the empowerment plan is a detroit-based, nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. it hires single parents from local shelters and provide them with training and full-time employment as seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and regain their independence. the individuals it hires manufacture a coat designed to meet the needs of those in the homeless community. the durable ‘EMPWR coat’ can transform into a sleeping bag at night or an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. since 2012, it has provided employment to 34 homeless individuals—all of whom have now secured permanent housing for themselves and their families—and distributed over 15,000 coats to those in need across the US and canada.

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

 

 

founder and CEO, veronika scott, was inspired to start the empowerment plan when a professor at college in detroit challenged her to create a product to fill an actual need in her community. veronika took to the issue of homelessness and began spending time at a nearby warming center where the design for the ‘EMPWR coat‘ was born. while conducting her research, veronika was angrily confronted by a homeless woman who stated that she did not need a coat—she needed a job. this is the moment that shaped the innovative business practices the empowerment plan would adopt upon establishment.

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

 

 

the empowerment plan is predominantly supported by donations from private individuals, large corporations and foundations. it also would not be able to accomplish all that it does without the help of local organizations. the coalition on temporary shelter (COTS) assists with employee recruitment and childcare needs. as the employees successfully transition from homelessness, humble design provides the seamstresses with appropriate furnishings and amenities for their new homes. partners provide the seamstresses with on-the-clock, supplemental programming including GED courses; financial literacy classes; and professional development seminars.

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

 

 

the empowerment plan is committed to growing our impact beyond detroit and believes the  model can, and should, be replicated in communities near and far. by scaling the detroit program, it is now creating a workforce from a population many overlook. homelessness should not be a life sentence.

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom

EMPWR coat jacket homeless designboom 

  • How do I get these for our homeless population out here in Columbus.

    Brittnee Pankey says:
  • what the homeless need are homes
    these are pointless bandaid remedies

    raymondo says:
  • Why creating things that keep the problem (misery), instead of slove it ?
    In red color with white outlines, it would be a great xmas gift idea for the Rottchilds …

    greg says:
  • This design isn’t trying to fix the issue, its simply improving it.
    Stopping homelessness can’t be resolved with a single design, however if a single design improves the individuals standard of living even slightly, then i say this is a brilliant project.

    james says:
  • I am director of a homeless outreach in Jacksonville, FL. How would we be able to purchase some of these for those on the street? thanks

    Angela Fisher says:
  • How do you go about getting these coats for homeless people?

    Deann Lakin says:

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