While most people take showers for granted, the homeless population in San Francisco still have a tough time finding easily-accessible places to shower. This inaccessibility makes it much harder for them to clean up and get ready for important events, like job interviews.

Lava Mae (http://www.lavamae.org/) is a non-profit organization that believes in "delivering dignity one shower at a time." The organization's innovation is to convert retired public transportation (MUNI) buses into bathrooms on wheels for thousands of men, women, and children living on the streets of San Francisco. For those folks, a simple shower can be the first step toward transforming their life.

For this one-day hackathon, a team of people gathered together to brainstorm and build an innovative way to keep track of shower usage and donations.

Product concepts:

  • An iPhone app that allows bus coordinators to easily check into the current location, count visitors, accept on-the-spot donations, and show total raised that day.
  • An Apple Watch Glance App that gives real-time status of the number of showers taken and of the donations collected towards the daily goal.

Usage ideas:

  • Allow watch wearers to contribute instantly with an in-app donation or use Apple Pay onsite with the upcoming Square terminal.
  • Allow corporate sponsors to offer matching opportunities -- helping to increase awareness of their brands to Apple Watch owners.
  • Display maps of current bus locations to the watch wearer and/or bus coordinator.
  • Share before-and-after photos of the homeless who have benefited from Lava Mae and its contributors.

We hope that this project brings more awareness to the Lava Mae project, and encourages corporate and individual donors to step up and contribute to the cause.

Primary team contact:

Manuel "StuFF mc" Carrasco Molina (mc@stuffmc.com)

Manuel was born in Belgium and currently lives in Germany. He's been an iOS developer since the launch of the original iPhone, and is a regular attendee of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. He's witnessed the struggle of the city's homeless, even as technology has helped enrich the lives of many people. He heard about the Lava Mae project and was compelled to contribute to their Indiegogo campaign. Manuel got the chance to personally visit a Lava Mae bus while attending this year's WWDC.

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