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Lava Mae uses a mobile trailer with showers and bathrooms to offer basic hygiene services to homeless people. To bring the services to others, it launched a free kit, so anyone can start up similar services in their city—and the idea is spreading across the country.


Every Wednesday afternoon, a silver trailer pulls up in front of a social service organization in Plano, Texas, and begins offering free showers to local homeless people. On Fridays, it moves to a soup kitchen in the city of Denton, then drives to two other North Texas cities on other days of the week. The service, from a two-year-old nonprofit called Streetside Showers, is one of 100 that have spawned from the ideas of Lava Mae, a San Francisco-based organization that started transforming old city buses into mobile showers and toilets six years ago.

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