“A woman came out of the shelter that I was in, and she was yelling at me — she was full-on screaming, ‘We don’t need coats! Coats are pointless! We need jobs!’”
This is how social entrepreneur Veronika Scott’s dream job was born. It started in a class she was taking in college. The project was to design something that would fulfill a need. Scott did her research at homeless shelters, and came up with a unique coat design that would turn into a fully utilized sleeping bag. It looks like a regular coat. The back of the coat unfolds to open up the bottom half of the sleeping bag through Velcro enclosures. When the coat isn’t in use, it folds up into a bag. For the 20,000 Detroit homeless, she thought this was a great idea.
“Really, she was completely right,” Scott posits about the angry woman at the shelter, “because a coat is just a Band-Aid for a systemic issue. And, what really would make a difference is hiring a population that would need them in the first place.”
That’s was Scott did. She hired homeless single mothers. In her startup phase, there were plenty of naysayers with discouraging statements that homeless people will never be able to work a normal job. Scott found that to be so untrue. The women they’ve hired at The Empowerment Plan have proven to be excellent employees and many have managed to … (Read the Full Story)