At Kohler, we know just how essential a shower is to individual well-being, not simply for health and hygiene, but to access your own self-confidence and engage with the world around you. For unhoused individuals, a shower can mean the ability to maintain employment, apply for new housing, keep kids in school, and more. We know a good shower can transform a moment, a day, a life.
In keeping with our Believing in Better® operating philosophy, we partnered with LavaMaex to bring showers to people experiencing houselessness in cities across the U.S. Combining our showering expertise, product donations and grants, Kohler Kitchen and Bath Group – North America has made it possible for the following seven organizations to serve their unhoused communities with mobile showers.
Cloud Covered Streets — Phoenix, Arizona and Fort Worth, Texas
Showering Love — Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale and South Broward County, Florida
ShowerUp — Chicago, Illinois; Huntsville, Alabama; Wichita, Kansas; and Nashville, Tennesee
Humanity Showers — San Diego, California
WAVE Project — Detroit, Michigan
Shower Power NYC — New York City, New York
Street Angels — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
At Kohler, we know how transformative a shower can be. It can’t change circumstances, but it can offer a moment of calm, build confidence, and help restore a sense of self, so that change feels possible again.
A regular guest at LavaMaex, Nes recounts the difficulty of being unhoused and accessing a shower.
Fear is a near constant companion to Melody. She shares what it means to have a clean, safe shower.
LavaMaex Chief Executive Officer Kris Kepler describes the importance of serving guests with dignity and compassion.
Kohler Director of Stewardship Cindy Howley outlines Kohler’s partnership with LavaMaex and the goals we’ve set.
The number of unhoused Americans is rising, and shelters can’t keep up. In July 2022, The New York Times reported that, “An estimated 13.7 million Americans were behind on rent or mortgage payments in early June.” And nearly one-third of those individuals identified as being “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to become unhoused over the next two months.
“Home” is personal. It’s one of those words defined individually, and it’s perhaps more about belonging than four walls and a roof. Sadly, “homeless” has become a judgement of character rather than a description of circumstances. The terms “unhoused” and “houseless” have been adopted more recently to acknowledge the diversity of experience and complexity of causes that contribute to anyone living without shelter.
Founded in San Francisco, LavaMaex began with one mobile shower trailer to help alleviate the lack of shower access for people experiencing homelessness. Today LavaMaex serves the unhoused in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles, while providing training and funds to help others bring mobile showers and radical hospitality to their own communities.