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Caravan Connections -“A Wonderful Source”

 

Being part of a community is important even when we cannot meet in person. HOWA’s Caravan Connections with Zoom meetings on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, are a popular way to get to know fellow nomads. Everyone is welcome to join and participate! The Caravans use both Meetup and Zoom so participants must sign up for Zoom and Meetup.

 A few thoughts from a recent Sunday Morning Women’s Coffee Connection:

 

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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 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 $3,000 for another We Care gift program that will take place in Pahrump in March 2021. HOWA will continue to accept donations to be added to the $3,000 from Walmart. Thank you to all who donate!  http://HOWA.rallyup.com/HOWAcares

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Fifty Nomads Helped

Since the creation of the Emergency Fund in August 2019, HOWA has distributed over $13,000 to more than 50 nomads. Emergency awards covered everything from money to buy a warm winter coat to funds for major mechanical repairs. Laurie expressed her appreciation in an email to the Emergency Fund staff.

 “Homes on Wheels Alliance helped me tremendously when I had an emergency 1000 miles away from my regular home on wheels region of the country. 
As a full time nomad, with post 911 medical lung complication, I had driven a thousand miles away quickly to flee the California wildfire smoke & fires in early fall 2020. 
This unexpected two thousand mile round trip fuel cost left me in a serious bind since I have a small fixed income that covers only basic necessities. The good news is that my asthma attacks stopped when I got away from the thick smoke though I tended up stuck in a place with none of my regular resources or familiarity because I ran out of fuel. 
In addition I needed to receive specialized medical help & continuity of care that included an asthmatic equipment pick up back at my regular mail center. 
The process for applying to the fund was streamlined, professional and kind. I was able to upload various verifications and await positive news that I had been awarded a small grant that because of online delivery method – I was able to access immediately.
Larger than life this support was to me because I was going be able to get out of the Western slope of the Rockies before the next round of cold and snow came for which me nor my van was prepared for.

I will never forget how this non profit organization came through for me in one of my biggest times of need – the CA wildfires. 
I will spread the word to people who need a wonderful place to donate in order to keep this emergency fun running. This is the real deal! 
Thank you HOWA💗
Laurie P. 

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A Minivan Home For Esther

Growing up in Alaska and camping with her parents as a very young child prepared Esther for a life of adventure. She’s camped on Kodiak Island where huge brown bears fish for salmon, lived in remote villages without running water, and spent two winter months in her car as a trial run to see if she could do it. When Esther became sick in 2017, she couldn’t continue working at her job as a caregiver and instead started training to become a computer programmer, a job that she could do remotely while on the road. The award of the minivan means Esther can live the independent life she has been dreaming about for years.

To avoid spreading COVID-19, HOWA canceled the April 2020 Build Out, however, plans were made to continue with the Minivan Home on Wheels program on a simpler scale. Outfitting the vans with pre-made furnishings allowed the builds to be finished safely by a smaller number of people. In July a 2006 Honda Odyssey was bought, outfitted, and awarded to Esther who completed a two week mentoring program to prepare her for nomadic life. Transferring the title was a challenge due to DMV coronavirus restrictions but once that was done Esther was ready to move into her new home.

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