Last April, we reported on a local entrepreneur's plan to convert some old Muni buses to showers for homeless people. Nearly a year later, we have an update: the first shower/bus will hit the road for use in May, 2014.
At present, there are only 16 shower stalls available across the city for homeless people to use. Local tech entrepreneur Doniece Sandoval wanted to change that, founding Lava Mae, which made headlines last spring by announcing a plan to take decommissioned buses and to turn them into fire-hydrant powered mobile showers for San Francisco's homeless population.
Since then, the Chron reports, Lava Mae's gotten four buses, added two staff members and has arranged partnerships with organizations ranging from Kohler (the faucet people) to Dr. Bronner's (the soap people), to Project Homeless Connect.
Sandoval tells the Chron that in a pilot program beginning in May of this year, a Lava Mae bus will serve homeless people outside Bayview service center Mother Brown's Kitchen on Tuesdays, outside Christian-focused Tenderloin non-profit Youth with a Mission on Fridays, and outside Mission Neighborhood Resource Center on Saturdays.
Two clients from those agencies can use the buses at a time, the Chron reports. The bus has two separate, private areas, each with a shower stall, sink, changing area, toilet and bench.
According to Lava Mae's website, they expect to have the full program up and running by Spring, 2015. In the interim, Sandoval expects to get Lava Mae's other three buses on the streets by this fall, offering services to homeless people near Golden Gate Park and the Main Library.
Previously on SFist: New Startup Hopes To Create Homeless Showers In Repurposed Muni Buses