The project involved refurbishing a decommissioned Muni bus with two private hygiene pods, each with a shower, toilet, sink, changing room and temporary storage.
Shower and sanitation services every Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon launch June 28 at Capp Street between 16th and 17th streets, in partnership with the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center. On July 22, the service will expand to Tuesdays in partnership with Mother Brown’s in the Bayview district and Fridays with Youth With a Mission in the Tenderloin.
On service days, Lava Mae will pull up to the partner site, hook up to an approved hydrant, get a schedule of people who signed up for showers, manage 10-minute timed showers and discharge water before departing to its Treasure Island parking area.
Despite the seemingly daunting task of providing free showers on run-down buses, Lava Mae founder and Executive Director Doniece Sandoval, 52, did not consider the process difficult.
“Every step of the way, the opportunities have unfolded,” she said. “Our partners have been hugely supportive. I think the biggest challenge we’re having is finding overnight parking in San Francisco.”
In the meantime, the Lava Mae bus will park overnight at Treasure Island, along with three other Muni buses donated by The City that are slated to be refurbished in 2015 if funding can be secured.
The nonprofit project is fully funded by private dollars, including $100,000 from the Google San Francisco Bay Area Impact Challenge.