CarolinaPower recently volunteered for a special construction project in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, sponsored by Leadership Greenville Class 46. This community service initiative entailed renovating the kitchen and dining area at Soteria House, a transitional residential facility for men released from prison.
CarolinaPower was invited to participate by Leadership Greenville team leaders Kimberly Bailey, senior project manager with Brasfield and Gorrie, and Brandon Scott, project executive with DPR Construction.
When the project kicked off earlier this year – pre-pandemic – there were 16 men living in Soteria House with just one stove to cook on in a small galley kitchen. The project team determined that a full kitchen renovation was needed – new cabinets and counter tops, drywall work, new appliances, electrical and plumbing work. The fundraising goal was $50,000.
The initial focus of this project was to improve only the kitchen; however, it became apparent that more upgrades were required, and a more extensive renovation ensued. The vision for the expansion included the dining area and gathering space adjacent to the kitchen. This concept was unanimously agreed upon by the entire team. This new plan provided a more efficient kitchen workspace as well as a more open floorplan design. A vital element of the project was to provide a physical and visual connection from the meal prep areas that would flow into the dining and gathering space.
CarolinaPower proudly donated time and materials with help from employee volunteers and these generous suppliers: Hubbell Lighting, Holder Electrical Supply, Graybar Electrical Supply, Gexpro Electrical Supply, and Carson’s Nut Bolt & Tool Company.
All of the volunteer contractors did their best to minimize disruption to residents, who continued living in the house throughout the three months of construction. The new kitchen was turned over to the residents in late April. Leadership Greenville is producing a video celebrating the Soteria House project that should be available in September 2020.
Steve Orr, project manager for CarolinaPower, noted that the overall project came in well under budget. CarolinaPower opted to donate its share of the project’s savings to Soteria Community Development Corporation.
About Soteria House
Soteria House is not only a roof over the heads of men transitioning back into society after incarceration. It is a place of dignity and calm where they are assured of meals, clothes, rides to and from work, a schedule with responsibilities, and a place to work out or play basketball. It is a place of reflection, of daily journaling, of reading, of sharing meals together. By the end of the organization’s 6-12 month program, Soteria House often becomes a first experience of home. Learn more at https://soteriacdc.org/our-story/.