“Imagine the coldest day you can remember, the biting wind chilling you to your core,” asks The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization. “Now imagine spending each day wandering through the city, with no home, no bed, no place to get warm.” These are the things are so easily taken for granted by the average American: having a place to safely, comfortably sleep, a car to drive to work, and having a job at all. The Empowerment Plan knows that these are luxuries that many of Detroit’s struggling residents cannot afford, and is on a mission to improve the quality of life there, by donating one coat at a time.
The Empowerment Plan is a two-part initiative to give second chances and encouragement to Detroiters. The organization provides jobs for homeless women who are in the shelter system so that they can earn a living wage, find a place to live, and regain their independence. The women are also able to give back to their community, as The Empowerment Plan trains and employs them as seamstresses capable of making durable coats that double as sleeping bags.
The Empowerment Plan “centers around the construction of a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag at night, and a bag when not in use,” explains the humanitarian organization. Not only does The Empowerment Plan help to rehabilitate and empower local homeless women, it reaches many of the some 20,000 homeless Detroit residents who are without protective coats or shelter during the harsh winter.
Founded by Veronika Scott in 2010 when she was only twenty years old, The Empowerment Plan has become an invaluable local humanitarian presence. Ms. Scott recently told Forbes contributor and The Empowerment Plan board member Denise Restauri, “As this city continues to grow, we cannot forget about or leave behind those that have seen Detroit through its roughest time and are still out of work.” She continues, “We currently have 13 seamstresses working full-time at The Empowerment Plan and most of them have been able to transition out of the shelter system into their own home or apartment. We believe in giving second chances to those who want it, and providing warmth to those who need it.”
You can learn more about The Empowerment Plan, and its innovative, live-saving coats by visiting its website at www.empowermentplan.org.