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INTERVIEW: Doniece Sandoval’s Lava Mae Brings Showers and Dignity to the Homeless

Doniece Sandoval, founder Lava Mae

Doniece Sandoval in front of lava mae bus

UPDATE: 6/2/17: Doniece Sandoval named a 2017 CNN Hero of the Year! Congrats, Doniece!

UDPATE: 2/9/15: Lava Mae Showered with Accolades and Opportunities for Growth

UPDATE 10/3/14: Doniece is working on getting a second Lava Mae bus on the road. She says the impact with the first bus has been amazing. They’ve launched an IndieGoGo campaign you can check out here.

By Patricia Caso/August 3, 2014
Photos: Courtesy Lava Mae

TWITTER: @lavamae

Homelessness is a major concern and complex issue in a growing number of cities around the world. Like many I have donated clothes and given money to agencies and organizations. San Francisco’s Doniece Sandoval went much further and came up with a way to bring dignity to the homeless, “one shower at a time.”

“I thought if you can put gourmet food on wheels and take it anywhere, why not showers and toilets? So, the idea for Lava Mae was born!”  Doniece Sandoval

She’s done it by retrofitting a bus and naming it Lava Mae, a twist on Spanish for “wash me.” Doniece does not purport to end homelessness, but rather to make a small but significant difference in the lives of the overlooked.

I was inspired after speaking with  Doniece to find out about her motivation and how Lava Mae came to be. I think you will be too!…  [Read more…]