When times get tough, people who are experiencing homelessness need help more than ever.
The novel coronavirus pandemic and struggling economy have caused countless families to hit hard times around the world. This uptick in poverty has kicked Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit, into high gear.
Empowerment Plan was started in 2012 by Veronika Scott. At the time, she was a college student whose own life had been touched by addiction and homelessness growing up. She was given an assignment to design a project that would help her community, and she totally nailed it!
Thinking of long winter nights spent shivering in the cold, Veronika created a jacket that expands into a sleeping bag and packs up into a portable bag with a shoulder strap. Not only that, but her business model also grew to include hiring homeless people, many of whom are single parents, to make the innovative coats in their Detroit, Michigan, facility.
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Their goal is to “break the generational cycle of poverty,” and it’s working! So far, Empowerment Plan has distributed 50,000 coats and created 90 jobs, and they’re not finished making a difference yet.
Veronika’s team just embarked on a new mission to bring their lifesaving coats to people in need! Empowerment Plan teamed up with Chevrolet for a “Spread the Warmth” campaign, a 21-day road trip that will deliver 700 coats to eight cities in the Midwest and Northeast.
Chevrolet not only covered the cost of all 700 jackets, but they also donated a Chevy Suburban and Chevy Tahoe for the journey. The Spread the Warmth trip kicked off in Detroit on February 17 and has already had a huge impact.
The trip will bring the team to Rochester, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Louisville, Kentucky; Chicago, Illinois; and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In each city, the Empowerment Plan team will meet with local officials to learn more about their community’s unique challenges. Afterward, they will visit homeless camps armed with food, water, and of course, a warm new coat/sleeping bag.
You can follow along with the Spread the Warmth campaign on Instagram. These road trip warriors never fail to amaze us with the innovative ways they find to help the people who need it most!
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