Lava Mae helps Los Angeles' homeless population by providing showers

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Lava Mae operates a trailer, which provides curbside shower and restroom service just outside of City Hall to the homeless every Friday for roughly six hours.

"It's real important that we have these types of facilities, people that come out here and do these things because without that, the people wouldn't have any place to take showers," said Valentina Earley.

Earley depends on the curbside service to stay as clean as possible. She was happy to hear the City Council approve nearly $3 million for additional emergency housing and hygiene services, including bathrooms and showers for the homeless.

Earley said the facilities are sorely needed, especially portable toilets.

City Councilman Jose Huizar is spearheading the effort to get more hygiene and other services to the homeless in downtown L.A.

Huizar said the city is just allocating some of the $20 million in the state's Homeless Emergency Aid Program funds granted last year to combat the homeless crisis.

"Now we're implementing those dollars to get to work," Huizar said. "We're putting in more showers, more areas for people to get water."

Lava Mae volunteers and workers said additional funding for hygiene services for the homeless is critical.

"There's always more needed. We're just starting. We've only been doing shower services for two years," said Joey Freid of Lava Mae.

Lava Mae doesn't get any city or state funding, only private donations.

City officials say they want the nearly $3 million in funding to help deal with hygiene issues as they continue to fight the homelessness crisis.
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