Tonight when you call it a day and turn out the lights, an estimated 48,000 homeless military veterans will sleep on the street. According to official government counts, the homeless vet population in our country is a growing and complex problem that has yet to be solved. The good news is that if you have an unused RV in good condition, you can be a part of the solution.
A Gift of Shelter and Stability
In Central California, the non-profit organization RVs for Veterans is serving as an important stepping stone for homeless vets seeking reliable shelter of their own. For the last four years the group has been quietly connecting veterans with private owners of unused motor homes, fifth wheels and trailers who want to gift the RV to a great cause. From the group’s headquarters in Paso Robles, RVs for Veterans operates as a project of the homeless advocacy group Paso Cares which demonstrates that solving the homeless veteran problem begins with a single act of generosity.
“Many of the RV owners are veterans themselves, or have family members who are,” says president Cherie Michaelson. On a rainy day from her busy home office in Paso Robles, she explained that since RVs for Veterans started in 2013 the group has donated 47 RVs to homeless veterans and there are more on the waiting list. Every day she receives contact from individuals seeking shelter, or veterans services organizations with clients in need.
Michaelson doesn’t act as a social worker and there are no probing questions asked about the recipient. All a veteran needs to do in order to qualify for a RV is provide Form DD214, which is proof that they’ve been discharged from the military. Whether they left honorably or dishonorably, are single or married, with kids or without, she doesn’t make it her business to judge their situation. Her single goal is to get a roof over that veteran’s head. Most recently Michelson was frantically looking for a RV that would house a homeless, pregnant veteran who days away from giving birth to her child.
“It’s an easy thing to do, but it takes a lot of time,” Michelson explained. With a small board and a dedicated, small group of volunteers, RVs for Veterans does the legwork to connect the donor with the recipient. To expedite the process, the transaction is kept as simple as possible: there is no money exchanged, just a transfer of ownership on the vehicle title. Many RV owners will go the extra mile to accompany the veteran to the department of motor vehicles to transfer the registration. Donors will often take time to show the veteran how the RV’s house systems and mechanics work, ensuring that the new owner has a safe, reliable home on wheels.
Motor homes are always in high demand. “Lots of people want motor homes, they want to be mobile,” she says. “They don’t always have a truck for a trailer.” RVs for Veterans volunteers always do their best to inspect a donated RV before it goes into the program. Many of the donated RVs are in good shape but Michaelson says the group has the burden of weeding out the acceptable ones from the dilapidated, uninhabitable RVs that some people just don’t want to pay to get rid of.
Whenever she gets a call from a donor, she listens attentively when an owner discusses the RV they want to donate. When she hears a potential red flag describing any issues the RV might have, Michelson stops and makes it clear to the caller that the program is not a free way to dump an old, beat up RV.
Word is quickly spreading about the program and the group is getting busier by the day as Michaelson fields calls from all over the west. With more people hearing about the good work RVs for Veterans is doing, many like-minded people are asking how they can start a similar program in their own regions. Michaelson says she’s always happy to share what RVs for Veterans has learned with anyone who wants to give it a try.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.
Tanya Hatley says
I am a veteran (served 2004-2005, honorably medically discharged) and mother of three children. I have been trying to find help getting into a home with no luck. The four of us are technically homeless. My parents have taken us in since August and my 20year old brother whos in college lives with them too.
I have tried and tried getting a job with no luck until this month, thank the Lord!! But my parents are going broke helping me and my kids and I have to get out of their home but can not find anyone around me to help me out.. I found this website and thought I’d see if there is any way you guys or anyone else you know could help me.
Steve Fennell says
As mentioned in the story, a good option would be to reach out to RVs for Veterans (www.pasocares.org/rvs-for-veterans.html) for some assistance and support for your situation.They are based in Paso Robles, California. Good luck and we hope this helps.
Charles Robbins says
I have a Class C RV Freedom Elite 29 feet, Not sure about this pasocares.org but if they can
help me out, I need help in selling this almost new rv, $60K out the door.
