A message from Suanne about transitions within HOWA’s staff

Hi Everyone,

I want to share with you about the many changes within the HOWA organization and staff. HOWA always wants to be transparent with our community.

As you already know, J.D. McCrary is the Executive Director as of last February when I stepped down from that role. That change in leadership is big, but staff changes don’t stop there.

About 4 weeks ago Jessica resigned. She was HOWA’s Administrative Assistant who also posted to social media. Her service with HOWA was outstanding and she is dearly missed. But, her absence leaves a big hole in some critical tasks that keep HOWA healthy.

Furthermore, for more than a year, HOWA’s expenses for organizational operations, like staff’s wages, have exceeded incoming donations. Without additional funding, layoffs were inevitable. The Board of Trustees discussed this possibility last year when developing the 2024 Budget. Unfortunately, the trend of operational costs exceeding contributions has continued. HOWA is now at the point of needing to make the hard decision to layoff and restructure staff responsibilities so that we can continue to serve the community. Here are the staff changes that will take place in the next month to keep HOWA solvent.

  • No new hire to replace Jessica’s full-time position as Administrative Assistant and social media support.
    • Suanne, yours truly, will make social media posts as a volunteer.
    • Tracey will continue to work part-time doing administrative work instead of Emergency Fund coordination.
  • Bobbi, Client Services Manager, will run the Emergency Fund Program, as well as the Caravans, both In-Person and Virtual. She will continue to manage the BYOV program and past vehicle grantees.
    • Lisa, our current part-time Virtual Caravan Coordinator, will be laid off in about a month.


Sadly, this Spring we see Jessica and Lisa leave our staff. Both have huge hearts for serving the nomad community. I look forward to seeing them again down the road, around a campfire, or when we come together to volunteer for HOWA.

What stays the same at HOWA:

  • J.D. provides stable and innovative leadership as HOWA’s Executive Director, keeping HOWA solvent, building a strong organization, while continuing to provide mission-specific services to the nomadic community.

  • The Board of Trustees, including Co-Founders Bob Wells and myself, continue to carry fiduciary responsibly, set general direction, and create policies for HOWA to succeed as a 501(c)3 charity.

  • Phyllis, the Assistant Director, as an original staff member works to carry on the mission while providing a historical perspective. She makes sure the bills are paid and completes the many tasks to keep HOWA compliant as a 501(c)3.

  • Marieke, HOWA’s Tech Support private contractor, provides back-end support for HOWA’s services with great expertise in technologies and project management.

  • January’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, both the All-Gender and Women’s, will be led again by volunteers JP Smith and myself, along with Marieke’s leadership in project management, sustained by a dedicated team of Lead Volunteers.


Although the idea to reduce staff in order to remain solvent originated with me in 2023 when I was the Executive Director, J.D. also believes this step is necessary and has taken on the unenviable task to make it happen. This is hard stuff; I appreciate that he is doing this difficult work to keep HOWA going.

Lots of changes for HOWA, but the service programs currently remain intact even with this current reduction in donations and staff.

Through all of HOWA’s ups and downs, thank you for your continued support as a participant, volunteer, and donor. If you would like to contribute toward the rising operational costs of running this organization, please consider an on-going contribution at https://HOWA.rallyup.com/Donate2HOWA. Likewise, J.D., the Trustees, and staff are also working to attract additional donors, grants, and sponsorships.

Most Sincerely Yours,

Suanne Carlson
Homes On Wheels Alliance, Inc.

Together we are changing lives, building supportive community, and preventing homelessness one person at a time.