One of the most successful homeless employment programs has been launched in Detroit.
The plan hires homeless people to make coats for others like themselves. Homeless employees start their ‘come to normal’ lives at the Empowerment Plan, a Detroit nonprofit, and within two years can move to other careers.
Veronica Scott is known to be called “Coat Lady” and proud of that fact. She is the founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, where people from the streets can get training and employment.
She grew up in poverty with parents who struggled with unemployment and addiction. She first had an idea of the EMPWR coat when visiting the local warming center for the homeless. Scott tested her first coats in the same center. In that facility she was told a life-changing phrase: “I don’t need a jacket – I need a job!”
The focus of The Empowerment Plan today is to help homeless parents living in shelters. The coats they make are specifically designed to be transformed into totes and full-length sleeping bags. The coat withstands cold temperatures, the insulated hybrid jacket is durable and water-resistant. Over 30,000 have found their owners across the country.
People struggle with so many things nowadays, like job loss, mental health issues and addictions, and to help and support them through tough times is noble and vital. This project helps people not only to make a new beginning but actually to save homeless people from death. Hundreds of homeless people cannot get into shelters, those being already full in the winter season.
The most important and true miracle happens behind the scenes, where prior homeless people become able to afford their own homes within months of working.
This “empower coats” program does make a difference, improving lives and granting hope to destitute and deprived people. It is funded through private gifts. Only $125 donation pays not only for the materials but for the one coat labor.