Kevin Szkolnik says
Disabled veteran, mason member & Christian Singer /worship with a message
Anthony Hunter says
I’ve been homeless living in a van since the start of covid. Got a job but still trying to get out of debt. Van isn’t running anymore and I’m walking to my job everyday
Brannon and Kimberly Pruett says
My husband and I are homeless as of April 1st. We have been in our car with our two big service dogs the whole time. Thank god that they are well behaved for the most part! We are in the area of Anaheim ca and sometimes Victorville. My husband is in good spirits or tries to be but under the circumstances this is a stressful and expensive situation we are in. We sleep in our car where we can but have learned that it is not always legal to do so. Can someone please help us? We have called 211 and spoken to someone. We have not heard back about anything as of yet. I came upon the article about RV’s for Vets. I think its a great place to begin again. My husband is one of the kindest and nicest person I have ever known. This is just overwhelming. He is my best friend and I am writing this mostly because of him. There is so much that he wants to do. So much that he wants to give back. In this situation, it is hard to get a foundation down so that we both can resume our lives again. We are surviving day to day. This is not how we wish to live! If we could just get some stability back into our lives, we could begin to live again. My husband has PTSD. He was an honorable combat veteran in the army and experienced something protecting our country that no one should have to go through. He did it for the love of his country. and I am asking someone for help. Thank you very much. Kimberly.
Bryan Lacy says
Lets see how many homeless vets are sitting on 60k any given day. Ive been adjusted to just accepting that I will be living where ever I end up, some places are better than, I am a Christian and the ground was good enough for his son, so it is good enough for me. Ive prayed for years if he desired for me to have a shelter he would show me…but nothing yet. No Drug or Alcohol issues
VAMC OIG whistle-blower retaliation targeted Veteran says
I and my childhood disabled son are homeless in Texas/Louisiana the lake we’re camping on is on the border.
I have a car and we were tent camping and the cd weather, well my budget is stretched thin here and we can’t stay forever. It’s a vacation spot.
An RV moved to a monthly park or annual if I can pay monthly would help us with stability.
In our traveling we became victims of identity theft and assaults.
A safe place would be so nice.
I feel so alone.
I only have my service connection award letter and VAMC ID card.
I don’t trust the VAMC to help me though due to them saying to leave my autism spectrum son in a homeless shelter and it was a felony charge that would have made me lose not only my family but my VA compensation.
Daniel C Miller says
I’m a Veteran. I’m looking for a camper that’s got to be better than the one I have. It’s falling apart. I live on a fixed income and I just can’t afford what they are asking for campers. Anyway could you help me get one please. Thanks Dan Miller
Daniel C Miller says
I’m a veteran in need of a camper. The one I have is falling apart. It’s 30 + years old. I have tried to save and buy one but there’s a lot of month left at the end of the money. Can ya help me out please. Would dearly appreciate it. Thanks D Miller
Hi my name is tammy walker I’m writing because I’m scared to death that me ,my husband and our 2 boys will be burt to death in our rv.We got took advantage of by some crooks that sold us an rv that has been nothing but problems since we got it. Bought it as is because we believed the person would not treat us badly.Well that wasn’t true NOW I’m worried that we won’t have a home to finish raising these boys in .My husband has never asked for nothing he’s a retired 21 an 1/2 years Army And very proudly so ..plz tell me where I might get some help at or what we can do to be safe and raise these boys …I would gladly give this rv up for one that my family and I could feel safe in ..
Martin Martinez says
Good morning sir or ma’am I’m inquiring about getting connected to a free RV I’m a combat veteran who has severe PTSD and it’s currently in need of AN RV so I can reside and be comfortable within the RV. Thank you for your time and support, have a blessed day.
Richard lynn says
I’m a veteran and I’m been homeless for a couple years now and I just heard about the RV for vet’s I would love to have something like that 336-479-9681
Loren Gelwick says
I’m trying to get on the list.
Kevin H. says
My Son and I have been trying for weeks to have a full conversation with this organization “RV for Veterans”, but with strange results. The lady that my Son was talking to got all of my information and now we aren’t hearing anything (Is this normal?), I’m not accusing this organization of any wrong-doing, but if it’s a no, then say that. I am a 49yo Desert Storm Veteran with a multitude of illnesses including : Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis, PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and other disabling diseases. On June 28, 2017, Freddie Mac, a government entity, is throwing a Desert Storm Veteran (Me) out of his home, while awaiting a decision from another government entity Social Security. All I want is more time but they will not give it to me, pure GREED. My Son and I thought an RV would be a great idea, but it looks as though I may just camp in my tent, at the property next door, until things get better. I hope anyone who needs this Organization has better luck than I did. Any information would be appreciated. Best Regards
How does a homeless veteran obtain an RV?
