Updated: Feb 7, 2021
Like hummingbirds putting out forest fires a few drops at a time, Empowerment Plan gives away coats to the homeless of Detroit, helping one family at a time while also employing them.
Veronika Scott, founder of Empowerment Plan, was known as the “coat lady” after embarking on a school assignment to solve a problem in the community. While attending the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Veronika designed the EMPWR coat. Little did she know how impactful this innovative design would become!
Having experienced parents with addiction issues and homelessness herself, she set her sights on creating a coat for the homeless population in her own backyard. The EMPWR coat turns into a sleeping bag and can also be used as an over the shoulder bag. Veronika designed the coat alongside the people who would be using it, listening to their needs.
Veronika’s “aha” moment came when she was distributing the coats one day and someone yelled “we don’t need coats, we need jobs”! That is when Veronika decided to hire homeless parents from local shelters to sew the coats. She was told the homeless people she hired would be useless, but she begged to differ!
Employees receive on the job training creating EMPWR coats while also receiving life skills classes on finances and other important topics which would set them up for success after they leave homelessness behind-the ultimate goal!
The coat is constructed of durable, water resistant Cordura fabric from Carhartt, upcycled automotive insulation from General Motors, and other materials provided by generous donors. Their smart design keeps on going...heavy duty Velcro and buckles are used instead of zippers. It costs $125 to sponsor a coat, which covers the cost of labor, materials, and overhead expenses.
Their goal is to distribute 1,000 coats this winter. Ford Motor Company matched donations, helping them quickly get to the $50,000 mark but they still have a ways to go. Please consider donating and sharing! When you donate $125, each recipient will receive a coat, mask, Bombas socks, and a body sanitation sheet from Trip Wipes! I have attached the link to read more about this amazing organization. Veronika, her corporate donors, and her amazing staff are all Moxie Heroes!