Steve Demko, owner of Fashion Graphics and a Fountain Valley local, created RV’s for Covid-19 after he loaned his personal RV to a first responder in Long Beach in need of an isolation chamber.
The word got out and the need for RV’s as isolation chambers for first responders kept growing. Steve gathered the power of our community to create RV’s for Covid-19.
Kaysie Holeman, Coordinator for RV’s for Covid-19, said “Steve called me after donating his motor home and asked if I thought other people would donate to our first responders. And the group was born!”
Steve launched the RV’s for Covid-19 website and stories started pouring in from first responders in need of a place to isolate. With help from Fountain Valley businesses Fashion Graphics, Elvis Electric and Bartwood Construction, RV’s for Covid-19 starting receiving donors.
RV’s for Covid-19
RV’s for Covid-19 is a match-making service between RV owners and first responders who are choosing to self isolate. The service is free of charge and focuses on essential workers.
“Our hope is to meet the need of front line workers looking to self isolate. The first step for everyone – RV owner and front line worker – is to fill out the intake form at www.rvsforcovid19.com,” RV’s for Covid-19 Coordinator Kaysie Holeman said.
RV’s for Covid-19 finds matches for occupants and owners and then the 2 parties work out the terms such as duration, rentals and cleaning.
“The duration of RV use is entirely up to the owner and occupant. I can tell you that most RV owners that offered their rigs, did so for free, with no time limit. The workers in need varied with their answers from two weeks to 3 months. I’m not sure anyone knows how long they will need it,” said Coordinator Holeman.
Applicants are matched first come, first served with proximity to the RV as a main consideration. RV owners typically will drive to the occupants home and set them up with instructions.
“We are trying to make the process as easy as possible for the owners. They are already sacrificing so much! There is currently a list of potential matches working out details, as well as a waiting list for both those in need, and available rigs. (Distance is the biggest factor for keeping those in need from matching,)” Coordinator Holeman said.
RV’s that are being offered for free are being matched first and owners asking for storage space fees are in consideration as free RV’s become unavailable.
A GoFundMe you can donate to has been set-up to help offset fees for RV’s that require payment.
Cleaning, Costs and Concerns
Concern over RV care and maintenance is considered in the RV’s for Covid-19 program as RV living has nuances that a home wouldn’t such as water tanks, sewer system and waste tanks.
“It’s a lot to match it up. People donating RV’s, obviously there would be some kind of concern in what condition they get them back in,” President of Bartwood Construction Lori Young said. “I did create a paper to give out on their end for the recipients that talks about the water tanks and sewer system of RV’s and how to treat it. I created a little how to for RV recipients for fashion graphics to hand out to recipients.”
Once the owner and occupant are matched and the terms have been settled, each RV should undergo a cleaning which costs approximately $350.
“In the case the occupant cannot pay we are cleaning some of them for free and some of the GoFundMe funds can help cover it,” Lori Young, President of Bartwood Construction, said.
Fountain Valley’s Heroes
Fountain Valley businesses stepped up for our community by giving back any way they can. Its not obvious or easy to identify how to help during these times and these super stars are leading the charge.
Bartwood Construction, a Fountain Valley business of over 40 years, is offering cleaning services for RV’s for Covid-19 along with social media services to promote the organization.
Lori Young, President of Bartwood Construction, knew when she got the call from Steve that she could help. She started putting together her connections and partnered with PW Stephens Environmental, a hazmat cleaning company.
“He asked if we would partner with him and I said sure. I thought about ways we could help and we and another company, PW Stephens, can clean the RV’s when people are done,” Lori Young said.
Bartwood Construction and PW Stephens clean the RV’s between recipients and are getting ready to clean their first RV tomorrow in Huntington Beach.
“Bartwood is an emergency service company for water damage and fires. We’re partnering with PW Stephens to make sure the RV’s get done,” Lori Young said. “Bartwood has over 40 employees but only a couple that are certified and trained in proper PPE to do cleaning and PW Stephens has like 100.”
Bartwood Construction also hooked up their company social media manager, Momentum Media Solutions, with RV’s for Covid-19 and paid the bill!
“No matter what we can all help. I can cover the bill or hook people up with PW Stephens to get it cleaned, cover some of the billing myself to get these things cleaned if people cant pay. We can supply boxes and packing material. I’m trying to provide the resources that I can for the project,” President Lori Young said.
Elvis Holeman, Former Fountain Valley Planning Commissioner and local business owner of Elvis Electric, is offering his electrician services free of charge to RV’s for Covid-19. Elvis also runs the RV’s for Covid-19 Facebook group.
“One of my buddy’s and my wife are spearheading it and I’m helping out where I can. I am offering my services to make sure they don’t blow it up,” Elvis laughed.
Elvis Electric is using their own employees and Elvis himself works on the RV’s.
“We see what the people want hooked up and try to make sure its all safe. Usually we wait until the unit is there and we will come in and make sure everything is done properly,” said Mr. Holeman.
True to small town form, Elvis met his wife in the Applebee’s that he had personally helped build years earlier. It’s no surprise he would step up to help the community he has built his life in.
“Whenever someone needs something were always here to offer up help. If anybody needs anything we’re always here,” Elvis said.
Fountain Valley’s Precedence in the County
The City of Fountain Valley is doing their part by offering emergency RV parking permits from the Fountain Valley Police Department. The city is setting a precedent across the county for all essential workers by extending their RV parking ordinances.
These permits will allow first responders to park the RV in their driveways or on the street across from their home without being penalized under the 72-hour parking ordinance.
Currently there are three RV’s parked in Fountain Valley through the organization with hopes to increase RV’s available.
FV’s Silent Heroes
Check out RV’s for Covid-19 video below to watch our neighborhood heroes in action!
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