November 10, 2016 · Success Stories

This Entrepreneur’s Idea for Homeless Hygiene Goes Global



“If you’re homeless, living on the streets and filthy, you’re trying to improve your circumstances, but you can’t interview for a job, you can’t apply for housing and you become disconnected from your humanity. So a shower, just in itself, can be amazing for people.” ~Doniece Sandoval, founder, Lava Mae

Doniece started with a simple idea: Providing showers for the homeless. Her nonprofit, Lava Mae, was established to renovate a San Francisco muni bus into mobile showers. Through the first Indiegogo campaign, the Lava Mae team not only received funding to test their first prototype, but were able to raise global awareness for their idea.  Their second campaign launched to upgrade and expand these mobile showers. The momentum from these campaigns raised $100k in funds from over 1,000 backers around the world.

Today, Lava Mae has successfully created a comprehensive model of providing access to hygiene that not only includes mobile trailer showers, but a Pop-Up Care Village of other services including hair cutting, clothing, dentistry and more. The team will soon launch an online toolkit to share with the 1000+ individuals, organizations, and communities who have expressed interest in replicating their mobile hygiene services in their own cities. Watch how Lava Mae’s simple concept has grown into this global movement:

Are you an entrepreneur who wants to scale your idea? Here’s how to get started: