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2021 Online RTR & WRTR

Like so many other events during the coronavirus pandemic, the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous and the Women’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous could not be held in person this year. But as nomads we are resourceful and the RTRs were switched over to a completely online format with live presentations by knowledgeable nomads covering topics such as camp etiquette, solar power, and boondocking.  The presentations consist of a class followed by a question and answer period. All sessions are posted on the HOWA YouTube channel for viewing at a later date.

Thank you to the HOWA staff, HOWA volunteers, and the nomads who shared their expertise with the community.  We appreciate all of the work and dedication that went into making the 2021 RTRs a success!

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We Care Gift Card Program

In early December HOWA received a wonderful donation – $15,000 to be distributed to nomads in need. The anonymous donor stipulated that each vehicle dwelling nomad who could drive to a distribution location would receive a $50.00 gift. Three locations in Arizona were chosen but due to the great need, the funds were gone after the first two events. The event in Pahrump, Arizona served about 20 nomads; the event in Quartzsite, Arizona, where many nomads spend the winter, served over 300. Additional donations brought the total money distributed to more than $16,000.

For the safety of both the volunteers and recipients, everyone was required to wear a mask. Recipients stayed in their vehicles and material handling was kept to a minimum. The process went very smoothly thanks to an outstanding group of volunteers who directed traffic, accessed the nomad’s need, and distributed gift envelopes. All types of homes on wheels arrived at the distribution location – several motorcycles and even a bicycle!

Walmart Supercenter is donating $3000 for another We Care gift program that will take place in Pahrump in the spring. HOWA will continue to accept donations to be added to the $3000 from Walmart. Thank you to all who donate!  http://HOWA.rallyup.com/HOWAcares

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Win a Step-Thru Electric Bike!

Thank you to Lectric eBikes for donating two of your New Step-Thru model Off-Road Electric Bicycles to support the work and mission of Homes On Wheels Alliance.   These are fun ebikes to ride.  And, they are also useful to those in the mobile community who want to save on fuel for running errands into town.

Sweepstakes ends on January 21, 2021. The drawing will be held on January 27, 2021  Click Here to enter.

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A Helping Hand

The Emergency Fund team reviews many requests. When it’s not possible to grant money for large repairs a compassion fund is often awarded to provide help in a smaller way. The following is a heartfelt letter of thanks from  John.

“One of the big lessons I’ve learned from being nearly four years on the road is this: Even when things get lonely out there, we are never truly alone. In some mysterious way, we are all connected.

Recently, on a trip to visit family, I encountered a series of mechanical problems in my “new” old van. The repair bills ate through my savings and left me in debt. Not since my heart surgery more than four years earlier had things seemed so bleak.

Fortunately, friends and family came through for me. I now include HOWA as part of friends and family. They found a way to help me out with a small “compassionate” grant.

See? We’re never alone. We’re all in this together, and HOWA is part of that. Looking forward to seeing you all back on the road.

John

Apprentice Wise Elder”

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Four Minivans Awarded!

Due to precautions because of the coronavirus pandemic, the fall minivan build was scaled down to an un-build with a small crew of HOWA staff members and volunteers. Over a two-week period, four recipients of minivans participated in a mentoring program and also spent time arranging  donated Amazon wishlist items into their new homes. Even though minivans are small each becomes a personalized space designed around different needs and decorating styles. Tents from HOWA’s Loaner Tent program served as temporary homes for the recipients until their minivans were ready.

The recipients of the minivans were:

Barbara

Barbara had boondocked for several years in her van but was living in a tent when she applied for a minivan. She received a Honda Odyssey donated by Robin and built out by David and several friends. This minivan was purchased and finished in the eastern US and delivered to the build location by the donors. Besides being thrilled with her new home Barbara is excited about the welcoming community that she’s found with her fellow nomads.

April

April moved into her SUV in June 2020 when rental payments left her with little money for other expenses. During the hot summer days in Missouri, she visited a women’s shelter to take showers and enjoy the air conditioning, but she still preferred the privacy of her own space in the SUV at night. When April was approved for a minivan, she headed to Pahrump, Nevada with barely enough money for gas and some apprehension that the transmission in her SUV could survive the trip. She arrived safely and donated her SUV to HOWA through the CARS program which sells vehicles for charities and returns 70% of the selling price to the donor’s chosen charity. Thank you, April, for the first CARS donation for HOWA!

Cindy

Cindy and her two cats, Bella and Kenze made a home in her Saturn after her roommate died following a long illness.  The car was clearly too small for all three of them and the extra supplies needed for the cats so getting accepted to be a minivan recipient was a godsend. The extra room has allowed Cindy to organize her new home so that everything has a place and is easy to find.

Christy

Christy has been a nomad for two years and lived in her car in Utah for about a year previous to that. She volunteered with HOWA as a caravan host and organizer for the RTR and WRTR. When her 2007 Toyota Sienna needed expensive repairs she was encouraged to apply for a minivan. Since Christy is an experienced nomad many of the components in her Sienna such as the solar system could be transferred to her new minivan home which is also a Sienna.

Thank you all who donated to the minivan fund and the Amazon Wishlist plus a special thank you to the donors of Barbara’s minivan.   Thanks to all the volunteers who helped at the un-build especially the mentors, Ditzy and Lesa, and the construction workers, Dwayne and Bob.

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Lives Improved with Solar Donations

HOWA receives many offers from people who wish to donate lightly used equipment. All offers are appreciated but because HOWA staff members are nomads with little room for storage, most offers must be turned down. However, during the spring and fall build outs when a short term storage unit is rented HOWA gladly accepts donations. Such was the case in May 2020 when donors supplied the materials for three complete solar systems.

  Vivian and Diane who were in need of more power applied for the solar systems and were provided with 245 W panels from Santan Solar and  charge controllers and other components from  Renogy.  Four almost-new 6V batteries were supplied by an anonymous donor. Friends and family helped the women install the systems in their nomadic homes.

Another anonymous donor supplied a used Kodiak solar generator with a 100W panel which was given to Sara to provide power to her SUV and trailer.

Thank you to all who donated materials and time!  To donate click here.

 

 

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