Most of us have suffered through the frustration of needing to quickly get ready for work, only to have to wait for a roommate to finish his shower. Now imagine having to share that shower with not one or two other people, but hundreds.
That’s precisely the situation facing San Francisco’s estimated 6,436 homeless residents, who currently have just seven places in the city where they can shower.
But now an old public bus in San Francisco has been converted into a portable shower station to provide hygienic bathrooms to the homeless.
The bus, converted by nonprofit LavaMae, contains two private showers and toilets and provides towels and soap. The creators say it’s more about providing individual comfort than ending homelessness.
But despite the fact that the showers could help some homeless people stay clean as public showers around the city close, they don’t enjoy unanimous support.
Some critics say that the buses, which are largely funded by big donations from companies like Google, are a perfect example of San Francisco’s widening gap between the super-rich and the very poor.