Mobile showers expand to new Tenderloin site

A nonprofit that provides mobile shower and restroom facilities to the homeless is teaming up with a property developer to bring services to a busy corner of the Tenderloin.

Lava Mae, which currently operates converted Muni buses outfitted with shower equipment at six other locations around the city, Monday┬áset up one of its buses at the corner of Golden Gate and Jones street, across from St. Anthony’s, a busy soup kitchen and service provider for the homeless.

The bus, parked at a lot owned by Shorenstein Residential, was intended as a trial run for a regular service at that location expected to launch some time in April, according to Julie Burdick, development manager for the property.

While Shorenstein has plans to develop the property, the company is hoping the Lava Mae bus will help make the corner more active and lively in the meantime and foster community relationships. The partnership with Lava Mae is currently expected to run around six months, Burdick said.

St. Anthony’s plans to collaborate with Lava Mae at the site and help connect clients to services, although the details were still being worked out as of Monday.

The Lava Mae bus could be a big help for clients, St. Anthony’s executive director Barry Stenger said Monday.

In addition to its dining room offering meals and other services for the homeless, St. Anthony’s has been operating a 60-bed emergency winter overnight shelter on a nightly basis since Jan. 15 with the help of around $60,000 in funds from donors, Stenger noted. It does not have shower facilities on site, however.

Shorenstein’s proposal to build a 12-story mixed-use property with 304 residential units at 1066 Market St., a site that includes the parking lot at Golden Gate and Jones, is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on Thursday for approval.