Should HOWA be a Membership Organization?

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DLTooley

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With the conclusion of another successful RTR focused on providing newcomers valuable information I’d like to ask if HOWA should be doing more than that.

The simplest answer to that question is yes, but exactly what it should be is a matter of debate. As a leadership community organization it seems obvious to me that it should have a board elected by members.

This forum has a long history of those functional discussions that go beyond, and maybe ahead of, the subject of the RTR. As such I was dismayed by the sale, but that tradition of quality discourse has held up well in the transition.

The RTR was once a place for the old timers to meet up, and I don’t see that happening substantively any more. At least not for me.

This does go to the PaRTR conflicts, but those paths have clearly separated. The party crowd has its weaknesses, but it continues to grow and evolve.

I don’t see evolution happening with HOWA.

Next weeks Van Aid at Plomosa road is perhaps the best of the new events by this measure, but due the regulatory necessary lack of organization those (more) formal discussions are not happening.

Does anyone else have any thoughts along these lines?
 
I don't try to tell other people how to run their organizations. People with their boots on the ground make the decisions for that group. Think you have a better plan? Form your own group. As you already used as an example, Van Aid. Plenty of room for anyone to get an organization up to help nomads and run it the way they think it should be run. What doesn't help is to bitch about how someone else runs their organization or try to get a general bitch session going about they are doing it wrong.
 
I'm always concerned when a small group of people decide to build/make something that's important to them and it reaches a certain level of success. Once growth starts (yay) and you get more voices in the room, so to speak, it tends to become something different.

While that's not always a bad thing, sometimes the intended consequences end up doing not harm than good to the core intentions or ideas. Good intentions are always a good thing. But I have seen this play out a number of times over the years.

I could give examples, but to keep this from going too long I'll say this. Maybe just talk to the Howa people to see if your ideas fit theirs. If they do, continue trying to work with them in those areas.

If they don't fit, start something that takes your ideas and thoughts and turns them into something that helps the way you want to.

In fact. There are a lot of helpful organizations that have similar but different ideas on how they help people. Just take goodwill and salvation army as an example.

Having more than one org helping in a similar space is better then having one that is expected to do everything.

They've done a great job building up Howa from what it started as. I think those that started it and built it deserve to decide how that org evolves.

Not taking anything away from anyone's ideas at all. Just saying that sometimes it's better to build something that speaks to you than adjust someone else's vision.
 
...due the regulatory necessary lack of organization those (more) formal discussions are not happening.

There is nothing wrong with you making a post about how HOWA could improve. Maybe others feel the same way about HOWA. Posting the topic will let you and HOWA find out.

In the quote above, do you mean formal discussions with HOWA regarding the next van build?
 
HOWA is a non profit organization with a board of directors who had a vision for what and how they want to help people.

The current format of the RTR is fullfilling it’s goal of providing education to newcomers to show them how they can successfully live the nomadic life for a minimal amount of money. That was always the goal of the RTR. It is veterans of the lifestyle teaching those are are new and want to be successful at it.

If you want it to be different then offer suggestions. But you need to also step up and volunteer your time to help make what you want to see done become a reality. Put some actual labor time, real life sweat equity work, into being part of the change. Don’t just whine and say I wish “they” would do it differently. Volunteer!
 
If you want it to be different then offer suggestions. But you need to also step up and volunteer your time to help make what you want to see done become a reality. Put some actual labor time, real life sweat equity work, into being part of the change. Don’t just whine and say I wish “they” would do it differently. Volunteer!
Many of us don't live anywhere near the west coast or southwest.

Before COVID arrived, I believe Bob and/or HOWA were discussing a van build or RTR type event in the central part of the U.S. Think Missouri or Arkansas were mentioned. It would have been winter of 2018. Maybe it wasn't even HOWA. I was new here and can't remember it well. Maybe I just thought those discussing it were part of HOWA.

Is there a place where HOWA discusses things with the public online?
 
