Model & Strategy

LavaMae X  is a nonprofit accelerator that’s building a worldwide network of providers who take critical services to the street, where the unhoused need them most. With an approach rooted in Radical Hospitality®—meeting people, wherever they are, with extraordinary care—LavaMae X is changing the way the world sees and serves our unhoused neighbors, and helps restore dignity, rekindle optimism and fuel a sense of opportunity for people experiencing homelessness.

LavaMae X evolved from Lava Mae, the nonprofit innovator of mobile hygiene services. The organization restructured in January 2020 in response to rising interest in replicating its services globally, proving the massive need for street-based services and training others to deliver Radical Hospitality.

LavaMae X aims to help communities develop programs that serve 100,000 unhoused individuals around the globe by 2024. In order to succeed, LavaMae X offers replicators tools such as the buildIt online platform, a free DIY toolkit and forum that helps anyone, anywhere launch a mobile hygiene program. The kit covers everything from getting started to finding funders to taking Radical Hospitality to the street. Additionally, LavaMae X provides hands-on training for effectively operating a mobile hygiene service and safely managing guest behavior. When possible, it connects replicators to resources, including funding opportunities.

At a Glance
Founded: 2013
Founder & CEO: Doniece Sandoval
Systemic Poverty
Location of work: Domestic, West Coast
LavaMae X
San Francisco, CA
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

Since its launch, the organization has fielded more than 4,320 inquiries from city agencies, nonprofits, governments, refugee aid organizations and individuals in 38 countries seeking to provide similar services—and has already trained, directly advised or inspired more than 170 programs in 148 communities in 11 countries to create mobile hygiene services based on LavaMae X–designed programs.

  • RT @thinkshift: Our Revolutionaries have been talking (and walking) #racialjustice to bringing life-saving #hygiene to the Navajo Nation to…
  • RT @women_nyc: 💡This week, we're continuing our series spotlighting women supporting NYC amid the pandemic with Crystal and Julia of @Showe…
  • 3 billion people don't have access to running water worldwide. Learn more about our DIY hadwashing stations at… https://t.co/vUCofQ2mFI
  • RT @thinkshift: Excellent point. That's why our client @lavamaex is distributing #COVID19 hygiene kits to the unhoused, and helping the Nav…
  • RT @holdmyale: Hold my beer while I get a shower.
  • We had another successful day delivering Radical Hospitality alongside the UCSF Street Nursing team last week! 💙 T… https://t.co/tQkIDWdDtk
  • RT @TheCoalitionSF: Have you emailed, called, and tweeted at your local Supervisor to reject the Hastings Settlement? Do so before Tuesday…
  • RT @thinkshift: This is a problem in the US, too. Our friends at @lavamaex have a DIY solution for right now https://t.co/gwrsoG3vLs https…
  • COVID-19 is not an equalizer; it's affected different groups of American's in different ways, especially unhoused w… https://t.co/dL59vyvKr8
  • RT @thinkshift: #COVID is not an equalizer; it's affected different groups of Americans in dramatically different ways, including the #home…
  • Our DIY handwashing stations are getting refilled daily at the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center! To date, we'v… https://t.co/hJ0LaM3Fmc
  • RT @LoveBeyondWalls: We've had these sinks under a bridge for over three months. . Each time we go to clean and fill them members of the co…
  • Native American reservations are struggling with fresh water access and operating sinks amid the COVID-19 pandemic,… https://t.co/CrRIMixKwg
  • The Maine People’s Housing Coalition has launched an $80,000 fundraising campaign to purchase a mobile shower facil… https://t.co/pIMEkio0x8
  • We're on the verge of a homelessness "tsunami" as up to 23 million renters are at risk of eviction as the CARES Act… https://t.co/E0dlrNgKwk
  • Up to 23 million renters are at risk of eviction by the end of Sept. Evictions at this scale would be catastrophic,… https://t.co/hs34gTTljG
  • RT @SFCLA: Shout-out to our partner @lavamaex for donating hygiene kits to help out our guests! The kits are packed with super neat items i…
  • RT @thinkshift: For Monday inspiration, check out the new @GeorgeKoster #podcast with @lavamaex's Doniece Sandoval & Kris Kepler about help…
  • "Two paychecks and a crisis away from being unhoused." LavaMaeˣ founder Doniece Sandoval and Chief Program & Strat… https://t.co/Bnv5oOZmtB
  • RT @SupportSoupman: So THIS is happening! Here in #BrocktonMA to show our support of the #homeless in full force. The weather is a little o…