Lava Mae & Simply the Basics

On January 25, Lilah Beldner spoke with our Grade 7 students about Lava Mae. Ms. Beldner is a recent graduate of Lick-Wilmerding High School and is taking a gap year to serve people experiencing homelessness on the streets of San Francisco. Since 2016, Hamlin students have been volunteering every month with Lava Mae’s Pop-Up Care Villages, serving food and working in the street store distributing clothing.

Lava Mae brings critical services to the streets – delivered with an unexpected level of care we call Radical Hospitality – to rekindle dignity and hope for people experiencing homelessness through our Mobile Hygiene Service, Pop-Up Care Villages and buildIt toolkit.

Ms. Beldner emphasized the following points (among others):

-Lava Mae practices Radical Hospitality, striving to be truly compassionate to their guests

-The Lava Mae model is being replicated by groups of people all over the world (mostly in the United States)

-Many stereotypes about those experiencing homelessness are not correct, most are extremely grateful for Lava Mae and are very caring people

-Many Lava Mae guests have full-time jobs, but are struggling to make ends meet

-Young people who use Lava Mae services are often LGBTQ and came to San Francisco looking for a more tolerant place to live

Following the Lava Mae presentation, Phylicia Hisel from Simply the Basics worked with our students to assemble over a 100 feminine hygiene kits.

The Mission of Simply the Basics is to provide for individuals, organizations, and communities their most basic needs with dignity so that they can focus on bigger goals.

The kits contained tampons, pads, and other items that we had collected earlier in the school year. The packages will be shipped to hurricane victims in Florida and Texas.

To learn more about Lava Mae, please visit:

To learn more about Simply the Basics, please visit:



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