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  • Zakiah Omar

    Love it, love it, love it! I shall definitely share this with family and friends in LA and SF. Greetings from Berlin.

    • DonieceS

      I love Marc and this project. I'm supporting this and hope that others get behind it as well!!

  • thedreambuildersproject

    THIS IS FANTASTIC! I hope for the absolute best for this project. We most recently began working with the homeless and I was absolutely shocked with the ridiculous rules and regulations behind helping the homeless. Its truly an honor to see others becoming more aware and more active with the homeless community. Its really a sad situation but it can be helped and thats the most important thing to remember. I'm excited to see how great this works out so that you can send your tactics down to LA to help our homeless stay as clean as possible. This is a wonderful effort and we here at the Dream Builders Project completely supports brining showers to the homeless. What a wonderful idea and a great team to make things rock! Good job!

    • DonieceS

      Hey Dream Builders team, thank you for the props! We love the work you're doing as well and we've been in conversation with several people / groups from LA that want to bring mobile showers/toilets to the city's homeless. Our goal is to share everything we're learning and creating from bus designs to business plans. We're smack in the middle of ramping up for our launch so sharing won't happen immediately, but it's a huge priority and we hope to have a framework together by summer at the latest. Please keep in touch!

  • Andrew Adams

    Great Job ! Nice Platform for other Agencies to work with in synergy.

    • DonieceS

      Thanks, Andrew. Longer term the vision is to engage people around the world in bringing this solution to their communities. We're already in conversations with a lot of individuals and are truly hoping to create a platform that would allow us to share best practices, engage in conversation easily and learn from others as they implement their own solutions.

  • DonieceS

    Thank you! Spread the word. :-)

    • DonieceS

      Thank you for your comment/kind words. Thankfully, Lava Mae is not the only organization trying to make a difference; there is so much need, though.

    • DonieceS

      Thank you Alessandra; so appreciate all the support!

  • baileydisher

    I had a similar thought as Mark Janssen. Is there at all discussion of creating partnerships to use facilities that already exist in SF? Fire or police departments, gyms, swimming pools, etc. If the infrastructure already exists, why not find a way to use it?

    • DonieceS

      No discussion and no political will for that. If I were a political animal - even in a small way - I'd attempt to push it forward but I'm not and just don't energy to do both right now. Plus, the public's willingness has to be factored in; there used to be pools that allowed the homeless to shower and now don't (even though some homeless people still manage to make it happen).

      There was a lot of push back.

    • DonieceS

      I'm so glad you share this; I heard about it and then just didn't have time to search for it. Thanks!

  • Khalfani Myrick

    This is such an amazing idea! I'd love to see this in Chicago as well.

    • DonieceS

      Chicago would be great. Think we could persuade the mayor? Though, I think he turned over many homeless services to Catholic Charities, right?

      • Khalfani Myrick

        I believe that he did. There are a lot of non-profit organizations out there though. With a collection of them and some aldermen on board, he and his office might help make this a reality. I am wondering about the laws that would restrict this from happening in Chicago.

        • DonieceS

          It's true that every city is different so the model needs to be flexible. But I'm hoping that we can prove it works - bring dignity, meet human rights and maybe the fresh start some people need. Stay in touch!

  • Reardor

    Wow I never thought about converting a bus into a shower. Like you said we do it for gourmet food, beer... now cool things like libraries and showers! Keep working at it! Your heart is definitely being reveal and making an impact; just look at how many people are providing assistance and suggestions.

    • DonieceS

      Thank you. There are a lot of challenges ahead but the good wishes mean a lot!

  • Emily Pasnak-Lapchick

    This is so amazing. So many people see problems and know they need to be fixed but don't do anything about it. It's so inspiring to see someone take a risk, even though you were slightly self-conscious about not knowing "a lot" about homelessness. You knew that there was a need, you were willing to fulfill it, and that's enough!

    Keep up the great work!

    • DonieceS

      Thank you, Emily! Pats on the back go along way and are much appreciated - not because I need kudos but because right now I'm doing much of this alone and hearing positive feedback helps me keep going.

  • Matilda1234

    This is a great idea, and more power to you for your initiative, compassion and energy, but it is also important that we all understand that the answer to homelessness is providing homes. Social housing, emergency housing, transitional housing -- whatever the circumstance all of the research shows that being housed and being able to stay somewhere long enough to get on their feet again, to get health care, to feel safe, is the answer for 98% of homeless people.

    • DonieceS

      I'm so glad you posted this because you're absolutely right, more housing is THE critical necessity. Providing those already homeless with housing and helping those on the verge of losing their house keep it is the key to ending homeless.

  • Emilio Smeke

    Amazing job!, I want to help, I have been looking for the right cause to support and this is it. I manufacture bath accessories and I truly believe this is a great solution to help the homeless with a fresh re start in their lives. A shower and being clean is the first step to feel better so I want to be part of this, seriously, I am committed to donate part of my sales towards Lava Mae I want to take this to LA if possible too! Congratulations on making this happen!

  • Mark Rosenblitt-Janssen

    Every professional Fire Department has a shower. Usually there are up to 5 people sitting on the ass waiting for a fire to start. Cities could easily allow the homeless to take a shower there, when no one's using it and no calls are active.

    • DonieceS

      Interesting idea. I wonder if there are liability issues. Lava Mae will certainly have to carry liability insurance to cover a range of "what ifs?".

      • Mark Rosenblitt-Janssen

        Not if offered for free, then it should be covered under "Good Samaritan" law. In any case, there is no "implied contract" for items or services offered for free -- regardless of past case law. Our legal system has been partly co-opted because of this confusion.

    • DonieceS

      I love getting these type of suggestions! Thank you.

