The Empowerment PlanAug 05, 2014
For 20,000 homeless Detroit residents, 1 in every 42 people, the short days and frigid nights of a Michigan winter are a harsh reality. Shelters are often overwhelmed, leaving many individuals in desperate need fending for themselves on the street. Enter The Empowerment Plan, an organization that employs and trains homeless women to work as full-time seamstresses. Their product? A garment that functions as both a coat and a sleeping bag. These coats are distributed to Detroit‚Äôs homeless at no cost. The training and steady employment provided by The Empowerment Plan helps employees free themselves from the cycle of poverty, going so far as to help these women get off the street and out of shelters by securing furnished permanent housing. [caption id="attachment_174" align="aligncenter" width="960"] An Empowerment Plan seamstress makes a coat - photo by GroBroPros[/caption] This inspiring initiative is the brainchild of Veronika Scott, the 24-year-old Founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan. Scott began the project as class assignment during her years as a student at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit. The Empowerment Plan‚Äôs disruptive business model and humanitarian agenda quickly gained it strong support, with corporate donors including Carhartt, Shinola and General Motors. In 2013, the organization produced 4,000 coats for orders throughout the country. The donation of a 3D printer last summer has led to the development of a new initiative to provide training in this emerging technology and use it to create customized buckles and clasps for the coats. Inspired? Click here to donate to The Empowerment Plan.