Model & Strategy

The Empowerment Plan tackles the punishing cycle of homelessness and poverty through a unique system of employment, education and empowerment. The Empowerment Plan employs single parents from local homeless shelters and trains them to become full-time seamstresses. Their current team manufacture coats that transform into sleeping bags, which are then distributed across the nation to homeless individuals who are living on the streets.  In addition to employment, the organization offers educational and professional workshops in an effort to equip each team member with the confidence and skills necessary to lead a more sustainable, financially stable and healthy life. The Empowerment Plan believes in giving second chances to those who want it, while providing warmth to those who need it.

At a Glance
Founded: 2012
Founder & CEO: Veronika Scott
Systemic Poverty
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast, West Coast, Midwest, Southwest, Southeast
The Empowerment Plan
1401 Vermont St.
Detroit, MI 48216
Giving jobs to those that want them & warmth to those that need it
Veronika Scott of Empowerment Plan
Meet Veronika Scott

Veronika’s vision for The Empowerment Plan started when she was a 20-year-old product design student at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit and was given a class assignment to design a product to fill an actual need. Upon her December 2011 graduation and after spending countless hours at local shelters, she had created an organization that began around a single idea: to design a self-heated, waterproof coat that transforms into a sleeping bag specifically for the homeless. Her idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets, giving them an opportunity to earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independence for themselves and their family.

Veronika is the youngest recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award from the JFK Library Foundation and Harvard University. She has received an IDEA Gold Award from the Industrial Design Society of America and has an honorary PhD of Humane Letters from Johnson State College. Veronika has been named one of CNN’s Ten Visionary Women in the World, the winner of the 2014 DVF People’s Voice Award, listed as one of Forbes “30 Under 30”, as well as the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “40 Under 40”. The Empowerment Plan story has been told across the world and shared at events such as the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit with Oprah, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.

IMPACT

The Empowerment Plan employs previously homeless parents. Earning livable wages enables these employees to find permanent housing and establish a stable life for their children within the first three months of employment.

The Empowerment Plan manufactures coats that convert to sleeping bags, which are distributed directly to people living on the streets. Over 30,000 sleeping bag coats have been distributed globally to homeless individuals, including across all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces.

  • It’s hard to change, even when the ability to change is ours alone. Here’s to those pushing past the struggle and t… https://t.co/1eMIEyzQeU
  • EMPWR, but make it fashion! Our new unisex swag (t-shirt & water bottle modeled by the lovely Taylor) represents th… https://t.co/rB2Q68CpaC
  • We're so thrilled to be a part of the Detroit Lions (tagged) Inspire Change 2020 initiative! It's an honor to be su… https://t.co/dtS6CBiSlZ
  • RT @kumasindy: @BlakesHardCider Saint Cheri currently available on draft & in cans & $2 from every single can & draft pour goes to @empower…
  • Tough facts. According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, there are nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. who ex… https://t.co/geVM2ta0ue
  • #ICYMI: Because families may not feel comfortable telling schools they’re experiencing homelessness, getting studen… https://t.co/gn0qGQove6
  • Did you know the minimum amount of time in the Empowerment Plan program is 2 years, and that it encompasses educati… https://t.co/St9Xuyvo1x
  • Everyone has a different reason, but all share the same goal. Our coats provide shelter, but they symbolize so much… https://t.co/3gJGHldYkb
  • RT @kumasindy: We thought it would be sick to keep @BlakesHardCider Saint Chéri available as long as we can in January, & donate $2 of ever…
  • Happy New Year! Tell us one resolution you have for the coming year. Ours is to find new ways to serve our community in 2020!
  • Ending the year with a smile on our face, because of all the great things we were able to accomplish. We want to th… https://t.co/18RSGIhjZm
  • RT @REDFworks: .@empowermentplan’s coats don’t only keep individuals experiencing homelessness warm, they create jobs. Meet our strategic g…
  • Each coat is made by hand here in Detroit, thanks to our amazing team. Learn how you can sponsor a coat today by vi… https://t.co/WPdAl3QHOQ
  • Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Empowerment Plan to you and yours! We cannot thank you enough for showi… https://t.co/Lz2vGzCM7h
  • This years Empowerment Plan Holiday Party was a success! We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who c… https://t.co/B8wyKxATmD
  • RT @GoldmanSachs: .@empowermentplan CEO Veronika Scott discusses how her business addresses the cycle of poverty in Detroit: https://t.co/o…
  • Join us in spreading the warmth this holiday season, by sponsoring a coat for someone in need. Visit… https://t.co/rqTIbGtVrW
  • Our insulation provides an extra layer of warmth in our coats. Be sure to follow us for more behind the scenes!
  • At Empowerment Plan, we strive to help women discover their true potential. How have you made a difference in your… https://t.co/tzY0O3arkn
  • RT @WIDistributors: 🍒 @BlakesHardCider Saint Cheri bourbon barrel aged cherry cider is BOTH crazy delicious and kind hearted 💕. Saint Cheri…