Exploring the intersection of public space and homelessness


Episode 9: Leah Filler


For people who are housed, and housed comfortably, there is much about the experience of homelessness that is opaque and not easy to understand. From threats of violence, to perceived dangers from law enforcement, to uncomfortable sleeping situations, homelessness is a series of large and small traumas.

One of the more simple, modest yet important of those deprivations is the difficultly of having to sacrifice one’s daily personal hygiene habits. Into this gap stepped the Bay Area based organization LavaMae. Their organization provides mobile shower units to help people maintain their cleanliness and, at the same time, their sense of self-worth.

To begin my conversation, I asked Leah Filler, LavaMae’s Impacts and New Programs Director, about their practice of radical hospitality.