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Homeless Nonprofits Do New Good Turns on Wheels


That Lava Mae mobile “showers on wheels” vessel seen above has a new sidecar in its ongoing efforts to provide health, happiness, and human services to the San Francisco homeless population. The new set of wheels is the CareVan from Project Homeless Connect, Lava Mae’s new traveling partner that hauls medical and dental supplies, meals, hygiene kits, and the volunteers who distribute them on the streets to those most in need.

The CareVan had its rollout and ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning at a “Day of Dignity” event outside the San Francisco Public Library. The event was Lava Mae’s ninth consecutive monthly Pop-up Care Village that provides free food, dental service, clothing, hygiene services and of course showers to the neediest people on San Francisco’s streets.

“We’ve expanded our partnership with Project Homeless Connect,” Paul Asplund, director of Pop-Up Care Villages for Lava Mae tells SF Weekly. “They’re going to be working with us on the street, in the mobile world.”

In addition the the food, showers, optical and dental services, the care village was also providing stylists giving free haircuts. “We probably saw about 45 people today getting haircuts,” Asplund says.

The combination of the two vehicles will give the two homeless services nonprofits the opportunity to reach out beyond San Francisco. “We’re expanding the Pop-Up Care Villages across the Bay Area and in Los Angeles this year,” Asplund says. “Our first L.A. event will  be July 11, and we’ll be working all around the L.A. area and all around the south bay area here.”

We should also note that Lava Mae will be celebrating its third birthday with another Pop-Up Care Village at the SF Public Library on June 27. Both Lava Mae and Project Homeless Connect could always use more volunteers and donations, so check their websites for ways to get involved.

Joe Kukura

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