WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The Rose Haven Center for Healing is a place of serenity for female veterans to decompress and learn valuable life skills. The non-profit Pamlico Rose has made tons of progress on the center’s property, and a new grant is bringing promise to surrounding counties.

Nature, physical movement, creative expression and building community are the four pillars the Pamlico Rose Institute lives by. Its primary mission is advancing the wellness and resiliency of women veterans and their families.

A $341,000 grant from AmeriCorps is expanding that mission out into neighboring communities by creating community gardens that will keep giving year after year.

“What we are going to do with that grant is bring in 12 members to help build three to four community gardens in Pitt and Beaufort County. We’ll also be offering nutrition and healthy eating, learning programs for the people using the gardens. And at the same time, any of that surplus that we end up growing that we don’t use through the gardens will be provided to food insecure people.”

Robert Greene Sands, Pamlico Rose Institute Executiuve Director & CEO

The group also received another grant totaling $180,000 to renovate a 1961 rustic pole barn located at the back of the property, with blueprints for a multi-use space.

“Woodworking, pottery visual arts, and then half of that would also be a yoga space or a classroom space,” Greene Sands said.

Greene Sands also said renovations on that will start in about a month, and they hope to have the barn completed by the end of the year.

Like many, the Rose Haven Center for Healing House has recently run into issues with construction due to the global market. Greene Sands said it’s not the shortage of materials as much as it is the cost of materials. He said the cost of materials now would have cost around a third just a year ago.

Work on the community gardens will begin on September 1, 2022. The Blind Center in Washington and the Washington Boys and Girls Club have already been selected to be garden recipients.

Renovations are also still underway on the Rose Haven home, with plans to wrap up in the next couple of months. The home will serve as a retreat for female veterans.

Greene Sands said the work has truly been a community effort, the mission hitting home, even across the country.

“We have a woman veteran who’s in Denver, who’s a Air Force veteran, and she’s an interior designer and she’s working with me right now to do the interior design of the kitchen and the common room all the way from Denver. I’m fortunate of having a woman veteran who was an Army Captain. Now she works for the Department of Defense. She was local in the area, and she used to renovate houses. So she came and spent days working with us in the house. We’re working with a woman veteran who grows teas in Pennsylvania helping her develop her program, and she’s helping us as well. So we’ve had a really interesting mix of local and people not from this area, who are women veterans or know what we’re doing here to be something that’s special.”

Robert Greene Sands, Pamlico Rose Institute Executiuve Director & CEO