Elsewhere online
September 11, 2015

Google-Backed San Francisco Charity Turns Buses Into Showers for Poor

The Guardian profiles Lava Mae, a Google-supported San Francisco charity that outfits decommissioned city buses with showers and toilets for the homeless. The nonprofit received $100,000 from Google last year as part of the tech giant's Bay Area Impact Challenge.

Like many of its Silicon Valley peers, Google has taken heat from local activists who contend that tech money flooding into San Francisco has driven up rents and driven out low-income residents, exacerbating the the city's homelessness problem. Google pledged $2 million in 2014 to groups serving the homeless, including the grant to Lava Mae, which has raised $1.5 million over all in the past 18 months to provide mobile hygiene facilities.

The charity's founder, Doniece Sandoval, has launched Lava Mae Global with a plan to take the concept to other cities in the United States and abroad.