Pringle House Project works to rebuild home for longtime Harrisonburg resident

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 10:30 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - After a Harrisonburg man lost his home to a fire in August, the community is hoping to help him build a brand new home.

J.P. Pringle has called the Northeast Neighborhood in Harrisonburg home for decades, but after the summer fire, his house along East Johnson Street was deemed uninhabitable. The community rallied behind Pringle to help with his immediate needs, like food, clothing, and shelter, but are now going a step further to welcome him back home.

A group of leaders and community members from around the Friendly City launched the Pringle House Project. It plans to rebuild a home for J.P. at the same location along East Johnson Street.

“Our intent is for J.P. to have a modest, new home where he doesn’t have a mortgage, where he can be comfortable, and it fits in with the community,” Jim Rankin, an organizer for the Pringle House Project, said. “He can return to that community.”

The Pringle House Project has raised thousands of dollars already. The next step is getting a license for demolition and a permit to build.

Barry Kelley is another leader of the Pringle House Project and also the CEO of Matchbox Realty. He said without delays from inclement weather and funding, it should take six to seven months to build Pringle’s new house.

“I’m happy we’re at the point we are now because we can do all the demo work, we can do the excavation,” Kelley said. “We can probably get the foundation in and maybe get the blockwork done. That’s about the amount of money we have right now to do.”

Over the next few weeks and months, he hopes donations continue coming in so that after demolition, they can begin framing the house, put up a roof, and get the construction area covered up for the winter months so work on the inside can commence, too.

Rankin said they want the community to get involved because Pringle has done so much for people around Harrisonburg.

“J.P., I just don’t know that he has anybody that he hasn’t helped,” Rankin said. “He asked me last week if there was a way he could help the people in Kentucky [impacted by the tornados.]”

“J.P. is a great guy. He represents our community. He’s the foundation of our community. He’s that type of personality,” Kelley said.

Rankin said there will come a time when the Pringle House Project needs more hands-on help from the community, like setting up electricity, planting flowers, or painting walls, but right now, raising money is their main goal. He hopes to collaborate with local churches and organizations to raise money for the building project.

“We can’t keep moving into it unless we’re sure we have the funds. The one thing we aren’t doing is borrowing money or anything like that,” Rankin said. “We are absolutely open to ideas for fundraisers. Anything to get us across the finish line.”

If you would like to donate to the Pringle House Project, you can online on its GoFundMe page, or mail a check to “First Baptist Church - Pringle House Project” P.O. Box 2451, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

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