- HOWA will remain fiscally responsible by not spending more than we have, and
- HOWA will continue the work to fulfill our mission to help those on the edge of homelessness within a supportive community.
Vehicles of HOWA’s Build Program
Between Summer 2019 and Fall 2021, HOWA has purchased or has been gifted 16 vehicles. Eighteen people, on the edge of homelessness, have been granted vehicles as their homes on wheels. Each vehicle was selected to provide a safe and secure home for its new owner(s). Some of these vehicles have had a series of events happen with them; while others simply went to their new homeowner and are completing their charge by providing dependable shelter. Here is a listing of those granted vehicles in the order of purchase or donation.
- Minivan One: Funds for purchase were donated by an anonymous donor. Awarded August 2019 to Recipient 1, then returned to HOWA in September 2021. The nomadic life wasn’t a good fit for her. While the minivan was being transported to Pahrump in September 2021, to be granted to another person in need, it was in an accident with a deer. HOWA had full coverage on it with a $1000 deductible. The minivan is totaled, the volunteer transporter was not injured. HOWA is still waiting to hear from the insurance adjuster. All funds received for this vehicle will go back into the Build Program.
- Travel Trailer: Trailer donated by anonymous donors. Awarded October 2019 to Recipients 2 and 3. Remains the home on wheels for a nomad couple.
- Minivan Two: Vehicle donated by an anonymous donor. Awarded October 2019 to Recipient 4. The Recipient fulfilled the escrow savings agreement within six months, sold the awarded minivan, and replaced it with a different vehicle in 2020. For clarity of expectations for these grants, recipients are now required to live out of their awarded vehicles for at least 3 years before they can sell it.
- Cargo Trailer: Trailer purchased with contributions from many donors. Awarded October 2019 to Recipients 5 and 6. Converted by volunteers into a home for mother and son. The trailer remains their home on wheels.
- Minivan Three: Vehicle purchased with contributions from many donors. It was ready to be awarded October 2019. Unfortunately, the selected client’s mobility was such that she couldn’t safely get in and out of the minivan. As a result, the minivan was saved to be re-granted in Spring 2020. Sadly, it was totaled in a roll-over accident to avoid a head-on collision in the Winter of 2020. No fatalities. Vehicle did not have full insurance coverage; but was sold for scrap with those funds paying for its storage fees.
- School Bus “Hannah”: Donated by the family of David Ainley, HOWA Trustee, after his passing. Converted by David. Awarded October 2019 to Recipient 7, a retired mechanic with the skills and ability to maintain it. It is still his home on wheels.
- Minivan Four: Funds for purchase were donated by Lectrice Bikes. In July 2020, this minivan wasn’t a good fit for the client due to her multiple chemical sensitives (MCS). So, instead it was awarded in August 2020 to Recipient 8. Sadly, that recipient passed away in early 2021. The minivan was returned and awarded again in April 2021 to Recipient 14. It was totaled in an accident with a deer in May 2021, no injuries to the recipient. That recipient moved into an RV.
- Minivan Five: Funds for purchase were provided by an anonymous donor. This minivan was the previous home of a nomad with MCS. Unfortunately, it still triggered MCS symptoms in the client, like Minivan Four. So, instead, this minivan was awarded in October 2020 to Recipient 9; it remains her home on wheels.
- Truck with Cap: Truck was purchased utilizing contributions from many donors for the client with MCS who could not use either Minivans Four or Five. It had no carpeting and initially seemed to work for her. But, sadly, she found that it triggered her MCS symptoms. The truck was subsequently sold and funds from the sale reimbursed to the Build Program. Sadly, HOWA was not able to source a vehicle, within our means, that would not trigger this client’s MCS symptoms.
- Minivan Six: This vehicle was donated, built out, and transported by the Arcuses and friend. Awarded
October 2020 to Recipient 10. That recipient exited the program to move into a larger van in the Summer of 2021. The minivan was returned, inspected and readied for Recipient 17 in October 2021.
- Minivan Seven: Funds for purchase were donated by Lectric eBikes. Awarded October 2020 to Recipient 11. It remains the recipient’s home on wheels.
- Minivan Eight: Funds for purchase were contributed by an anonymous donor. Awarded October 2020 to Recipient 12. Remains the recipient’s home on wheels.
- Minivan Nine: Funds for purchase were donated by Nomadland Productions. Awarded April 2021 to Recipient 13. Remains the recipient’s home on wheels.
- Minivan Ten: Funds for purchased were donated by Nomadland Productions. Awarded April 2021 to Recipient 15 and remains the recipient’s home on wheels.
- Minivan Eleven: Funds for purchase were donated by an anonymous donor. Shelving & bed platform were donated by Camp N Car. Awarded April 2021 to Recipient 16. Remains the recipient’s home on wheels.
- Minivan Twelve: Donated, repaired, and transported by the Brownes, with a hightop donated by Fiberine, and Solar Kitchen donated by Go Sun. Will be awarded October 2021 to Recipient 18.
During the 2014 RTR Suanne Carlson led two sessions for women only. Due to the popularity of these sessions they were continued during the next three RTRs but many women requested more time to connect and explore issues important to them so in 2018 the first WRTR was held for three days after the RTR. The format for the WRTR is slightly different from the RTR focusing on interaction and mentoring with breakout sessions after the seminars. Between 100 to 200 hundred women attended the WRTR and based on their feedback the 2019 WRTR was scheduled before the RTR so that new attendees could meet other women and then feel more comfortable attending the much larger RTR.
As news of the camaraderie, fun, and learning experiences women found at the 2018 WRTR spread across the nomadic community, the WRTR planning committee projected that between 800 and 1,000 women would attend the 2019 WRTR . . . and that became the reality! Each day, women pulled into the WRTR entrance glowing with achievement that they had overcome hurdles, obstacles, setbacks, fears and anxiety to travel, for some, thousands of miles alone for the first time in their lives. They were greeted at the entrance by other women who had volunteered to help set up the event, greet participants, manage the sound system, and provide information and assistance where it was needed. These volunteers arrived at the WRTR site three days early to receive training and do all the tasks involved in setting up the event. Thousands of people learned about the origin and mission of this newly formed nonprofit organization during the WRTR and RTR. Homes On Wheels Alliance Trustees and other dedicated volunteers manned the booth eight hours a day for two weeks to spread the word and take donations.
OK … I’m going to try this post again. After adding a video, it produced an error and our webmaster had to delete everything. So, now I’ll see if I can re-create the post. But, this time, I just included a link to the video at the end.
We had some wet, then cold weather. Here is a picture out my side widow toward the build area.
After it dried out, the weather turned really cold. Some evenings we’d gather at the camp fire to visit and warm up before calling it a night. (KC, Bob, Joni, Tim)
Taking a break from putting wood scraps into the fire, KC did her imitation of a fu manchu mustache.
Then some of us got a bit silly and started dancing around the fire. That’s one way to keep warm! (Bob, Suanne, Joni, KC, Lois)