Bob started the cheap RV living website in 2005. Selling the site was his decision alone to make. I'm sure he talked to people close to him regarding it. The site has changed, but still has some of the same underpinnings. This is why I stick around. I came to learn and help.

The first RTR was in 2010 that was a group of forum members getting together to gather in one piece. It's evolved into much much more. I have never been but it was definitely a group effort. Go back and look at old posts regarding it and see how they talked about it then. And how it became more.

Howa was started in 2018 by a group of members that wanted to help people. They have.

Let's say we all went to the same diner for breakfast regularly for a few years and spent our time there and ate there. Is there a point where we get voting, or membership privileges on how the owner does things? Maybe he's decided it's too much work and is thinking about selling it? Do we get a say?

I honestly don't know the numbers on Howa. But I know they've helped people. And that's what they set out to do. Sometimes that's more than enough. And I'm proud of them.

Sometimes is up to us to find our way to do the same. I'm always open to suggestions on how to help people. I'm not always open to telling me how I should do it.

My .43 cents (.02 adjusted for inflation)
 
Before COVID arrived, I believe Bob and/or HOWA were discussing a van build or RTR type event in the central part of the U.S. Think Missouri or Arkansas were mentioned. It would have been winter of 2018. Maybe it wasn't even HOWA. I was new here and can't remember it well. Maybe I just thought those discussing it were part of HOWA.

Is there a place where HOWA discusses things with the public online?
https://vanlivingforum.com/threads/howa-information.38050/
 
Next weeks Van Aid at Plomosa road is perhaps the best of the new events by this measure,
Are you not aware that HOWA has been doing build help sessions in the Spring and fall of the last two years? They have helped dozens of people with many many porjects, including vents/fans, complete solar kits, bed box etc etc
 
would this be better directed right at HOWA? I mean a good worded email to them? I don't know HOWA to the level of what 'it should become' at all or those in their organiztion want it to become? So I think asking us if we think, yea we all think on it, but for me not to that level as 'they' live and breath it every day. So I think direct contact would be your best effort in your thoughts over this organization and chat with those in the total know of it all and their insights for their future and how it could change.
 
I've set up a monthly donation to HOWA, and I urge others to do the same. So I guess you could say I'm already paying monthly dues to HOWA.
I don’t do this, but do purchase from the “needs” list when that is posted here for builds they are doing for specific individuals.

They seem to have a well-thought out philosophy that guides them, and to make their decisions as to how to help accordingly.
 
Amazon SMILE was a program giving one-half of one percent of qualifying purchases to a charity of your choice...

I've been naming HOWA for my purchases......Amazon is ending the program this month !
 
With the conclusion of another successful RTR focused on providing newcomers valuable information I’d like to ask if HOWA should be doing more than that.

They do more than that. The mission statement available on https://homesonwheelsalliance.org/ gives the details. A couple of things seem more important than the RTR. They provide emergency funds for homeless. And, they “house” needed people with vans. And, underlying all of this is an accountability protocol with a 3 year contract and escrow account for recipients. It seems to me the RTR is mostly a promotional event to keep HOWA in the forefront of their charity niche. Pretty boring stuff.
Which is not like the PaRTR. Not sure what it does other than what its namesake suggests. But, I’m sure there’s a bunch of kind hearted and generous folk in that group. It’s just not a 501(c)3, which must curtail donations to it, if such donations exist.
However, HOWA’s 501(c)3 tax designation as a charity, does carry some serious responsibility. So, DL, if you have any dirt on HOWA, let it fly. I’m thinking of making a donation, but you could save me some considerable regret if they’re a corrupt organization. I can’t find much information. Since they were active starting in 2019, they are not rated, yet. Can’t be too careful.
Cheers.
 
There is nothing wrong with you making a post about how HOWA could improve. Maybe others feel the same way about HOWA. Posting the topic will let you and HOWA find out.

