Local Woman Excited to Shower Tonight for First Time in a Week

Categories: Health, Local News

Donday5.jpg
Courtesy of Doniece Sandoval
Doniece Sandoval after five days without a shower
Doniece Sandoval is dirty. She hasn't showered in a week. Her body itches all over, and she says her scalp feels gross.

So you can only imagine how much she's looking forward to midnight tonight when Sandoval will hop in the shower, officially ending her week-long experiment of not bathing.

"Today is my final day of the no-shower challenge," said Sandoval. "I'm counting down the minutes."

See Also: S.F. Homeless Residents Can Finally Take a Shower ... on Muni

Sandoval embarked on the filthy adventure attempting to get a sense of what it's like to be homeless and without a place to shower. She pledged not to bathe for a week, only allowing herself to use public facilities to clean up.

During her no-shower challenge, Sandoval would use outside bathrooms at grocery stores to clean up. She would wipe herself down using body wipes. It was freezing and incredibly uncomfortable. She said it got most the grime off, but she still felt dirty.

"It was really hard," Sandoval admitted, adding that using public showers were not realistic with her busy work and family schedule. "It might have been difficult for me, but not half of what people on the street deal with. I still can go home -- I have a place to go."

Sandoval headed up the Lava Mae project with the mission to convert old, donated Muni buses into mobile showers, giving the city's homeless residents a place to take a clean shower.

There's roughly 3,000 homeless residents in San Francisco, yet the city only has eight public showers to accommodate them, Sandoval said.

Using the crowd-funding website Indiegogo.com, Lava Mae has been asking for donors who believe in the cause to help her raise $75,000 for the mobile showers. So far, she's raised $45,000, however she only has 16 days left to reach the goal.

"The great responses we've got have been unbelievably inspiring," said Sandoval.

By the way, during her no-shower challenge, only one person took note of her smell: Her 6-year-old daughter. During breakfast one morning, Sandoval walked in the room while her daughter was eating.

"My daughter said 'what smells'," Sandoval said laughing. "I guess she has a really good nose."




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13 comments
zenith.chasing
zenith.chasing

At least she is making an effort to put herself in another persons shoes, i find this whole project to be somewhat misguided, but as a former homeless person I appreciate the sentiment behind it.  I hope she reaches her goal. =)

daytonsoma1
daytonsoma1

Most people dont even make an attempt to try and see what life is like in someone elses shoes. Whether it be homeless or home owner. She could have chosen to be a billionaire and look down at us, the point is to be able to put some human back into humanity.  At least there is an end goal, which is a positive one. I know that showering alone changes so many things, not just the way we smell. It gives hope. I say "Thank you" and where can I make a donation???

bobcobb
bobcobb

I love when people do stuff like this. My Grandma (in her younger days as a journalist) dressed up as a "bag lady" (mom's quote) to see how the public treated the homeless. One time I refrained from speaking for three days. That was very enlightening. Kudos.

Javier Leocadio Colón
Javier Leocadio Colón

This is stupid... showering is the last thing a homeless person is worried about. Shelter, Safety & Food top the priority list for most. So why doesn't Doniece try to live on the streets for a week. She wouldn't think twice about showering after spending a few days out on SF streets.

Cynthia McGarvie
Cynthia McGarvie

Is she still taking donations for her project? I'd love to help.

Freddy Ibarra
Freddy Ibarra

Thought this was an Onion headline at first, but then realized it didn't say "Area Woman" instead of Local Woman.

Randy Adam
Randy Adam

big deal visit Berkeley or the 20 student co-ops near UCB campus

Bradley Exum
Bradley Exum

literally a single paragraph is devoted to the actual kickstarter; i cant with this

Bradley Exum
Bradley Exum

lol classic way to make a cause all about oneself

Kris Berg
Kris Berg

Seriously??? is this really noteworthy? humans were not designed to bathe as often as we actually do in modern times. I've gone 2 months without bathing without anyone even noticing. it's really not that big of a deal. once you get past the first week who friggin' cares?

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