Lava Mae <p>Taking Radical Hospitality To The Streets
Pop Up Care Villages Community | Empowerment | Homelessness | Wellness

Lava Mae

Taking Radical Hospitality To The Streets

Homelessness is overwhelming. To deal with it is to know that every person living on the streets has encountered some of the hardest challenges life can throw. People on the street no longer have the means to care for themselves on more than one level. It’s overwhelming to consider the magnitude of this very real problem and multiple aspects that must go into making any difference in the lives of the homeless. However, it’s not important to have the whole solution at one moment. Taking steps in the right direction is the only way to accomplish anything.

Lava Mae has taken an aspect of the homelessness crisis and developed a solution that empowers every individual. Those with mental illness, those coming out of violent homes, and those with drug addictions are not left out of Lava Mae’s radical hospitality. In 2013, Lava Mae outfitted city buses with showers and toilets and traveled through the Bay Area providing hygiene, an often forgotten service, to individuals living on the streets. Because of their people-first approach, seen in the personalized care and attention they give to everyone they serve, they operate under a policy of radical hospitality. They consider each customer a guest, and they continue to amplify their impact with their new pop up care villages. (more…)

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Homeless-One Stitch Closer
COMMUNITY | EMPLOYMENT | EMPOWERMENT | HOMELESSNESS

Homeless-One Stitch Closer

The City of Berkeley estimates that nearly 1200 people are living on the streets, but that number only covers those that have been reported (BerkeleySide). That number is too low to adequately cover the amount of individuals moving through homelessness in Berkeley. The homeless community is large and they are up against the same problem: a lack of affordable housing. However, the fact that they are united by this one issue does not mean that each individual does not have different goals and different priorities. With this in mind, it is important to consider the wants of the community when offering up solutions.

One thing that homeless individuals do have in common is the basic reality that they need a way to keep warm at night, but they are responsible for carrying everything they own. The product created by The Empowerment Plan, based in Detroit, started with this idea, and grew into a sustainable business working to break the cycle of homelessness. Veronika Scott created a product designed to alleviate the challenges of mobility and staying warm with her EMPWR coat. The coat can be worn to keep warm, but it also transforms into a sleeping bag and an over-the-shoulder bag. This functional design efficiently addresses the day-to-day needs of a homeless individual. (more…)

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