Woman creates “Shower Bus” for San Francisco Homeless
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) — San Francisco has 3500 homeless people living on the streets and just seven facilities for them to wash up. Relief is on the way. From a distance, it looks like a food truck, but step inside and it’s clear, there’s no food here. It’s called aLava Mae. Doniece Sandoval is the founder. She came up with the idea of converting old Muni buses into showers two years ago. “Each of our buses has two complete bathrooms with a shower, sink, toilet and changing room,” said Sandoval. “It’s been in idea stage for so long, to actually see the result is unbelievable.”
The shower buses will run off city fire hydrants. Lava Mae worked out a deal with the city to use and pay for the water.
The great recession drained the number of city shower facilities from ten to seven, forcing the homeless to put their names on waiting lists just to clean up. Sandoval hopes to fill the gap the city left behind while helpingthe homeless get back on their feet.
“With hygiene comes dignity, and with dignity comes opportunity,” said Sandoval. “So hopefully, it will open other doors for people.”
Crystal Hart feels it will help a lot of people. She is homeless. In her darkest days, she’s gone two weeks without a shower and said it feels like a vacation to step back in a shower again.
Love this idea because San Francisco’s homeless are probably some of the smelliest homeless people, nay, smelliest things that mine olfactory senses have ever been affected by. I would challenge any other city to San Francisco’s homeless when it comes to smelliness, because in addition to general drug use, rapidly changing climate and diversity of ethnic foods to scrap up, I think we’re the best. Now granted, I feel like without the proper monitoring, this bus will eventually become tagged up and a huge mess of fecal matter, it’s a great idea. More importantly, we need to discuss the San Francisco Smelly Rankings.
5) AT&T Garlic Fries Breath
4) Anchor Steam Beer Farts
3) Chinatown Poultry Establishment (or any back alley of any Chinatown restaurant)
2) MUNI bus drivers
1) San Francisco Homeless