Housing insecurity may be on the rise. According to the Washington State Department of Commerce, “Despite a strong state economy, growing incomes, and above-average and improving family stability, Washington has the fifth-highest prevalence of homelessness in the nation.”
Contributing to this societal issue is the rising cost of rent, which is a result of growing incomes. “Washington’s economic growth has ranked first in the nation for three consecutive years and now has the seventh-highest per capita GDP among states.”
However, there’s a nonprofit organization doing its part to change the stats. Angel Resource Connection began the program Moving Forward about two years ago. It connects homeless individuals and families to donated RVs to help them find housing. Let’s take a closer look!
What Is Angel Resource Connection?
Angel Resource Connection (ARC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit striving to improve the quality of life for homeless people in Snohomish, King, Skagit, and Whatcom counties of Washington.
Meeting the survival needs of the people, ARC provides housing, ID recovery, nutritious meals, seasonal clothes, hygiene kits, and winter survival backpacks. Volunteers with the organization will drive unhoused people to walk-in health clinics or help them register for detox programs.
For the last year and a half, ARC has also provided homes through its Moving Forward program. Eleven individuals and families received titles to stationary RVs in mobile home parks to help get them on their feet.
These RVs provide everything they need, with air conditioning, heat, and a cozy bed. In a matter of days, a homeless person can become a homeowner through the generosity of others in the community and the collection of volunteers at ARC.
Who Qualifies to Receive an RV?
Not everyone ARC serves is eligible to receive the title to an RV. There’s a process with strict guidelines to ensure that whoever gets an RV will be successful
Penelope Protheroe, President of Angel Resource Connection, explains, “We have very strict rules, but we also have a philosophy of extreme generosity… We believe in giving people more than they’re expecting, giving them their dignity back.” Participants in the program must be sober and must have a source of reliable income.
How Many RVs Has Angel Resource Connection Given Away?
To date, Angel Resource Connection has given away eleven RVs over the last year and a half. Kristi Hamilton, one of the new homeowners through ARC’s program, recently moved into a 270-square-foot RV with her dog, Benji.
She shares, “Since I’ve had this bed it’s the best I’ve slept in a year… It’s heaven.”
Before, she was living in her van, waking up in the middle of the night with people pounding on her door. She was in unsafe conditions. But now, as a new homeowner, she says, “I have security. I have a place to call home. I finally have a future.”
How Does Angel Resource Connection Help?
Angel Resource Connection hands over the RV title to the new homeowner. There is no cost; it’s entirely free. ARC pays the first and last month’s rent and negotiates a fair price with the mobile home park.
In addition to the RV program, ARC provides sleeping bags and warm clothes to unhoused people during the winter. ARC also works with local agencies to get vouchers and helps recipients find apartments. ARC connects them with other services in the community, like SNAP and emergency assistance programs.
How Can You Help Angel Resource Connection?
If you’re interested in serving Snohomish, King, Skagit, and Whatcom counties, you don’t have to live in Washington state. You can donate money to support the cause. If you do live in the area, you can volunteer to work with Angel Resource Connection.
Street Angels provide clothes and food and meet the unhoused folks where they are. Angel Navigators volunteer in the Housing-Assist program by helping the unhoused fill out paperwork, make deposits, find furniture, and more.
Event Angels help bring the community together through events like clothes giveaways. Volunteers always go through the Angels-In-Training program to earn their “wings.”
If you have an RV you want to donate to support ARC’s Moving Forward program, you can click on the “Donate Your RV, Motorhome, Trailer” link on the website. It will direct you to fill out a short form about you and your RV.
You must have a clean title, there can’t be any mold or leaks, and all systems must be operational. If you don’t have an RV but want to support ARC, you can always give a monetary donation. You can trust that 100% of your donation will go to help the homeless.
How Can You Connect With Angel Resource Connection?
If you’d like to follow Angel Resource Connection and keep up with the good the organization is doing in the community through volunteers and generous supporters, you can find ARC on Facebook and Instagram or read more about them on their website.
On Facebook and Instagram, you can read about success stories, from a family getting an apartment to a homeless individual obtaining a ride to the emergency room. Nothing gets better than seeing smiling faces and knowing people’s lives have changed.
Making a Difference One RV At a Time
Angel Resource Connection couldn’t do its job without the financial support of others. The Moving Forward program would be stagnant without RV donations. The organization is about neighbors helping neighbors.
So if you have an old RV that you haven’t touched in a while or are considering getting another RV, perhaps you can change a person’s life for the better by donating a home.
Can you imagine what they must feel like when they receive the title and keys to their new home after sleeping on the street or in a car? You can make a difference!
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