Shower-bus for homeless people rolls in San Francisco


SOrry little dude gonna fill this with epson salts and jammit on over to the oldfolks home.

Hmmm are these made by a German company.

I love and hate all of the brilliant mitigation solutions for people who will continue to be homeless. Unfortunately the ‘good’ housing codes create a price floor for a legal room below which there is either vehicle camp homelessness, waiting in line for a shelter room which precludes work or retraining, then the street sleep homelessness. If there were legal urban subsidized mini storage and even cell hotels for under $5 a night there would be very few homeless people. We must decide as a society that even the poor who we apparently have chosen to despise to death deserve to sleep in peace, an opportunity for even those with substance abuse or mental health issues to live a life free of torturous punishment.
Perhaps there would be less need to anaesthetize ones consciousness with expensive illegal self medication if reality were not so desperate.


My experience from actually working with and being around the homeless is that if you think housing prices or the cost of shelter is the problem and somehow providing them affordable shelter is the answer to the problem you are sorely mistaken. This is issue is much much more complex then the Utopian dream you are trying to paint here.


Totally digging the gender-neutral/trans icon.


No doubt it’s complex. It’s also misguided to say these people are lazy or somehow lack motivation as well. My personal experience around them tells me that being homeless is more difficult than being a working stiff. It’s a super hardcore lifestyle that isn’t easy. I think a lot of them are victims of mental illness. Since the state hospitals were done away with in the early 80’s, many of the patients either went to prison or the streets. There’s this idea of “community health” that was suppose to replace the state hospital, but we all know that became a huge political punching bag.


I was an urban paramedic so I mostly got to see the tragic and dying side of of these things but I had plenty of normal interaction with those who were unable to access normal housing as well. There is no easy utopian answer but the legally codified hate and oppression, especially the oppressive anti homeless laws, lack of real healthcare, overstressed and apathetic-to-homeless urban hospital culture in the US are a serious impediment to any kind of recovery once you drop below the socially acceptable living modes. Mental health and depression care will help some, comprehensive substance abuse assistance for others, but an opportunity to access a real living wage and a place to actually live; a realistic pathway to a life without shame or high handed quasi parental treatment will work for many especially those who lost living wage work and housing but still manage to make enough to live in a vehicle which is a large well hidden population. The types of homeless Venn diagram is complex with many difficult to assist outliers but it is a problem that needs better solutions than the admittedly admirable but still a band-aid on an arterial bleed help like this shower bus.


Probably not. While we do have homeless people in Germany, they all have a right to get social help, i.e. rent money, a couple of hundred dollars a month and medical insurance, of course.

Oh, you are referring to the third Reich. No, Americams would never do that. They’d never waste potential slaves that way.


“Lava Mae is a startup”

Right off the bat above the cut, Cory gave me the completely wrong mental picture of what was going on here. Fortunately I clicked through to find out how some Rand-reading libertarian dudebro was planning on monetizing showers for homeless people.

Startups are the natural habitat of Randite dudebros, privileged libertarians, and assholes. Calling a nonprofit charity a startup is like calling a weekly farmer’s market a fast food franchise.

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One thing is for sure, treating homeless people with dignity and human decency goes a long way in helping people to get back on their feet than treating people like they are criminals simply because they’ve run into severe misfortunes in thier lives.


I dislike the opportunistic Godwin caller trolling but yea, it is still too soon to make the shower jokes.

Actually, not all of them are homeless. For some it is indeed a business.

Yes, and why shouldn’t they? It’s a free country, after all. As long as they don’t do anything illegals, why not let them be?

Yes, indeed. That’s why people are indeed looking at concepts like citizen’s dividend.

It’s vastly amusing that people flock around tv shows like Star Trek which basically promote a lifestyle based on this, but think that their warp fantasies and phaser pistoles are more worthwhile things to strive for than general human decency.


Totally fine if you want to engage in the time-honored pastime of slagging on Cory’s hype, but there’s no need to erase the female champion from this story in trying to talk smack.

Except who wears a dress in the shower?

The name, when pronounced, sounds Iike lávame, which is wash me in Spanish. The more you know.


I like the spirit, but it looks like a very windy shower. Shower and dry at the same time!

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I find this bus idea for making life better for the homeless frustrating. $75,000 and who knows how much gas and maintenance, just so homeless people can take a shower. Good God, their needs are so much beyond that. What’s frustrating for me is that the people behind this boss and the contributors took such a short view. Why not look at creating a model in San Francisco for how to help these people that can be used by the entire country, if it works. For example, get owners to contribute some of these empty warehouses, get people to donate their used mattresses, and give these people a place to sleep. Use some of the higher functioning homeless and volunteers to cook meals, using leftovers donated from restaurants etc. For those of you worried that this life is so easy that these people will not want to work, I have two comments: one, it is not easy or satisfying and so unsatisfying that it is a real motivator to work if you can. Two, many or most of these people can NOT work, usually for reasons of mental illness or deficiency. We should have a country that provides minimum sustenance for people who are unable to provide them for themselves. just make it so minimal that no sane or capable person would choose to live this lifestyle.

Again from my actual experience with homeless your ideas are noble that will not. It’s not lack of money or lack of space that keep almost all the homeless I have worked with homeless. It’s addiction/mental illness. Many of them would not go to your warehouses for a whole host reasons, paranoia, not wanting to follow rules and give up independence…

Many of the homeless I know actually have extensive support networks of family and friends who would give them a home.

Homeless shelters have been around for centuries and they do not work.

I actually think this is one of the best things I’ve seen someone do for the homeless in a long long time. Hygiene in usually their top concern over even shelter. Want to make a homeless man happy for weeks give him a pack of clean socks.


I helped found a 501©(3) that among other things, helps the homeless. Was homeless myself when I was much younger.

Hygiene is a MAJOR issue. When we give out food, blankets, and other supplies, soap, deodorant, and toothpaste are the most requested items after clean socks. Being clean reduces the chance of illness or infection, removes a major obstacle to interacting with others (including finding work and services), and does absolutely unbelievable things for their mental state. Please believe me when I say that the cost/benefit here way exceeds $75k.

My only complaint is that I would have incorporated a few small, fast, clothes washer-dryer units so they could have clean clothes to change into when they got out of the showers.