverty
Location of work: Domestic, West Coast
Lava Mae
3543 18th Street, #24
San Francisco, CA 94110
Delivering dignity & opportunity – one mobile shower at a time
Blue Lava Mae Bus
Doniece Sandoval of Lava Mae
Meet Doniece Sandoval

Doniece Sandoval was compelled to start Lava Mae based on a fierce belief that everyone has a right to dignity, which brings opportunity and the knowledge that access to showers and sanitation are in serious short supply for the homeless.  For her work, she received the Innovation Award at the 2015 Bank of the West Philanthropy Awards.

Doniece has orchestrated marketing, PR and development for both private and nonprofit organizations including ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network, San Jose Museum of Art, Wilson McHenry Company, Informix, DoubleClick, Toysrus.com, McGuire & Company for Coca Cola and ACA Joe among others. Her passion is finding unique solutions to problems that matter to her.

IMPACT

Lava Mae makes it possible for people experiencing homelessness to rekindle their dignity, restore a sense of health and well-being, and unlock the opportunity that comes with being clean. This ultimately fuels their guests’ resilience to persevere in paving the path out of homelessness.

Since launching mobile hygiene in June 2014, Lava Mae has provided over 60,000 showers to 15,000+ guests and hosted 30 Pop-Up Care Village events that served 7,500 guests and engaged 130 partners across the sectors.

Lava Mae has also inspired or directly helped more than 115 new mobile hygiene programs modeled after theirs, and is working with mobile hygiene providers around the world to bring showers and dignity to those who need them most.

  • Access to clean water and hygiene is a human right, just as it is a human need. We encourage @sfbos and… https://t.co/Q4xWttXqo2
  • Guest Rodrigo playing the drums at Whittier Narrows, he was so happy!💙🥁 #showerpower #RadicalHospitlaty #LavaMae
  • Every woman deserves to feel healthy and beautiful. Beauty2TheStreetz takes this to heart, providing the unhoused w… https://t.co/JRRse2myCs
  • Bay Area churches are doing their part to help provide affordable housing for our unhoused neighbors 🏠💙… https://t.co/BfMgwOyUY2
  • Our wonderful guest Randy loves the smell and feel of Strength by The Right To Shower by @Unilever 💙 We are proud… https://t.co/5BsOnOKpiW
  • Happy 5 Year Anniversary to Lava Mae! Special thanks to @WellsFargo with their generous 100k donation. Their genero… https://t.co/jrBDpyfRLx
  • Are you a barber or hair stylist? Lava Mae needs YOUR help at our Pop-Up Care Village tomorrow from 9:30-2:00 at UN… https://t.co/BB8vqemQw2
  • We have a WeTrust Challenge! If the Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship, Lava Mae cashes in! 🏀💸@warriorshttps://t.co/yy1V2FIb9s
  • The need for safe, clean, and monitored restrooms for people experiencing homelessness is priceless, and will much… https://t.co/HYineoernd
  • Our guest Ronnie showed up with his finished painting and was so proud! After his shower, he wanted to take a photo… https://t.co/58L2cC5F9x
  • At school, Teia raised money for underwear, deodorant, and socks selling custom-made succulent gardens volunteered… https://t.co/jszeX3Em4X
  • From the latest 2017 count, the percent of people experiencing homelessness in Alameda County is up 43% - breaking… https://t.co/SeEOlpdPKT
  • Since the latest count in 2017, HUD released a report that the amount of people experiencing homelessness in SF has… https://t.co/GQA03I0frQ
  • The LA County Results are expected to be released at the end of this month, but looking at the numbers released fro… https://t.co/nZdRZ2LQIS
  • This wonderful couple is about to launch their very own mobile shower program for their unhoused neighbors in Sauk… https://t.co/ZQ7Hwp79Q8