Having a mobile home may be just a normal part of everyday life for you. In fact, you don’t think much about what it would be like to suddenly lose your home. It’s just there when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. It’s good to be reminded that that having a home is an enormous blessing – not just a set fact of life.
That’s why today we want to share a story or two about mobile homes that provided a new start. Plus, those aren’t the only special stories we’ll share about mobile homes. Whether they remind you how much it means to have a place to live or simply encourage you about mobile homes in general, take a moment to sit back and savor these stories.
Out of the ashes
After a community in Florida fell prey to a wildfire, mobile homes provided some community members with a new start. One estimate suggested around 200 people were affected. However, out this horrible situation, help arrived for some. And it came in the form of mobile homes.
Six mobile homes were being provided for several needy people or families. The local sheriff’s department purchased the mobile homes with money from a GoFundMe campaign. The campaign raised $111,528 of it’s $150,000 goal.
As a mobile home owner, you know that placing a placing a mobile home sometimes requires permits. In this Florida community, a local church helped pay for a certain type of permit that was needed.
Keeping communities safe from fire
The kind of devastation experienced by the Florida community is something no area wants to experience. Some communities are trying to get a handle on fires before they happen. They’re taking steps to prepare community members by making their mobile homes safer.
For instance, in an Iowa community, free smoke detectors were provided to residents of a mobile home park. Sadly, this mobile park had previously had 5 people killed in a fire there. One thing that could help in the event of future fires is the free smoke detectors that the fire department and Red Cross install. KWQC reported that since the program’s 2012 inception, nearly 150 smoke alarms have been provided.
Other communities also provide smoke detectors
And they’re not the only ones who are proactively working to make their community safer. A Florida community did something similar. We say the more smoke alarms that make it into mobile homes, the better. If your mobile home doesn’t have a properly installed smoke alarm (or you know other homes in your park don’t), now’s the time to tackle that problem.
Don’t tell yourself, you can just ignore the problem. Find the right smoke detector for your home and install it properly. Additionally, change the batteries when necessary.
If you need to be reminded how much this could mean to you and your family, check out the story of this Texas woman. Being awakened from sleep may sound like an unpleasant event. However, being awakened by a smoke alarm is a welcome one when it’s alerting you to a fire in your mobile home.
Caring for schoolkids in mobile home parks
Plenty of mobile homes were shipped to Texas in 2017 (as you know if you’ve taken our mobile home quiz article). So Texas must be the home of plenty of mobile homes and perhaps plenty of mobile home parks too. In fact, it’s Texas mobile home parks that crop up in our next story.
Others in the story are the schoolkids who live in those parks, a school district, and a program called iConnect. Here are the details.
According to Chron.com, a school district in Texas is using a program called iConnect to help kids in local mobile home parks obtain laptops so they can continue to learn while at home, regardless of their internet situation.
Lending more than books
Typically when we hear that students are able to check something out of their school library, we might think of books. Or movies. Or, in this day and age, perhaps tablets. But for these Texas students, it’s laptops.
The students can check out laptops and bring them home. Then the kids can do assignments. Plus, they can watch videos their teachers have created for them. So far, the program’s in three mobile home communities. But the school hopes to go bigger.
From serving to being served
If you’re a faithful blog reader here, you know that veterans + mobile homes isn’t a new topic. Today, we bring you a story from 2015 with the potential to warm your heart despite the years since its occurrence – a story of one man and his two mobile homes.
The first mobile home
As a veteran of the United States Navy, Thomas Herford had served his country. Then, tables turned and his countrymen had an opportunity to serve him. According to ABC13 Eyewitness News, in October 2015, a storm took a toll on the roof of Herford’s home. In the living room, the roof fell and water coming in took its toll.
Herford said things were ruined. Plus, his home already was not in top shape. But he didn’t have to face the devastation alone, as it turns out.
The second mobile home
The first mobile home was not the end of the story for Herford. Nor did he have to stop living in a mobile home. According to ABC13 Eyewitness News, there was help from three sources, one of which was Freedom’s Angels (a group with rock star Ted Nugent as a founder).
In the end, a new mobile home took the place of the one hit by the storm. But in a twist of irony, Herford didn’t know who the rocker was. Turns out the Navy veteran wasn’t a rock fan, and instead preferred country and opera. Music aside, he now has a new mobile home to replace the first.
Man on a mobile home mission
Moska Osgood is a builder. But his mobile home mission is a little outside the box. When you think of builders and mobile homes together, maybe you imagine a guy who works in a mobile home factory. Or even a contractor who fixes or remodels traditional mobile homes. However, Moska’s work is different.
