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Journey of an Astro Van – Part 1

A wonderful donation has come to Homes on Wheels Alliance in the form of a 1999 Chevy Astro van! Astro vans are very reliable mechanically, have good ground clearance, and a surprising amount of interior space for a vehicle that’s under 16 feet in total length.

The Astro was donated by Richard and Amy after Amy purchased another vehicle and no longer needed the van. But they didn’t stop at donating the van. They took the van to Silver Star Auto for a pre-purchase mechanical inspection and also had the air conditioning repaired. Next, they bought new tires! Richard and Amy have really gone above and beyond to make sure that their donation is in good working condition for a deserving recipient.

Applications for the Astro, which will be awarded in September 2021, can be found HERE. All applications are carefully reviewed by the HOWA staff. The chosen recipient will spend two weeks in Pahrump, Nevada camping with the HOWA staff and an experienced nomad volunteer mentor. We are excited about awarding this van to a nomad!

Watch for Part 2 – The Astro Gets a Hightop!

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Help For Nomads

All of the staff and volunteers on the HOWA Emergency Fund team have one goal in mind – to provide whatever help nomads need to stay in their homes on wheels. Often that comes in the form of funds to pay for unexpected repairs. Without the repairs, the nomad may be left with no choice but to move into a homeless shelter or, in the best cases, with friends or family. Fortunately, with the generous donations HOWA receives, many nomads are able to continue living in their newly-repaired vehicles. It’s always gratifying for the team when they are able to help someone and especially touching when a nomad writes a heartfelt thank you note.

“I wanted to say thank you for help. With out HOWA I would most likely lost my car this week. I asked for help less than a week ago and its done. I am amazed. The whole process was simple I am very happy to be back to my travels. Bobbie you rock!

If you are a Nomad with an emergency need, HOWA may be able to help you. Apply HERE.

Or Click Here to Donate to Emergency Fund

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Thanks for Donating to the Efund!

Bobbie Stice joined the HOWA team as the Emergency Fund Coordinator in December 2020 and has been doing an excellent job evaluating efund applications and recommending other options if the needs are outside the scope of HOWA’s efund program.

Since its inception in August 2019, the efund has distributed more than $26,000 and helped over 80 nomads! An anonymous donation launched the fund but all of you who continue to donate allows HOWA to keep helping nomads. We thank you!

Emergency fund recipients are vetted and donors can be assured that the fund is used to help nomads in emergency situations. Ninety percent of Emergency Fund contributions directly assist those in need within the mobile community. Ten percent goes toward operating expenses to run the Emergency Fund Program.

The following is an excerpt of a thank you letter from a recipient who was helped in a minor but important way:

“This past couple of years have been extremely hard for me…I was working two jobs and trying to keep the house payments up when covid hit and I lost both jobs. At that point I knew I had to come up with another plan…I considered just living in the car but I have 2 cats…I was able to sell enough furniture and other things to get the van…make it livable…I ended up in St. George…I was very cold… My job provided a way to have food and the things the cats needed but not much more since they only pay me 8.20 an hour and I only can work part time. I ended up hearing about the Homes On Wheels Alliance..The people who contacted me were very kind and helped me through the process. I was approved…so grateful to be able to get some ways to be warmer. Since I came from Florida I didn’t have a coat or gloves. I was able to go to a thrift store…I know my situation will keep improving…thank goodness for the videos and all they do to give me ideas…I will always be grateful for the help from HOWA to be able to keep myself and my cats warm this winter”

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We Care in Pahrump, NV

  A generous Community Grant of $3,000 from Walmart was distributed as $50 gifts to nomads in need through HOWA’s We Care Program. Volunteers gathered in Pahrump on April 1st to hand out the gifts. All coronavirus precautions were observed with a drive-through, masks, and plenty of hand sanitizer.  Big smiles could be seen all around in spite of the masks!

To contribute toward HOWA’s next We Care event during the 2021 fall/winter holidays, please go to http://HOWA.rallyup.com/HOWACares.

Thank you Walmart!

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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 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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