When will the house be done?
Rob Greene Sands (RGS) – “We are planning for occupancy this year. We changed general contractors at the beginning of 2019, which caused an unexpected delay as we await the building permit to be reissued. As soon as the permit is received, the gutted inside, leaking back roof, and weak structural front room will be waiting impatiently to be tackled.”
What is the Rose Haven Center of Healing?
RGS – “Pamlico Rose advances programs that build wellness and resilience in at-risk Veterans so they can better transition and reintegrate into the community. Within the Rose Haven Center of Healing, the home will house female Veterans in recovery from addictions, and potential behaviors precipitated by trauma. Residents will maintain the meditation/produce gardens, and these resources will be available to other local Veterans and the greater community. The old red barn will hold our garden equipment and, in time, reclaimed wood products for others to use. The sum of the parts makes a space to develop wellness and healing.”
What does wellness have to do with helping female Veterans recover from substance abuse?
RGS – “Recovery from substance abuse for female Veterans can be associated with PTSD and military sexual trauma. Recovering female Veterans, like any Veteran who suffers from PTSD or other trauma-related experiences, must contend and manage the effects of trauma on their daily lives. Mindfully focusing on wellness (maintaining a state of good health) will keep the female Veterans healthy while building resilience to continue the road to recovery. Resilience helps a person manage the effects of trauma and face life’s challenges, which to one in recovery can seem insurmountable. Another way to picture recovery from addiction and the effects of PTSD is to liken it to a house. You can’t finish the chimney if the foundation of wellness and healthy living isn’t strong enough to support the structure. Additionally, gardening and being in nature further buttress the house’s mission to support recovery.
On May 20-24, we are launching a pilot five-day retreat for female Veterans who struggle with the transition from military service to life in the civilian world and reintegration into the community. Transition and reintegration for female Veterans can be daunting, sometimes even more difficult than for male Veterans, and certainly different in many aspects. More information on the retreats can be found HERE. While the initial funding for the retreat was earmarked last year for that program by a donor, we continue to seek grants to continue its support into the future.”
Where will the women come from and how will you reach out to let people know about your services?
RGS – “Going back to the place and space where the addiction started, or too soon after their journey of recovery has started, can hinder success or even cause relapse for many. That is why it is important for Rose Haven to be open to admit female Vets from outside Washington and Beaufort County. Enrollees may take on part-time jobs here and contribute to the economic vitality of Washington. They might even elect to relocate here, and if they do leave the area, they will likely spread the word about our giving community.”
Why waste time and money on the rehabilitation of an old house?
RGS – “Not only is Pamlico Rose trying to build a community of Veterans to support each other, but it aims to contribute to the historic district in a meaningful way, by preserving and reutilizing one of its resources. Our mission includes helping communities thrive. For any community to be healthy, the buildings in that community need to be healthy. Rehabilitation of Rose Haven will improve the community while creating a space for healing.”
The Last Word (for now)
Given that one of our organizational goals is to be transparent, we welcome the opportunity to respond to all these questions, which show that people want to know what and how we are doing. All of us connected with Pamlico Rose are volunteers, we disclose our financials, and we post on social media a lot.
The Rose Haven Center of Healing, as a concept, is a trial in the making. The idea of our home for recovering female Veterans is underpinned by success of existing recovery programs for both Veterans and non-Veterans. However, there are few examples of residential reintegration programs for female Veterans, so we are building a program that is based on wellness and resilience which we think is integral to recovery and promotes an easier transition and reintegration. Our wellness retreats for female Veterans expands that notion. Important to Rose Haven is establishing “community” for both those Veterans living in the home and those taking part in the retreats. Community also extends to those in the surrounding neighborhood, the historic district, and the larger community of Washington who support the recovery of those Veterans whose journey takes them through Rose Haven. To us, it makes sense to incorporate our first set of projects around the concept of community. We hear this every day when people stop and tell us, while seeing us working on the property or out in the community, about how the area is coming to life, and how we as members of the community need to support our Veterans. We couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. Rose Haven honors those who served and offers opportunity for female Veterans to heal and find a better life.