Marking World Toilet Day, Lava Mae Has a Message for San Francisco's Unhoused Neighbors: You Are Loved

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Local Artist and Nonprofit That Brings Mobile Hygiene to People Experiencing Homeless Launch “you are loved” Campaign to Raise Awareness About Staggering Lack of Access to Sanitation

As cities across the globe today mark World Toilet Day 2018, San Francisco-based nonprofit Lava Mae and local artist Anna Sergeeva are staging a public performance to call attention to the eye-opening lack of access to toilets for people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.

In the City widely known for its new “Poop Patrol,” there are only 24 public restrooms – none of which are open from 8pm to 7am – for more than 7,500 unhoused men, women and children.

To raise awareness and spark action, volunteers are fanning out across the city, affixing (removable) "you are loved" stickers on more than 100 public bathroom mirrors, and sharing their #youareloved photos on social media. The goal is to send messages of love and support to SF’s unhoused neighbors, and to encourage the public to learn more about the problem and take action to advance solutions.

Volunteers are also posting flyers in SF public restrooms, encouraging people to visit the campaign website http://www.lovesticks.org and learn how they can help expand access to hygiene for people experiencing homelessness.

Today’s “you are loved” performance was orchestrated by SF-based artist Anna Sergeeva, a 2017-2018 YBCA Public Imagination Fellow whose work explores social issues using photography, film, performance, and language. Her previous projects include The Compliment Project, which spread over two million compliments in eight languages worldwide.

“No one should have to use the sidewalk as a bathroom, but there’s an appalling lack of access to toilets in San Francisco,” said Sergeeva. “This issue is really a moral question: What do we owe one another as human beings? I strongly believe that safe and convenient access to toilets, showers, and other basic hygiene services is a human right. We can and should do better.”

Lava Mae brings its award-winning toilets and showers on wheels to the streets to help people experiencing homelessness across San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles rekindle dignity, unlock opportunity and restore hope. Lava Mae has also inspired and/or assisted 100+ new mobile hygiene programs modeled after theirs across the U.S. and around the world.

“Lava Mae was founded on the belief that hygiene is a basic human right, and that everyone deserves to be clean and treated with dignity,” said Lava Mae Founder & CEO Doniece Sandoval. “World Toilet Day is a powerful reminder that it takes us all to advocate and work for dramatically increasing the availability of restrooms and hygiene resources for our unhoused neighbors.”

About Lava Mae

Lava Mae is a San Francisco-based nonprofit innovating to transform lives in the world of homelessness and disrupt the way communities see and serve our unhoused neighbors around the globe. For more information, visit lavamae.org, and connect with the Lava Mae community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Anna Sergeeva

Anna Sergeeva is an artist based in San Francisco. Her work explores social issues using photography, film, performance, and language. Her past projects include The Compliment Project (thecomplimentproject.org), which spread over two million compliments in eight languages worldwide and was hailed as a "marketing campaign for kindness" by The New York Times. She is a 2017-8 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Fellow.

Contact:

Deborah Schneider – deborah@lavamae.org / 415.637.3686

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Deborah Schneider
Lava Mae
+1 415-637-3686
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