In the quote above, do you mean formal discussions with HOWA regarding the next van build?
Van Aid
There is nothing wrong with you making a post about how HOWA could improve. Maybe others feel the same way about HOWA. Posting the topic will let you and HOWA find out.

In the quote above, do you mean formal discussions with HOWA regarding the next van build?
It is HOWA’s decision how to proceed.

I do object to assertions that they are the voice of the community, whether explicit or implicit. Good communities are built on informed participation, not unquestioned authority.

Yeah, the work they do for the vulnerable community is great, but the real secret of this lifestyle is as much self sufficiency as possible.

I’m a known constructive critic of the organization and yet I’ve been consistently portrayed as negative, etc.

The closest I’ve come to needing their assistance was engaging one of their vehicle repair experts for a job. We had a price, I bought the parts, and we had a scheduled time, actually three I think.

He was a no show, very personable in his apology but I can’t avoid the conclusion it was passive aggressive.
 
HOWA is a non profit organization with a board of directors who had a vision for what and how they want to help people.

The current format of the RTR is fullfilling it’s goal of providing education to newcomers to show them how they can successfully live the nomadic life for a minimal amount of money. That was always the goal of the RTR. It is veterans of the lifestyle teaching those are are new and want to be successful at it.

If you want it to be different then offer suggestions. But you need to also step up and volunteer your time to help make what you want to see done become a reality. Put some actual labor time, real life sweat equity work, into being part of the change. Don’t just whine and say I wish “they” would do it differently. Volunteer!
What makes you think I don’t already do that? What makes this a ‘whine’ rather than an informed effort to build a better leadership voice. What makes your post NOT a passive aggressive voice.

For one, try looking at my history of posts on this forum and compare that to the engagement of the HOWA board evidenced here.

HOWA is the best organization to do this, but they need to do it themselves, along with, for a start, the engaged voices on this forum.
 
It’s about democracy, something a certain generation seems to have lost sense of, and for some reason feel the need to passively aggressively attack those that speak to it.
I'm always concerned when a small group of people decide to build/make something that's important to them and it reaches a certain level of success. Once growth starts (yay) and you get more voices in the room, so to speak, it tends to become something different.

While that's not always a bad thing, sometimes the intended consequences end up doing not harm than good to the core intentions or ideas. Good intentions are always a good thing. But I have seen this play out a number of times over the years.

I could give examples, but to keep this from going too long I'll say this. Maybe just talk to the Howa people to see if your ideas fit theirs. If they do, continue trying to work with them in those areas.

If they don't fit, start something that takes your ideas and thoughts and turns them into something that helps the way you want to.

In fact. There are a lot of helpful organizations that have similar but different ideas on how they help people. Just take goodwill and salvation army as an example.

Having more than one org helping in a similar space is better then having one that is expected to do everything.

They've done a great job building up Howa from what it started as. I think those that started it and built it deserve to decide how that org evolves.

Not taking anything away from anyone's ideas at all. Just saying that sometimes it's better to build something that speaks to you than adjust someone else's vision.
 
Many of us don't live anywhere near the west coast or southwest.

Before COVID arrived, I believe Bob and/or HOWA were discussing a van build or RTR type event in the central part of the U.S. Think Missouri or Arkansas were mentioned. It would have been winter of 2018. Maybe it wasn't even HOWA. I was new here and can't remember it well. Maybe I just thought those discussing it were part of HOWA.

Is there a place where HOWA discusses things with the public online?
As I recall they tried to start something in the SE, but I don’t recall the year exactly.

These is exactly the sort of thing that a membership organization would be sensitive to, and there are many more.

I’m around a fair bit in the community, I’ve had only one informal discussion with a HOWA board member. That was positive, though limited. As I recall I’ve been active on this forum since 2017. I’ve never seen Bob on here, and Suanne only once.

And, for what it’s worth I make it a point at responding to folks in the toughest situations as my history here will attest.
 
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