US Veteran says
I understand that there are Veteran’s organizations that have motorhomes donated and pass them along as free motorhomes to disabled veterans, or have low cost motorhomes for veterans on a pension, and/or fixer-upper motorhomes for veterans to work on and improve serving both as a hobby and housing. Please advise as to any of these possibilties.
DAV VET says
Its possible for Vets to have just that- a free motorhome (preowned certified) to disabled veterans or a ‘low cost’ motorhome for those on a pension and working part time of seasonally, or even a ‘fixer-upper’ motorhome for a hobby and housing, but the money for US Veterans organisations is in building new complex establishments for modern medicine, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology Its about money rather than patriotism, American freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. The ‘good old days’ of America are …gone.
Glenn D Ewell says
I’m a disabled veteran who lives on a VA Pension and I’m also a homeless vet. it’s not enough to get into an apartment or a rooming house. My wife and I live in the 74 Tioga Motorhome that’s in badly need of repair we would like to donate this RV in exchange for something more livable with an engine that runs better as it’s it’s the engine needs a lot of repair work and I don’t have the money for it out of my pension check I support my 9 year old grandson whose father was murdered and that’s the reason why I cannot afford to get the engine fixed and get the RV redone I’ve been supporting my grandson since she was 6 months old a few years later I met his father year later he was murdered and so I’m doing my best as a grandfather to support a child my grandson. So I’m asking you folks for help. My email is email@example.com make contact with me and I’ll give you my cell phone number and how to get in touch with me here in Bend Oregon thank you for your time
sincerely Mr Ewell
Jimmy walling says
I am a homeless vet for most of seven years
I’ve been trying to find a camper for me and my service dog for a while but my disability check doesn’t go far and it’s been really hard to save enough money. I am willing to make payments or whatever it takes.I am located around Shreveport la and as soon as I’m done with my dental work at the s’port v.a. I’m wanting to relocate but I’m in dire need of a camper.have you got any suggestions for me.
Gary & Donna Wolfenden says
Hi Jimmy, My husband and I have a 36 ft 5th wheel available in Milton, Florida
We’re moving back up to RI
The RV is located in Pelican Palms RV Park,,
3700 Garcon Point Rd
Milton, Fl 32583
Lot rent is $355 per month plus electric and propane
We’ve never paid more than $500 a month for all 3 cobined
If you’re interested in living here we’ll give you the RV
Please call Donna at 850-384-3401
Valerie Allen says
Greetings Donna, I will give you a call later, Valerie Allen – President/Founder of Veteran Connection, Inc. Mine is (305) 328-8503, thanks!!
Edward Butler says
Hi , I am a 100% service connected Disabled Gulf War vet. I am blind in one eye and use a walker for mobility. I am not homeless I own a home but could use help with repairs and weatherization The house is all electric .built in 1920 with very little insulation. This past winter we had one bill that was almost $1,000.00 But, I finally have a friend that is going to start helping me out with fixing the house. So all my money is focused on that. I live in west central Missouri with my wife (who hates camping ) and my 11 year old son. writing this in hopes that there will be someone close that has an old pull behind camper they no longer want that would donate , trade for or sell for nominal cost. Just need it to take my son camping and a place to hide from my wife every now and again for my mental health and hers.
Regina Schomaker says
Do they even do this anymore, my mom is about to live on the streets, and she need a home. Then I came to this site. She is a veteran and has no where else to go,
Can you let her move in with you until she gets back on her feet,
Rick Edwards says
My son is a veteran and lives in his truck.
Chris Gern says
I am a 100% SC Veteran. I currently live in my car and I have been looking for an RV to move into. I reside in PA and I prefer not to have to live in my car they the winter. If there is anyone that could help me obtain an RV I would greatly appreciate it.
