As a tour guide in San Francisco I'm often asked why there are so many homeless people in the streets. It's a difficult question and my answer is usually that it's a combo of tolerant locals, decent services and good weather. None of this makes life on the streets easy but there's a new bus in town that's going to make it easier for homeless people to stay clean.
Doniece Sandoval is raising money to turn a decommissioned MUNI bus into a mobile shower and sanitation service that reaches the homeless where they are. The project is called Lava Mae - Spanish for "wash me" and a designed to sound like a woman's name. (Perhaps the bus is a sister of Sallie Mae?)
As stated on their website, "In San Francisco, where we are launching our project, there are 6,500 homeless people making the city's streest their home. There are only 8 facilities, each with one or two stalls at most, where they can shower. That's (sic) translates to 16 showers for 3,100+ people."
Although their IndieGoGo campaign has ended, if you'd like to donate to the project to ensure that everyone in San Francisco has the ability to stay clean follow this link.
You can get more details by reading a recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle, watching a short video in which architect Brett Terpeluk explains how exactly you put showers on MUNI or liking their Facebook page to stay in the loop.