  • Carly Harrill

    Kudos to you for having a socially impactful idea and actually pursuing it, despite lack of experience in the field. Would love to see this concept replicated in Los Angeles (Venice/Skid Row) and San Diego, where homelessness also stares you in the face every day.

    • DonieceS

      They say that not know what you can't do is what makes things possible. Keep sending us good vibes for success!

  • Laura Goldberg

    Great stuff, I just had Mark Cassanova of Homeless Healthcare LA get in touch, we have some donated trucks, could be a great use for them. Thanks for posting.

    • DonieceS

      Loved talking to Mark and looking forward to sitting down with him when he's next in SF. I think we can start a mobile revolution for homeless services!

  • Laurén Kirchner

    Amazing, Detroit would benefit hugely. My cousin, Kyle Steiner, is in the midst of raising money to help the homeless, #supplytheshave. In short, he is growing out in his beard to help raise money to buy supplies for the homeless. To read more or and get in touch, read his blog here, supplytheshave.org

    • DonieceS

      I love that idea. He should send Lava Mae pics that we can post once I start my No Shower Challenge on the 21st. It'll be good to compare notes!

    • DonieceS

      Thanks, Michael. I'm looking forward to checking out Soma!

  • Julie Smith

    I had the same thought as Judy. Living in the south, where hurricanes are an annual occurrence, I have seen Tide trucks come into communities and wash and dry the clothes of those affected who are without power. Maybe a partnership with a large company can help provide some of these laundry services to the homeless as well.

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights...I'd love for Tide to partner with us! Anyone have a contact?

      Also, there are these two industrial designers in Istanbul who have just perfected their design for a shower that can also wash your clothes. It's called The Aqua Station. They're looking for a manufacturer. I'm hoping they find one so we can incorporate their product in our buses.

  • Judy Nickelson

    What about laundry facilities? It is nice to put on clean clothes after a shower.

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights...We'd love to do that; it just costs oodles more and I've been advised to start slow. It's on my radar for the next iteration of our buses!

        • DonieceS

          I'm totally going to contact them. Finding a place to hang dry is a bit of a challenge, but it just needs a little creative thinking. Thanks for sharing the info!

  • Amelia @ Senior Match

    I know that the streets of San Francisco aren't the only ones where there are homeless people who believe that they'll never be clean. The need for showers, hand sanitizers, soap products, and more are in constant necessity. Handing on a little bit of human kindness makes us all better folks. Thank you for posting this. ~ Amelia @ http:Senior Match

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights....You're so right; the need is global. We've been contacted by someone in Cairo, Egypt - with all that's going on there - who wants to bring mobile showers & toilets to their community as well. Hopefully, we can start a mobile revolution for showers & toilets!

  • Liz Dwyer

    In my neighborhood there's a little homeless camp and the folks living there wash at the adjacent hand car wash--breaks my heart to see them soaping up there. While we surely need to do more to get folks off the street, period, taking steps so that folks can at least have the dignity that cleanliness provides is admirable. I hope this idea scales up.

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights...That's exactly our plan - scaling up. We'll be creating a replicable model that we can share with communities around the globe. We've already gotten interest from other cities in CA, Atlanta, GA and even as far away as Cairo, Egypt.

      • Stef McDonald

        Really inspiring. And really love that it can be replicable. Hope this inspires others—and others in city government.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Really excited for this creative approach to helping the homeless community. It's great to see your process, and how you went about finding a solution.

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights...Thanks, Alessandra. It's a great time to be doing this work as there are other private citizens I've come know that are innovating around homelessness as well. Their work has been an inspiration to me.

      • GOOD HQ

        Are there any specific orgs you think we should know about?

        • DonieceS

          Share your thoughts or insights...HandUp, BridgeSF (I think both have websites) and The Learning Shelter, which you can find on FB.

  • Elisa Huang

    This really makes you think about what other mobile opportunities there are to help bring services to people who are in need. Showers and toilets make so much sense, I wonder if things like temporary shelter (beds for a night), counseling, and things like internet or pop up classrooms could also go mobile to bring access to all?

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights...The Naked Chef, Jaime Oliver put a cooking school for kids on wheels so I think the sky's the limit!

  • Jessica Rivera

    This is an incredible project. It's so encouraging to see the government partner in such a substantial way with providing access to hydrants and even old buses! I wonder if there are companies who provide soaps, shampoos, and other cleaning products who can partner with this work? Would also love to know who your contacts were in Cairo - I know a number of folks involved with providing services to the poor. Would be great to make sure they're aware of this!

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights...We're getting ready to start outreach to companies like Method and Yes to the Carrot for in-kind donations of product. If you know anyone, send them our way. Re Cairo, it was just a young woman interested in addressing similar problems there. We'd love to get this this to people around the world, so please share.

      • Jessica Rivera

        Method is a great company to reach out to! Might be cool to reach out to the Global Soap Project too. Will definitely spread the word!

        • DonieceS

          Share your thoughts or insights...Had not heard of the Global Soap Project; just checked them out. Great suggestion!

  • Hillary Newman

    What a great idea! The food truck crazy really opened the door to mobil service. I wonder if it's only a matter of time before we see more services and businesses take to the streets. This probably exits, but I could see farmers markets on wheels to help people who live in food deserts access fresh produce, and mini doctor offices trucks to aide communities that have been impacted by a natural disaster.

    • Susan Giulio

      Back in the day in Brooklyn, when many women were stay at home moms and homemakers without cars, produce trucks circulated on a consistant weekly schedule. TIme to re-visit that idea?

    • DonieceS

      Share your thoughts or insights...YES! The mobile revolution. There are already mini-doc and vet clinics and I think other services like dental etc are in the works.