Chris Gern says
I am a 100% SC Veteran. I currently live in my car and I have been looking for an RV to move into. I reside in PA and I prefer not to have to live in my car they the winter. If there is anyone that could help me obtain an RV I would greatly appreciate it. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Fabian Sr. says
I am a 69 year old veteran that is homeless, and posess heir property with a house that has fallen in on itself.my income is und $11,000 annually. should I be granted an RV, that would give me shelter until I can get the house livable.
Erik Crisanti says
I don’t know if there will be any interest in this, but it’s worth a shot.
I am a 100% disabled veteran who has been medically retired. I am married and have three children that we home-school. Disability is not enough to live on, and our goal is to get a large RV and live in it full time as we travel the country (which would also support our homeschooling efforts.). If we were able to do this, my disability would be enough for us to live off of. Unfortunately, my credit is no good, we have no one to cosign with us, we’re basically stuck.
We have a plan forward, but no way to implement it. If anyone has an RV they would be willing to donate, or sell and take modest payments on, please contact me. We are currently living in California, but I would go anywhere in the country to pick up. I can also readily prove my disability and retired status, so you know you aren’t falling victim to some scam artist.
My email is email@example.com
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
The Russell's says
My husband just had major surgery on his neck. He is 100% total permanan veteran. He is in need of a way to get out and rest at the same time. He can’t drive himself and needs help with activities of daily life. He was a very active personnel before the surgery. If you have a smaltrailer or camper that I can fix up for him. I would be so greatful
Fernando J Vazquez says
I served from 2005-2014, I was medically discharged. I found a person donating an RV, I was the lucky person they chose. Only problem is that the vehicle has expired tags and the RV needs to be towed to a relatives house. I don’t have the funds to do it. Does anyone know where or who will provide funds for this today?
Joseph Blackburn says
My name is Joseph. I am a 71 years old Vietnam Vet with 14 years of service. I live on a small pension that does not go very far. I am presently living in upper state NY. and must relocate to milder weather due to my health.I am in need of a motorhome to relocate. I am willing to make small payments to donor. Thanks to all that are helping my brothers and sisters in arms.
Michelle Dubuc says
My husband served for 17 years 3 tours 1 in Afghanistan and 2 in Iraq he is now 100% disabled, I to served in the army and am currently fighting for my va rating. Together we have almost 30 years of service and our landlord just had the house we were taken from the bank for nonpayment . How nice of him to take what little mkney we have and pocket it instead of paying his morggage and keeping a roof over our heads. So we are now homeless sleeping in out cars with out dogs sleeping anywhere we can. We lost all of our possessions .. we can make payments on an rv or trailer we have a truck that can tow .. please help us we are out of options and we live in RI so it’s getting very cold out .. we will travel to where ever we need to to pick it up.. please we need help… we can provide verification of military service , disability, and home situation
My Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
My husband matts email is
4012862033 is cell number
Steven Walton says
Seems like a lot of veterans get kick to the curb with these scam agency’s. They need to be investigated. If someone to give something to a disabled vet they should be able to give it right to a vet. instead of giving it to a middle man. My name is Steve I’m 100% disabled through SSI I’m homeless Don’t make very much to live on my dates of service are 1979 through 1986. Army special forces. and I could really use a RV to live in. If anyone could help I would Really be very great-full I’m located in Michigan. If you can help my email is email@example.com (I might be wrong about this but I do believe if you donate to a disabled vet you get a tax right off) thank you.
Engress Kearney says
is it possible for non veterans in need?
REV. Paul Blecke says
I am a Veteran w 100% disable veteran I am homeless I have a broke down old converted unit with saying that it is infested with roach’s,flying roach’s,pomento bugs.ants.nats,and are even in my refg.My health has gotten worse according ti my last blood tests at the va also my prostrate is a level 6 .I have looking and looking for help for I am about to quite and just fade away in a unhealthy place
REV. Paul Blecke says
I didn’t give a area I am in its Pensacola FlA.
Kimberly Faux says
My husband is a disabled veteran who served a tour in Afghanistan and was honorably discharged about 5 years ago. I lost my job due to the current t coronavirus and now are being evicted from our rental. I wanted to see if this was still an ongoing charitable service that serves veterans. If so, please co tact me either way. Thank you.
