Buses to Bathrooms for Homeless is SF Startup's Idea

Buses outfitted by Lava Mae would serve as mobile toilets for the homeless.

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Apr 29, 2013  |  Updated 1:55 PM PDT
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Washing up on the bus? There's a startup for that.

A San Francisco startup wants to turn Muni's fleet of decommissioned buses into mobile showers for the city's chronic homeless population, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

A company called Lava Mae thinks it can put showers and toilets on an old bus. Founder Doniece Sandoval says she's already secured a bus and is in the process of getting the OK to hook up to a fire hydrant.

She's working with a design firm to figure out how to put one shower and toilet for disabled people and two showers for the general population on an old bus, the newspaper reported. That would allow about 100 homeless people to perform their daily ablutions.

She's also working on the funding: somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000 will be needed to make a bus into a proper bathroom.

Homeless advocates praised Lava Mae -- a play on words, similar to "wash me" in Spanish -- for its initiative.

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