Lava Mae relaunches as Lava Maeˣ, a nonprofit accelerator for communities responding to the homelessness crisis.

The inventor of mobile showers and care for unhoused people restructures to spread its Radical Hospitality® philosophy around the world.

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Photo Credits, Left to Right, Top to Bottom: PRO, Brian Craig Photography, Lava Maeˣ, The Bay Church, Lava Maeˣ


SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6, 2020

LDsports 注册Lava Mae kicked off a mobile shower revolution in 2014; now it’s aiming to spur worldwide adoption of its Radical Hospitality® approach to serving unhoused people. To do that, the organization is turning itself into a nonprofit accelerator called Lava Maeˣ.

Lava Maeˣ will focus on training, service innovation and network building. Over the next five years, its goal is to fully train 75 communities around the globe to collectively serve 100,000 individual guests with programs rooted in Radical Hospitality—a philosophy of meeting people wherever they are with extraordinary care.

“I’ve come to believe that Radical Hospitality is our greatest innovation,” said Doniece Sandoval, founder and CEO of Lava Mae. “To treat people who have nothing and are grappling with their sense of self-worth—people whom most of the world shuns—with extraordinary care, and to welcome them as neighbors and fellow human beings is where the magic lies.”

LDsports 注册Lava Maeˣ will keep a finger on the pulse of the street by providing shower service in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles so that it can give replicators real-world training. The accelerator will also continue to host Pop-Up Care Villages, where guests can get haircuts, medical care, legal advice, employment assistance and other free services, to model collaborative, multi-provider service delivery.

Spreading the ethos of extraordinary care

LDsports 注册The impetus for restructuring Lava Mae as Lava Maeˣ came from the rising interest in replicating Lava Mae’s services. Since its launch, Lava Mae has fielded more than 4,320 inquiries from city agencies, nonprofits, governments, refugee aid organizations and individuals in the U.S. and 38 other countries seeking to provide similar services. To meet that demand, in 2017 Lava Mae created the , a free DIY toolkit and forum that helps anyone, anywhere launch a mobile hygiene program.

To date, the toolkit has been downloaded over 3,000 times and Lava Mae has inspired, advised or trained 170 organizations worldwide to create mobile hygiene services. This response opened Lava Mae’s eyes to the massive need for street-based services, and the organization concluded that the best way to meet that need was to teaching others to deliver Radical Hospitality.

Recognizing that the most sustainable solutions come from the communities where the challenges exist, Lava Maeˣ will work to accelerate local responses to homelessness with open source toolkits, in-depth training and strategic partnerships. A new toolkit for Pop-Up Care Villages is already in the works.

“Lava Maeˣ has been instrumental in launching our service,” said Lena Miller, CEO and founder of Urban Alchemy, which is bringing mobile showers to underserved parts of Los Angeles. “They trained us, advised us on strategy and provided onsite support. Without them, our rollout of 17 trailers would not be possible.”

Seizing the opportunity to create a new service ethic

A partnership with the new Unilever brand, The Right to Shower, is providing core support for Lava Maeˣ. Built as a social enterprise, The Right to Shower donates profits to Lava Maeˣ and other shower initiatives that help people who are moving through homelessness. In turn, Lava Maeˣ draws on its expertise to advise the brand, identifying, vetting and recommending initiatives for The Right to Shower to fund.

“We have the opportunity to teach the world by bringing Lava Maeˣ–designed solutions to more communities seeking to follow our model,” said Sandoval. “And perhaps more importantly, we can influence, maybe even permanently change, the way organizations and communities see and serve their unhoused neighbors. That would mean we’d fulfill our mission fully and deeply.”

About Lava Maex

Lava Maeˣ is a nonprofit accelerator that transforms the way communities around the world see and serve their unhoused neighbors. Through its open source toolkit, in-depth training and strategic partnerships, Lava Maeˣ is building a worldwide network of providers who take critical services for the unhoused to the street. Everything Lava Maeˣ does is rooted in its philosophy of Radical Hospitality®—meeting people wherever they are with extraordinary care. As of January 2020, Lava Maeˣ–designed programs have resulted in 170 programs restoring dignity, rekindling optimism and fueling a sense of opportunity in 148 communities in 11 countries.

Media contact

Anya Khalamayzer

LDsports 注册 Thinkshift Communications

732.614.2318 |