Offering Time and Resources for 180 Ministries

 March 19, 2024 – Lakewood, CO – This month, Encore Electric and QED joined forces to support the non-profit organization ‘180 Ministries’ in the local community by donating electrical supplies and work. This residential program helps residents reclaim their lives from addiction by providing them with life skills that enable them to find a renewed sense of purpose and hope. Together, the two teams worked to improve living space by updating older electrical systems to make it more accessible, safe, and comfortable for residents.

“I realized pretty quickly during the first walk-through that drilling through walls and finding our way around would be nearly impossible”, said Greg Olson Encore Electric account manager. “With dated buildings, there’s always a concern about asbestos and lead paint so our job became creating a safe environment for the residents while keeping our craftspeople safe too. We knew there wasn’t room in the budget for abatement work so I worked closely with the team at QED to figure out how we could feasibly meet the needs of the residents, provide electrical upgrades, and stick to the agreed budget.”

In addition to working with older construction methods and materials, there were also different types of breakers in the electrical boxes and old exit signs likely original to the facility. The team upgraded the old technology to make sure emergency lights would come on during a power outage and converted every fixture possible to LED.

“The interior of the building is lath and plaster, so it’s really dark”, said Scott Peterson, Encore Electric service supervisor.

Encore Electric and Community

“Our main goal was to be sure the electrical is as safe as possible given we aren’t able to cut into walls. We added some nice features like new Egress lighting, light fixtures, and switches as well as dimmer switches in the sleeping areas. Because the stairwells and hallways were so dark, we made sure there were functional 3-way switches on either end, simple stuff like that, that they didn’t have before made a big difference.”

While Encore Electric was not able to provide a complete electrical upgrade to the facility, there was still plenty of opportunity to make the space safer and more comfortable for residents. This project was an interesting challenge, as there was something new and challenging every time the team went into a different room, and some things the team had never seen before.

“Every day there was something new. This is the first time our team has worked in the space, and we uncovered years and years of different companies coming in and doing different stuff. Some of them probably know what they’re doing and some definitely didn’t”, said James McNown, Encore Electric service technician. “We spent a fair amount of time investigating stuff and trying to see what we could do to safely improve the space. We ended up working in several common areas, a food pantry, multiple bedrooms, hallways, and some offices. We went slowly because there were some circuits and things we couldn’t replace, but they still worked, and we made sure they were safe.”

“We just want to continue having the servant’s heart that you guys have had for us”, said Johnathan McKeon, 180 Ministries program director. “Because, you know, that’s the way God works. You don’t just receive, and you don’t just give to receive, it’s about passing those blessings forward, like paying it forward. And if we can do whatever we need to do to help somebody else, provide scholarships, or do what you guys did for our ministry, that’s what I want to do.”

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