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This company only hires homeless women and helps families get off the street

2 min read

Better Society
This company only hires homeless women and helps families get off the street
Source: Facebook/EmpowermentPlan

The non-profit hires homeless women from local shelters to become full-time seamstresses who then make coats which transform into sleeping bags for the homeless.

Creating jobs that lift people out of poverty permanently

The Empowerment Plan is a non-profit organisation dedicated to serving the homeless community. They hire homeless women from local shelters to become full time seamstresses. These women manufacture a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag, which is then given out to homeless individuals living on the streets at no cost to them.

Second chances to those who want it, providing warmth to those who need it The Empowerment Plan works to address homelessness by providing jobs to homeless women, and by manufacturing a coat that is given to homeless individuals in need. Source: Facebook/ATTN

The Plan has employed 45 homeless people who have all now secured permanent housing

Detroit-based nonprofit The Empowerment Plan is focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. They hire 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 they hire 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, The Empowerment Plan has provided employment to 45 homeless individuals — all of whom have now secured permanent housing for themselves and their families — and distributed over 25,000 coats to those in need across the world.

Company founder and CEO, Veronika Scott, was inspired to start The Empowerment Plan when a class at The College for Creative Studies 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.

Source: EmpowermentPlan.org

The EMPWR coat is a water-resistant jacket, which can transform into a sleeping bag, or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. The coat is constructed of durable, water resistant Cordura fabric from Carhartt, upcycled automotive insulation from General Motors, and other materials provided by generous donors.
The Coat The EMPWR coat is a water-resistant jacket, which can transform into a sleeping bag, or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. The coat is constructed of durable, water resistant Cordura fabric from Carhartt, upcycled automotive insulation from General Motors, and other materials provided by generous donors. Source: EmpowermentPlan.org

The Empowerment Plan believe homelessness should not be a life sentence

The Empowerment Plan is predominantly supported by donations from private individuals, large corporations and foundations. Also, they would not be able to accomplish all that they do without the help of local organisations:

  • The Coalition On Temporary Shelter (COTS) assists with employee recruitment and childcare needs.
  • As employees successfully transition from homelessness, Humble Design provides the seamstresses with appropriate furnishings and amenities for their new homes. 
  • Partners such as Pro-Literacy Detroit, Level One Bank, COTS, and 2-Way Communications LLC provide the seamstresses with on-the-clock, supplemental programming including GED courses, financial literacy classes, professional development seminars, and more.

The Empowerment Plan say they are committed to growing their impact beyond Detroit and believe their model can and should be replicated in communities near and far. By scaling their Detroit program, they are creating a workforce from a population many overlook. Homelessness should not be a life sentence.


The Empowerment Plan have distributed EMPWR coats across 49 states in the US, 10 Canadian provinces, and several countries internationally.
It costs $100 to sponsor a coat, which covers the cost of labour, materials and overheads The Empowerment Plan have distributed EMPWR coats across 49 states in the US, 10 Canadian provinces, and several countries internationally. Source: EmpowermentPlan.org
Make an Impact

Sponsor a coat to be given to someone in need by making a donation here

It costs $100 to sponsor a coat, which covers the cost of labor, materials, and overhead expenses. You don’t have to donate the full $100, but anything you can spare is deeply appreciated.