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Sleeping-Bag Coats Warm, Employ Detroit Homeless
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of ABC News

ABC News, May 9, 2013
Posted: January 19th, 2015

The Empowerment Plan began in 2010 as an idea to fulfill Veronika Scotts assignment for her product-design class at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. We had to design something that could actually happen, Scott, 22, of Detroit said. Scotts product was a coat that transformed into a sleeping bag for the homeless population of Detroit. The latest design ... can be rolled up and turned into a shoulder bag for the warmer months. After her class ended, Scott [continued to work] with the homeless at the shelter Neighborhood Service Organization in Detroit to develop the first prototype. Scott said the coat was initially meant to offer comfort and pride for the homeless, but one homeless womans words changed that. She said, Your coats dont matter, jobs matter. We need jobs, not coats, Scott said. It was then about who I could employ. The Empowerment Plan [now] employs 13 former and current homeless people to manufacture its coats, [and] only hires homeless single parents without a violent crime record. Employees are paid well above the minimum wage in Michigan and are given microloans. The coats are not only ordered by nonprofit organizations for free distribution to the homeless, but are also used by the Red Cross for disaster relief. With the help of donations ... the Empowerment Plan plans to create 4,000 coats this year. Scott said that she wants the Empowerment Plan to be a model for U.S. humane manufacturing.

Note: Don't miss the inspiring three-minute video of this courageous woman which shows how one person can make a big change.

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