Meet Veronika Scott – a woman who grew up in the toughest of circumstances, and decided to help change the world because of it.
And rather than a quick fix or temporary solution, she has found a way to create a lasting impact on the people she seeks to serve.
During an assignment in her Creative Studies college course, the 22-year-old Scott ended up designing coats that doubled as sleeping bags for the homeless.
This project became a passion of hers, and she continued working on the designs for months…long after her college class ended.
Scott even solicited the advice of several homeless men and women at the shelter Neighborhood Service Organization in Detroit to develop the first prototype.
But this story isn’t just about a coat she designed. It is about how she used her concept to employ create jobs for these same homeless citizens.
In an ABC interview, Scott said the coat was initially meant to offer comfort and pride for the homeless. But one homeless woman’s words changed that. “She said, ‘Your coats don’t matter, jobs matter. We need jobs, not coats.'”
Scott’s new mission was then crystal clear: she needed to find a way to employ the homeless.
And it was then that The Empowerment Plan project begun.
With the help of donations and machines, materials for the coats, and contributions from Detroit-area companies like General Motors and clothes-maker Carhartt, the Empowerment Plan aims to create 4,000 coats a year while creating jobs specifically for the homeless population of Detriot.
“Veronika’s remarkable passion to create a program that offers warmth and shelter and ultimately jobs to help the city’s homeless population is inspiring and necessary to be involved with,” says Tony Ambroza, vice president of marketing for Carhartt. “We are honored to be a part of this inspiring movement that Veronika has started right here in our city.”