Mike Fernald says
Thank you all who Give to Disabled Veterans in need <3
Mike Fernald says
Thank you for Caring
I’m looking for an RV to get away from public. Im disabled marine an my mental status is unpredictable with even the meds.to be around the public i am easily startle and will without hesitation harm someone. With an rv I can lose my self at camping lakes, grounds, the wilderness away from population.
Lee Jones says
I am an injured Navy Veteran. I lost My first wife and daughter and my second wife divorced me because she couldn’t deal with my issues. I have been homeless since April 23rd, with my now wife living in my truck and bouncing from hotel to hotel. I have a 2017 Ford F150 and need at least a 27ft Travel trailer
James Lengel says
I’ll be having available a 2007 30′ double slide out travel trailer end of 2021. I’m in process of repairing a small area where the floor rotted from a leak. I’m not that handy so if a vet can finish the flooring (materials supplied) it’s ready to be donated.
Loran Guyaz says
Am a veitnam era veteran been homeless from 10 th of April currently staying in a broken down 1976 25ft motorhome (had fire underneath and leaky roof) Dr says mold causing lung issues and I need larger place that I can move when ptsd gets bad… not good in aptments or condos where living cheek to jowl. Currently living in idaho
Mark Huggins says
I am a disabled veteran who is guardian of a 35 year old daughter from a car wreck with a 4 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. I worked where all uranium was processed from 1942 to 1975 and nuclear fat boy bombs were tested on Navy ships- Hunters Point San Francisco and then went to the Persian Gulf in 1978. Our home burned down in August 2021 and we could use a break alright. Thanks, One Old Soldier.
Allen L. Brown says
I am a Vietnam veteran who has suffered from chronic homeless for the past 6 years. I would like to take part in your RV donation program in order to secure an RV for my self. I have a secure place to it for as long as I need it. please provide me with information as to where I need to send my DD214 to in order to prove my eligibility
Is there any help out there in purchasing a very small used camper? The cheaper the better. I’m a disabled vet and medically retired. My doctor thinks this would be good for me to start getting out. I’m paycheck to paycheck so affording a large payment won’t be able to happen. But I’m not fancy. If I could find a place that can finance or help at all I’d appreciate it. Just something to crawl into to stay dry or warm when needed. The smaller the better. Thanks for all your time.
Jason Alan Vipond says
I am a retired, disabled veteran. I am looking for an in expensive truck camper at class B. I have pretty bad PTSD and don’t do well in crowds. It has been he’ll trying to keep a job. I am willing to possibly make payments. After, I pay my bills I have a whole lot of money left and I basically just sit in a chair all day. I can’t accord any extra curricular activities. I think this would help me get out and help my PTSD and depression. Please help!!
Lawrence D SAWYER says
I AM AND AIR FORCE VET AND ME AND MY WIFE ARE SENORIS AND MY WIFE HAS THE BEGANIG OF ALZHEIMERS WE ARE LOO9KING FOR A FIFTHWHEEL AROND 2003 TO A2009 SO ICAN TAKE MY WIFE OUT THIS SUMER MY PHONE IS 304 8411644 CALL ANY TIME
Julia Purdy says
We are looking to go full-time on the road because housing for low-income people (us) is non-existent and one of us is a disabled Vietnam Veteran, early 70s, who stays in a substandard cabin (outhouse, no insulation, wood heat that he chops himself) at a farm in exchange for physical labor (but no pay other than the occasional cash). He prides himself on being able to anything on the farm but his service-related injury and age are creeping up on him… also the farm is for sale so he is on borrowed time with his housing. His only income is social security and I am 76, working part-time in retail. We want to move in together but we are priced out of housing and the RV markets. He has lived full-time in RVs and it looks like this is our only option. We are looking for a not-too-old-in-good-condition 5th wheel and/or a diesel-powered dually to haul it. We can probably afford some payment but our incomes between us are under $20,000.
We live in central Vermont, but can travel within a 100-mile radius to see a unit if you have one to show us. Please contact me if you have one to donate or sell… Thank you very much.
Zoraida Rowe says
I have been looking bing in a van for 4 years. Can anyone assist me with an RV or Tiny home?