In fact, in his case, instead of zooming out for the big picture, you should zoom in for the small one. His tiny mobile homes are solution-oriented in that they try to solve an issue some San Franciscans are facing. The problem: homelessness.
More than a manufactured home
But Moska’s not providing traditional mobile homes. In fact, if you saw one of his structures, you might not identify it as a mobile home. But they are mobile because you’ll find wheels at the base of the structure. These dwellings are providing a place to live for those without a roof over their head.
And Moska isn’t alone in his project. He’s had help from a nonprofit. Plus, his GoFundMe fundraiser netted more than his goal: $6,350 of the $6,000 he asked for.
What can you do?
Perhaps you’ve been inspired by these stories to be a mobile home hero yourself. You may not have the skills to build a mobile home. Or the resources to replace one. However, there are other ways to help those in mobile homes.
You don’t have to wait until disaster strikes. If you know a neighbor is struggling, consider offering help before the situation escalates. Does someone live in a home with no smoke detector? Perhaps you could offer to install one for them.
Alternatively, start your own initiative in your area to get more detectors into local mobile homes. Contacting your local Red Cross and fire department could be a place to start for that project. Plus, you may be able to help out by coordinating other volunteers, too.
Do some manual labor
There are plenty of practical ways to help mobile home residents. Perhaps an elderly mobile homeowner could use some help cleaning up their yard. A volunteer work group could be just the thing. After a storm, take a look around. Others in your park or neighborhood could need help, too.
Mobile homes require maintenance. If you have some handyman skills, see if you can help other mobile home owners make needed repairs.
Though you hope it never happens in your area, you may be wise to consider ahead of time what you could do in the event of a disaster. Whether it’s a severe hurricane, tornado, wildfire, or flood, thinking ahead of time could help you respond to your community’s struggle in a timely way. And if you’re part of a neighborhood association or something similar, you could even discuss it as a group.
Create a resource list
One thing you could do is get ideas set ahead of time for who might be able to help with what after a major event. Of course, you could keep these ideas in your head, but writing them down is also an option.
Here are some things you may want to mull over:
- Who might be willing to volunteer a vehicle large enough to help others move out of a home that’s become unlivable?
- Is there anyone in the community who is particularly well connected to a potential volunteer base? For instance, this could be a pastor who knows a lot of service-minded people. Or it could be a retiree who’s very popular and spends a lot of time visiting with locals in the diner.
- Who has heavy equipment and is qualified and willing to use it? This could be necessary for removing tree limbs or handling other situations. Obviously, this should always be done safely and with proper permissions, if any are necessary.
- What are some potential good locations for volunteers to meet? Consider places that could become your base of operations for volunteers helping with any issues. Perhaps there’s a local church with a spacious basement.
Research local programs
Maybe you want to start an area initiative to install smoke detectors in local mobile home parks. Or, possibly, you know of someone who lost their mobile home under tragic circumstances and you’d like to organize a response. Your community may already have resources that would be useful in these circumstances.
So don’t reinvent the wheel. See who else is available to help respond to the situation. Local civic groups may already exist and may be able to offer assistance. Get in touch with groups in your area and let them know about the situation. They may not be aware of what’s going on.
Additionally, see if you can partner with these existing organizations. For instance, if you need money for a rebuilding project, see if a local aid organization or civic group is willing to work with you. Perhaps you could offer to provide the volunteers if they can provide the funds.
Obviously, these ideas are not substitutes for contacting the proper authorities in the case of an emergency. However, by being connected to your neighbors and your neighborhood, you may even be able to assist emergency responders in a crisis.
As an example, knowing who lives in the house next door could be helpful if rescue personnel are trying to evacuate a home for a fire. And noticing that your neighbor who is outside almost daily hasn’t come out of her mobile home recently could alert you to check if everything’s okay.
On the other hand, don’t let your interaction with your neighbors be limited to crisis situations. Why wait until something bad happens to come together as a community? Create opportunities for your community to gather and spend time together. Whether you decide to host a block party or simply to network with your neighbors individually, make time to be friendly when the going is good. That way, you don’t only connect with them when the going is rough.
What about your home?
Now that you’ve heard stories about others and the mobile homes they received, lost, built, or made safer, let’s consider your mobile home. Perhaps you want to know whether it’s safe against a strong wind. Plus, what about a hurricane? Are you thinking of updating to make your home safer? Take some time to consider what changes you may want to implement to make your home a better place for you and your family.