Oklahoma Resident Renovates RVs For The Homeless


Oklahoma Resident Renovates RVs For The Homeless

An Oklahoma man is giving back to his community by donating his time to renovating used RVs for the homeless.

According to Oklahoma City’s 2019 Point-In-Time Count report, almost 1,300 people were without a home.  This increase from the prior year’s report is attributed to many factors including housing costs.

Ryan Laughlin, a resident of Del City,  aims to help many of these individuals, especially the working homeless population, by providing them with a place of their own to sleep, shower, and eat. 

Ryan explains, “Aside from being presentable which will help them keep their jobs, they will feel better about themselves.” 

Inspiration for RV renovations

Ryan was inspired to begin his fixer-upper project after helping out a friend who was living in his car.  He restored an old RV that was sitting on his property and gifted it to his friend so he would have a home in the interim of saving money and securing a job. 

His friend’s life was completely transformed from Ryan’s act of kindness as he is now living in an apartment.  The improvement in his friend’s life inspired Ryan to help others in similar situations.

Photo via GoFundMe

Progressing to a non-profit organization

Today, Ryan is busy refurbishing old but usable RVs for other project candidates.  He uses a portion of his income, outside monetary contributions, and donated RV parts and appliances to get the job done. 

The hours are long and the multiple make over tasks are tedious. Using his background experience, Ryan troubleshoots plumbing and electrical issues. He fixes framing problems, updates carbon monoxide detectors, performs propane safety checks, and ensures escape windows function properly.  RV units include bathrooms and showers.

Ryan is working with lawyers to establish a nonprofit entity and address legal concerns involving the safety and livability of each renovated RV.

Ways to help with housing the homeless in RVs

For more information on monetary contributions and supply donations, visit “Ryan’s Campers for the Homeless” Facebook page or GoFundMe page.  He is hoping to raise $8000 towards future RV renovations but is equally open to receiving material donations like wood or any parts and appliances that can be used in an RV.

Natalie Henley

Natalie Flores-Henley and her husband, Levi Henley, workamp around the country in their 26-foot motorhome. Along with writing for RV magazines, they recently published their first book together, Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It. They share their experiences and RV-related tips on their own blog henleyshappytrails.com as well as videos on their YouTube Channel, also called Henley's Happy Trails.

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