Escott Nichelson says
I am a 69 year old Vietnam veteran. My wife and I are sleeping on our car for the pass 2 1/2 years. Receiving a donated RV would mean the world to us.
Frank Brown says
I am an honorable discharged disabled veteran in need of a travel trailer and a hitch for my ford escape. I am in danger of being homeless in June. I have done extensive research on the RV life and know it’s for me. please help.
Ed Griffith says
We have some property and live in a square tarp building. It would serve better as a garage because the roof is failing quickly. We have all the equipment to live off grid except the builddong is failing. Like I said it would be good for a garage. We have a RV on some other property but it’s in sad condiiton. I have no way of towing it too this property. I am a Army vet on SSDI for PTSD and waiting on my military benifits. I have a lawyer who ownes Vets law and said it will be another year or more. Just seeing if there is any Motor homes available. I can pay a small amount monthly. Thanks Ed Griffith
I am a veteran with many of the above listed issues, I have no family to move in with, plus I have two service dogs I am responsible for.
I am at a loss regarding the mentioned website.. it seems to be inactive or removed.
Sadly I will end up in my car.
Alan taylor says
My name is Alan I’m a desert storm veteran about to be homeless because me and my wife has grown apart. I’d rather live alone in an RV. My doctors knows I’m a loner. Just need some help
Jonathan Kauffman says
Hello my name is Jonny I’m a 33 army veteran oif 7 I’ve been homeless chronically for the last 6 years I’ve always wanted to live in a rv to be mobile live where I want I’m 80 disabled for ptsd but because I have a oth for going 30 of awol after iraq my wife left me I went after her I don’t get the compensation only treatment it’s been difficult I can’t hold down a job with my disability please help me 9512541108
Escott Nichelson says
I am 70 year old Vietnam veteran. Due to the continues increase if rent my wife are not living in our car. I would like to know if you are able to point us in the right direction in order for us to receive a donation of an RV or moble home.
Can you help us PLEASE?
Gideon Mark Skalin says
As a 100% service connected veteran facing homelessness, I am grateful to see this compassion being extended to those in need. There are some of us veterans that have bad credit or no income. It’s refreshing to see that there is help.
Janice M Scott says
Awaiting disability benefits after 2nd Covid19 infection has left me unable to work at present. I am a honorably discharged veteran Navy Corpsman . Until last Covid19 infection a working and healthy LPN in pediatric homehealthcare.nurse. I got some rental aid now exhausted so facing homelessness. Have camping equipment and a older car and SUV but my emotional support dog an I would live safer with a RV. I can do small repairs and I am skilled in arts & crafts and remodeling and own some tools.
Mario Burciaga says
Hi Rene, and Jim.
My name is Mario Burciaga, and I need a place to live. I have an opportunity to put a RV on a private property. I live in N. Fl. Do they have an organization like yours in Fl.? Or would that be a problem?
Chris Blizzard says
My name is Chris Blizzard. I’m 55 and served honorably. I recently moved in with my youngest son to avoid being homeless with my old dog that’s ready to cross the rainbow bridge. I lived in an RV for 2 years going to school when me and my dog were younger. A motorcycle accident and subsequent comma make holding a job challenging so I deliver for Doordash. I can easily afford rent space, if I only had an RV in Tempe AZ please help. God bless you
Verne E Daskoski says
i am in need or a camper for living in I am living in my truckin maine
My son, 40yr, is a disabled veteran living in a small studio apt in Illinois with no family near him to help him when he needs it.. He has to work two jobs just to keep rent up, utilities, and eat, but he cannot pay any other bills. He has no car. I am trying to find him a cheap RV that I can get set up for him in Florida, near family. I can help him find a job that he can do w/ his disability, but need a place for him to live that he could afford. His family live in Brevard County, FL.
Allen L. Brown says
I am a Vietnam veteran. My wife and I are looking for an rv to get off the streets. Please contact us.
Steven Reeves says
I work with homeless Veteran and one had asked about your program. Could you please send me more information about your program, process and application?
Jeff Burkart says
We have a semi trailer size mobile home on our property we’d like to get rid of. It needs work, but it’s free to whom ever wants it and can come get it. We are in Wisconsin near the Dells.