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Non-Profit Turns Old City Buses into Mobile Shower Stations for the Homeless

One of the dire problems faced by homeless people across America is the shortage of public showers and toilets. Unofficially dubbed one of the homeless capitals of the nation, San Francisco’s 6,500 homeless have access to only about 16 to 20 shower stalls. But Lava Mae, a San Francisco nonprofit, is trying to make a difference by converting retired city buses into mobile shower stations.

Lava Mae is the brainchild of former marketing executive Doniece Sandoval, who, moved by the plight of the homeless around her, quit her job to help them. “One day I passed a woman in the street and she was very dirty and basically crying, and I heard her say that she would never be clean.” Sandoval told ABC News. “There’s obviously a lot of layers but I was wondering what her opportunities were to actually get clean.”

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This Guy Went a Year without Taking a Single Shower, Still Managed to Stay Squeaky Clean

27-year-old environment activist Rob Greenfield went a whole year without taking a shower. A man-made shower, that is. Instead, he spent the year bathing in natural water resources – lakes, rivers, rain and waterfalls. And when natural water wasn’t accessible, he used a bucket filled with water from leaky faucets and fire hydrants.

Here’s the surprising bit – while the average American consumes about 100 gallons of water a day, Rob used less than 2 gallons a day that whole year. That’s eight Nalgene water bottles. Now, that’s quite a difference. It really makes you wonder about how much water we actually need to survive. Rob said that he got the idea to live with less water during a long bike ride across America to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living.

“I set a bunch of rules for myself to follow to lead by example. The rule for water was that I could only harvest it from natural sources or from wasted sources. And I kept track of exactly how much I used, with an aim of showing just how little we need to get by.” After the 100-day bike ride without showering was over, Rob decided to continue his streak. He went ‘showerless’ for the next 6 months and then decided to extended to a year. And it turned out to be a whole lot easier than he thought.

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