San Francisco

Lava Mae

Providing mobile showers and hygiene in converted busses. Since 2014, Lava Mae has served 12,000 Californians who’ve taken 50,000+ showers.

Lava Mae
Share ALMA on Twitter
Share ALMA on Facebook
Share ALMA on LinkedIn
Share ALMA on Email


From the Founder & CEO

How would you feel if you couldn't shower? How would people treat you? Would you be able to keep your job?

Lava Mae began by converting public transportation buses into showers and toilets on wheels to deliver hygiene and rekindle dignity for our unhoused neighbors in San Francisco. Since 2014, we’ve served 12,000 Californians who’ve taken 50,000+ showers with us across the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Doniece Sandoval

By The Numbers

The impact


Showers taken in mobile hygiene trailers since we launched in 2014


Sites providing basic hygiene to the unhoused across San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles


For Lava Mae

Lava Mae converts buses to showers and toilets that can drive to any part of the city to serve people who don't have access to these facilities on a regular basis. It’s a super creative approach to the problem, focused on providing empathy and dignity to the people they serve.

From Molly Turner, Lecturer at UC Berkeley.

Lava Mae

What we do

Program 1

Mobile Hygiene Service


Bringing showers + bathrooms on wheels to the street to help our houseless neighbors rekindle dignity, restore hope, unlock opportunity, and persevere in seeking employment and housing.

Program 2

Pop-Up Care Villages


Mobilizing partners to the streets to create one-stop shops for critical services including showers, haircuts, clothing, food, medical/dental/vision care, mental health counseling, employment services, veteran services and much more.

Program 3

Replication Support


Recruiting, training and supporting individuals and organizations to launch new mobile hygiene programs modeled after ours in their own communities.


Did you know?

Before Lava Mae, San Francisco had a measly 16 shower stalls for homeless people.

Lava Mae

Where your dollars go


1 guest receives a restorative warm shower, personal hygiene kit, fresh towel, and a new pair of socks


5 guests receive a restorative warm shower, personal hygiene kit, fresh towel, and a new pair of socks


One full day of Lava Mae’s mobile hygiene service


Pop-Up Care Village event providing up to 400 guests with showers, haircuts, clothing, food, library books, medical care and more

Lava Mae

Key Facts and Figures


Annual Budget
Program Spend
Fundraising Spend
Management Spend
Founder & CEO
Doniece Sandoval
San Francisco, CA
# Employees
# Volunteers


Latest posts by Lava Mae

@lavamae ❗️CALL TO ACTION: We need razors! 💙 . Razors are one of our most requested items, and we are almost out! Please consider filling up our Gooddler wishlist so we can get a new shipment! . DONATE IN BIO @lavamae . We Lava Your Support!

5 hours ago

@lavamae Our volunteers are true Lava Mae Heroes! 💙💪 Ellen and her daughter brought a bunch of clothing and accessories and set up a pop-up wardrobe for our guests at Whittier Narrows! We Lava You!! Want to volunteer with Lava Mae? Check us out on our page @lavamae

1 day ago


1 week ago

@lavamae After his shower and haircut, Kurt told us that he felt like a rockstar! 🎸💙💧 Living on the streets of LA, he told us that having a private space to get clean meant so much and that he was ready to take on the day! We are igniting a Radical Hospitality™ revolution! Check out our page @lavamae 💧 #LavaMae #RadicalHospitality

1 week ago

@lavamae Antonio with his orgaizaton God's Plan, Our Purpose delivering Radical Hospitality™ to our shower guests by providing stylish haircuts! . We Lava You! 💙💇 . Want to become one of our partners? Send us a DM! 📩 #LavaMae #RadicalHospitality #GodsPlanOurPurpose 📸 We are igniting a Radical Hospitality Revolution! ✊ ~ Check us out! @lavamae 💧

2 weeks ago

@lavamae We are igniting a Radical Hospitality™ revolution! ✊💙 Learn more by checking out our page! #LavaMae #RadicalHospitality

2 weeks ago

@lavamae Today is #EmployeeAppreciationDay and these dedicated and amazing individuals deliver so much to our unhoused neighbors! 💙💪 Thank you to our Mobile Hygiene, Pop Up Care Village, Replication, and Administrative team for all your hard work! WE LAVA YOU 💙 #LavaMae

2 weeks ago

@lavamae A very special thank you to our friends Craig and Yvonne from Muttville with their incredible clothes drive donation! 💙👕 Muttville is a canine rescue organization that finds suitable homes for senior dogs! We Lava You! 🐶 Interested in donating clothes to Lava Mae? We are always looking for donations for our unhoused neighbors! Right now, we are in need of men's clothing S-XXL. Send us a DM! 📩 #LavaMae #RadicalHospitality @muttvillesf

3 weeks ago

@lavamae Ernest is one of Lava Mae's shower guests. He lives in downtown L.A. and loves the new @trek_fresh dental hygiene kit!

3 weeks ago

Welcome to ALMA

Here's how ALMA works

ALMA is a platform for supporting top nonprofits.

Each fund is a portfolio of nonprofits. 100% of your donation is tax-deductible and goes directly to one of the organizations.

  1. Fund based giving

    Each fund contains a handful of top nonprofits picked by us or the community.

  2. Monthly donations

    Easily become a member by donating a small amount each month.

  3. Maximum impact

    100% of your donation goes to the featured nonprofits and you get an impact report.

  4. Build community

    Invite your friends to join and watch your impact multiply.

East Bay Express, October 25 2018

SF’s Lava Mae Brings Showers, ‘Radical Hospitality’ to Oakland Homeless Encampments

Blair Hippolyte and Jannie Rutledge, two Oakland residents who are homeless, sat on the sidewalk of 27th Street. They had just taken showers at Lava Mae, a mobile hygiene service that’s been operating in Oakland since May, and were hanging out with Josh Hayes and Shawn McKenzie, who were staffing the operation.

An hour earlier, McKenzie and Kaylah Anderson, another of the staffers, pulled up in a truck towing the trailer, which has three showers, including one for those with accessibility needs. McKenzie hooked an adapter and a hose up to the trailer and then into a nearby fire hydrant. Anderson set up items on top of a file cabinet with different hygiene products — bars of soap, toothbrushes, clean socks — in its drawers.

FAQs about Lava Mae

Where does Lava Mae provide services?

We got our start in San Francisco in 2014. Since then, we’ve expanded our operations to Los Angeles and more of the Bay Area including Oakland and (soon) Berkeley. We've also hosted a Pop-Up Care Village during SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Why do people need Lava Mae?

People are often surprised to learn how many of our guests rely on our mobile shower service so they can go to job interviews, or keep their current job. The reality is, most people are houseless because they lost their housing, they lost their job, or they endured an expensive medical emergency or another stroke of bad luck. Access to hygiene is essential for our guests to pursue employment and housing. No one will ever lift themselves out of poverty if they can’t get clean.

How can I get more involved?

In addition to financial donations, Lava Mae is seeking volunteers at their mobile hygiene service sites and in-kind donations of essential items for their guests. A list of those essentials is at

In the Fund

Seeking Shelter

Homelessness is pervasive in San Fransisco, especially compared to other cities. Every night, about 7,500 people are experiencing homelessness in San Francisco: families, youth and people with jobs.