Founded in March of 2012, Lava Mae is a nonprofit project with fiscal sponsorship from ZERO1: the Art & Technology Network, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Lava Mae is tackling one simple but significant problem: the lack of access to showers and toilets for the vast number of homeless who live on San Francisco’s streets.
After a recent tour of several major cities in the U.S., Catarina de Albuquerque, the U.N.'s first special rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation wrote that “The United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, must ensure that everyone, without discrimination, has physical and economic access, in all spheres of life, to sanitation which is safe, hygienic, secure, socially and culturally acceptable, and which provides privacy and ensures dignity."
This is Lava Mae’s charge: provide sanitation, assist in deterring potential public health problems, and perhaps most critically, provide a much needed service to help a population struggling to retain a sense of dignity and self-worth. In essence, Lava Mae seeks to solve a small piece of what the United Nations and World Health Organization define as, and Lava Mae believes is, a basic human right: access to water and sanitation.