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
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Lava Mae

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

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.

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 .

Did you know?

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

Lava Mae


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


1 day ago - @lavamae

We have expanded to Berkeley! 🙌

Lava Mae will be providing showers at Progressive MBC in South Berkeley, and the new Pathways Navigation Center in West Berkeley!

Get Involved! ➡️ Volunteer - DM us 📩 ➡️ Partnerships - DM us 📩 ➡️ Donate - @lavamae (link in bio) ➡️ Follow @lavamae.eastbay

We Lava Your Support! #LavaMae #RadicalHospitality

3 days ago - @lavamae

Our Mobile Service Coordinator's go above and beyond to help our guests feel clean and look great! ☺️ Thank you Will for providing some needed haircuts, we Lava You!

Leanr more about getting involved @lavamae (link in bio) #LavaMae #RadicalHospitality

1 week ago - @lavamae

We are changing the way communities see and serve our unhoused neighbors around the globe 🌎💙 Learn more at

1 week ago - @lavamae

We aim to deliver the best shower experience possible for our guests, delivered with Radical Hospitality! 💙

Learn more about getting involved at

#LavaMae #RadicalHospitality

2 weeks ago - @lavamae

After three months of being rock stars in our Replication Program, The Power of a Shower is launching this week in Venice! 💙🚿🏖️ . Aaron and Rachel Sunday have been Radical Hospitality all-stars, and we are so excited for the amazing services they will provide to our unhoused neighbors!

We Lava You @powerofashower !

#LavaMae #RadicalHospitality #MobileShowers #ThePowerOfAShower

3 weeks ago - @lavamae

Lava Mae’s Popup Care Village at the SF Main Library! #radicalhospitality #LavaMae

3 weeks ago - @lavamae

Lava Mae pop up care village has amazing volunteers!! #popupcarevillage #lavamae #sanfrancisco

1 month ago - @lavamae

We have a new look! 😁

Our brand new shower trailer has hit the streets of SF, with a new TV where we put images and resources for our guests to see!

We are igniting a Radical Hospitality™ Revolution! Learn more @lavamae 💙 #LavaMae #RadicalHospitality

1 month ago - @lavamae

Meet Charles, an artist, musician, activist, and friend of Lava Mae 🎨 ✊

We are changing the way communities see and serve our unhoused neighbors around the globe, learn more at @lavamae 💙

#LavaMae #RadicalHospitality

1 month ago - @lavamae

Our LA replicators The Power of a Shower have come so far during our training program and are looking great in their new t-shirts! 💪🚿 We are so excited to have them launch in Venice Beach in the coming weeks! Interested in replicating our program? Send us a message! 📩

#LavaMae #RadicalHospitality #MobileShowers @powerofashower


"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." --Molly Turner, Lecturer at UC Berkeley

East Bay Express

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.

Lava Mae

Common questions

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

Lava Mae

Where your money goes


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