WIMCO partners with Pamlico Rose to complete home for female veterans

Published 8:19 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

The house on East Third Street is in transition from unoccupied, deteriorating structure to a home that’s a center for healing.

Rose Haven is the first of several projects of Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities — projects that meld historic preservation with community building for veterans. But it’s partnership with an established general contractor that will push this initial project to its fruition.

General contractor WIMCO announced its partnership with PRISC and Rose Haven this week, pledging to help the organization complete the restoration of the East Main Street house that will become home to female veterans in recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder-driven addiction. The decision was an easy one, according to WIMCO President Kevin Rawls, as it merges with WIMCO’s philanthropic mission.

“I started an outreach group at WIMCO, and we meet once a month to talk about different givings and this one struck a chord. And the team decided unanimously to take this on,” Rawls said.

WIMCO has history with veterans: Rawls, stepfather Dana Eddings and brother and WIMCO project manager Josh Eddings are instrumental in Combat Warriors, a nonprofit providing emotional and financial support to combat veterans with a variety of services, from monetary assistance in special cases to hunting and fishing trips that bring active-duty soldiers from all military branches together to offer healing through comradery and nature.

“We’re a group of people that really values veterans and has a deep appreciation for what they’ve done for us. We, as a company, support Combat Warriors. So we dove into this,” Josh Eddings said.

The seeds of the partnership were planted when PRISC CEO Robert Greene Sands was introduced to Dana Eddings.

“He became interested in what we were doing at Rose Haven and volunteered on many occasions there,” Sands said. “They contacted me about their community betterment program at WIMCO, and wanted to see what we were doing at Rose Haven. Josh and I started talking, and he became very interested in what we were doing, both professionally and personally, and it just went from there.”

It went from interest to WIMCO now donating its services as Rose Haven’s general contractor, getting the project back up and running, getting permits and working with the city’s building department, according to Josh Eddings.

“We’re going to finalize the estimate and work through our contacts to get certain services donated or labor donated or done at a very fair cost just through our network of vendors and distributors that we work with constantly,” Eddings said. “We sort of tiptoed into it and have since decided to jump all in.”

When completed, Rose Haven will be home to four to six female veterans, its surrounding land transformed into a meditative garden, with which PRISC is partnering with Arts of the Pamlico, and a vegetable garden in which all local veterans will be invited to participate. Sands said the barn behind the home will be used as storage and a repository for recycled wood for use in restoring historic buildings.

“A preservation wood bank — we’re using old, recycled wood for Rose Haven, so that’s what gave us the idea: if we need it, other people will need it, too,” Sands said. “This would become a place where people could come and get wood that can be reused.”

With WIMCO on board, Rose Haven’s restoration will be back on track, and completion in the nearer future.

“WIMCO and their efforts have come at a really good time,” Sands said. “And we’re really appreciative of their appreciation of our mission.”

Rawls said the project is an extension of WIMCO’s mission as well, and a testament to the power of partnerships, between Rose Haven and the businesses WIMCO works with daily.

“We’re excited to partner with them and figure out the future,” Rawls said. “We’re going to be part of making sure that it gets done.”

“We’re going to see it through, and we’d like the support of the community behind us in doing that,” Eddings said.