Target: Veronika Scott, Founder of the Empowerment Plan
Goal: Applaud nonprofit that employs homeless people in the manufacturing of coats designed for Detroit’s homeless
Veronika Scott is the founder of the Empowerment Plan, a nonprofit organization that makes coats that convert into sleeping bags for homeless people during the harsh winter months in Detroit. Scott hires homeless women from local shelters to become full-time seamstresses. Please show your support for the humanitarian efforts to aid the 20,000 homeless people in Detroit.
Scott came up with the idea of designing a garment that is both a coat and a sleeping bag in a production design class, but it wasn’t until she visited a shelter trying to distribute the coats that a homeless woman made her realize that just donating the coats wasn’t enough to make a difference. Scott explained that homeless people are the same as everyone else in that they strive for independence. The Empowerment Plan enables homeless people to accomplish that independence through employment.
Teia Sams, a single parent and one of the seamstresses at the Empowerment Plan, has in three months gone from living in a shelter to her own house, reunited with all her children. Scott says, “Because I found the right people, they prove that this model can exist, and that it works, and that my idea isn’t just a nice idea.” Please applaud this organization’s innovative work to provide both charity and jobs to the homeless of Detroit.
Dear Founder of the Empowerment Plan Veronika Scott,
I applaud your work in creating the Empowerment Plan, which not only manufactures coats that can also be used as sleeping bags for the homeless people of Detroit, but employs the very same people it aims to help. Detroit, an economically distraught city with 20,000 people living out on the streets, is a prime location to benefit from the work of your not-for-profit organization. Please continue your entrepreneurial activism for the homeless.
You saw the basic need for warmth during the wintery weather conditions that homeless people face, and you designed a product that lets homeless people retain their pride should they choose to forgo a shelter and stay out on the streets. But your humanitarian work went even further than that with the establishment of the Empowerment Plan that gives people the chance to break out of what your website refers to as the cycle that the homeless get trapped in. Teia Sams, a seamstress working at the Empowerment Plan, has successfully broken that cycle, evidenced by her transition from living in a homeless shelter to life in her own home, and the accomplishment of getting back her children and having them live with her, all within three months.
With 1 out of every 42 people in Detroit living without the basic comforts of a home, the Empowerment Plan is a truly awe-inspiring example of innovative activism that respects the livelihood of a homeless person by providing them with the necessary equipment to survive outdoors during the cold winter months, while at the same time providing people the chance to work their way out of homelessness. Thank you for your work and creation of the Empowerment Plan that allows homeless people to help themselves.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Deborah Edwards-Onoro via Flickr