KOHLER, Wis. – Oct. 17, 2022 – Kohler launches a partnership with LavaMaex to provide support for its mobile showering program in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland as well as funding to seven community service providers to expand access to showers and other essential care services for the unhoused. This partnership will deliver approximately 20,000 showers to thousands of individuals within the unhoused population in various cities across the United States.
“We intimately understand the power a shower can have – the confidence and sense of wellbeing it can create.” says Scott Edmunds, VP of North America Marketing for Kohler Co. “The assistance from LavaMaeˣ and its network of community service providers helps open doors to housing and job opportunities for the unhoused population, in addition to the overall positive impact it can make on the surrounding community.”
Funding through the LavaMaeˣ grant program will help local providers purchase or construct shower trailers, as well as provide other community-based solutions. Another portion of the program addresses the access to showering and essential care services directly through LavaMaeˣ’s sites. Its weekly shower sites in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area reach an average of 600 guests each year. Additionally, these sites function as training ground for community service providers launching their own LavaMaeˣ-inspired mobile services across the country.
There are over half a million people experiencing homelessness in the United States. While the unhoused need multiple support mechanisms, studies show that access to proper hygiene can transform lives. In addition to the funding to for the mobile showers, Kohler is launching a campaign to educate associates, customers and consumers about the lack of access to safe hygiene in unhoused communities. Using its broad touch points with people across the US, Kohler is sharing real stories of the impact a clean shower has had on the unhoused, raising awareness and funds for LavaMaex.
Community service providers receiving support through this program include Cloud Covered Streets (Phoenix, AZ and Fort Worth, TX), ShowerUp (Chicago, IL, Huntsville, AL, Wichita, KS and Nashville, TN), Showering Love (Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale and South Broward County, FL), Humanity Showers (San Diego, CA), WAVE Project (Detroit, MI), Shower Power NYC (New York City, NY) and Street Angels (Milwaukee, WI).
“This support from Kohler will expand support for our growing network across the globe and in the U.S. We treat every guest with dignity and care and the essential services we bring to the streets are sustaining people experiencing homelessness. Being clean and being seen through mobile shower and care services changes lives. Thanks to Kohler, more of our unhoused neighbors will have access to this care,” comments Kris Kepler, CEO of LavaMaeˣ.
Kohler’s support of LavaMaeˣ stems from the company’s operating philosophy of Believing in Better, which is grounded in three pillars: better planet, better communities and better lives. Within Better Communities, Kohler takes a holistic approach to its social impact efforts and considers how its initiatives work together to address the long-term health, well-being and prosperity of the communities it serves through clean water and sanitation, education, arts and historical preservation and community health and well-being.
More about initiatives within Kohler’s Believing in Better philosophy can be seen in the company’s first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report highlighting goals and progress across environmental sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion and social impact.
LavaMaeˣ is a San Francisco Bay Area–based nonprofit that teaches people around the world to bring mobile showers and other essential care services to the street. With a mission to change the way the world sees and serves people experiencing homelessness, LavaMaeˣ has directly served more than 32,500 Californians with mobile showers and Pop-Up Care Villages. Its Radical Hospitality® approach—meeting people wherever they are with extraordinary care—helps restore dignity, rekindle optimism and fuel a sense of opportunity. Learn more about how LavaMaeˣ is scaling its model at www.lavamaex.org.
About Kohler Co.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 40,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines and power systems; luxury cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland. The company also develops solutions to address pressing issues, such as clean water and sanitation, for underserved communities around the world to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations. For more details, please visit kohlercompany.com.