Pringle House Project nears completion, but needs community support

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:51 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - J.P. Pringle has called the Northeast Neighborhood in Harrisonburg home for decades, but after a fire last August, 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, then went to work to build him a new, modest home.

The Pringle House Project began fundraising in the winter. The remains of the house were demolished in January, and work inside the house started in the spring. The house is now getting finishing touches before move-in day in a few weeks, but help is still needed from the community to get there.

“We’ve helped people in tragedies before, but never taken on a project like this,” Jim Rankin, a Pringle House Project organizer, said. “Getting help for [JP] was an easy sell. People know him, they wanted to help, and they made themselves available, [some] donations, others put in time.”

The community raised over $80,000 to rebuild. The original fundraising goal was $150,000 but was reduced to $120,000 after many people in the community and local businesses donated their time and building materials, like plumbing, electrical, roofing, flooring, HVAC, and even furniture.

“We got the occupancy permit, we passed all the inspections. Our next hurdle is landscaping,” Rankin said.

Rankin is calling on landscapers around the Shenandoah Valley to come forward and be a part of finishing this project. He said if they can’t find a business to help, they’ll need donations.

“I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I’m absolutely confident that’s going to be fulfilled and it’s going to be something the community can be proud of, the city can be proud of, and anybody that played a role,” Rankin said.

Pringle will not move into the house until it is blessed on July 17, but he watches over the progress from the front porch.

“We don’t wanna walk over top of God right? We wanna bless it before going in,” Pringle said. “All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“This came together knowing none of us could do this by ourselves as much as we wanted to. Our church couldn’t afford it, but as a team, as a community, look around, here it is,” Rankin said. “Yes, we can. Yes, we did. It’s been a pleasure for me.”

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.

You can reach Jim Rankin at (540) 435-1481 for other questions about the Pringle House Project.

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